Health and well being of road workers highlighted at HE event

Operatives working on the M60/62 smart motorway project in Greater Manchester got together to raise awareness about road worker health, safety and wellbeing.

The ‘Aiming for Zero’ event at Barton City Airfield in Salford was attended by 500 employees and sub-contractors working on the £208 million Highways England project, which is upgrading the section of motorway between junction 8 of the M60 in Trafford and junction 20 of the M62 in Rochdale.

The September event highlighted the importance of health and wellbeing within the construction industry by exploring fatigue in the workplace, mental health, accident investigation, cultural behavioural safety, incursions, plant and people interface and HAVS (Hand, arm vibration at work).

The day included a series of health-related sessions focusing on stress awareness, cholesterol levels and stopping smoking, which were delivered through the project’s Occupational Health Nurse and supported by medical professionals working in the construction industry.

The Manchester Smart Motorways (MSM) Lifestyle Checkpoint made an appearance, so attendees could check their BMI level. Exercise bikes were used to raise money for local charity with ten pounds being donated for every kilometre cycled. A total of £2,870 has been raised.

Highways England project manager Stef Wilson said: “At Highways England we value the workforce and are fully committed to health and wellbeing at work.

“Aiming for Zero day highlights the importance of staff wellbeing in terms of both physical and mental health. It gives staff an opportunity to learn about what we have on offer and share experiences and concerns in an open and friendly environment. The day proved a great success.”

Project director David Emery added: “I am extremely proud that we have been able to deliver another Aiming for Zero day after the success of last year’s event. Keeping the safety element of the day was of upmost priority; however we also wanted to draw attention to the importance of staff wellbeing in terms of both physical and mental health. No highways project currently under construction in the UK has delivered an event to this scale for two years in a row, where the whole workforce comes together for a whole day to focus on their health, safety and wellbeing.”

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