Workforce Health and Wellbeing
Britain’s railway is one of the safest in the world and has continued to improve over the past 10 years. The industry wants to create a matching step change in how we manage risk to workforce health and wellbeing. Across the rail sector, sickness has been found to be more than twice the national rate (ONS, 2019), translating into 1,346,659 days lost to sickness each year. The total costs of impaired health are estimated to be in about £889m each year.
The ORR (2019) has seen gains made in addressing key issues such as mental ill-health, musculoskeletal disorders and Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome. And yet there is still much work to do. The use of better intelligence to target workplace interventions to deliver long-term benefits is a priority. This can contribute to an improvement in the quality of rail workers' lives, secure more consistent legal compliance, and increase productivity. The associated cost savings will free up valuable industry resources.
What the rail industry is doing
The Rail Wellbeing Alliance has brought together senior leaders from across the industry, to inspire healthy lives across the railway. It facilitates collaboration and provides strategic development and monitoring of industry progress. The alliance oversees seven workstreams to address the seven strategic challenges outlined in LHSBR, along with cross-industry work on fatigue.
The cross-industry health and wellbeing roadmap focuses on improving data and analytic capability to inform decision-making; evaluating and implementing evidence-based interventions; and sharing good practice.
The Rail Wellbeing Alliance has curated Rail Wellbeing Live as a good practice forum. The first annual event is planned for November 2020.
Strategic challengesFigure 1: Rail industry strategic challenges for workforce health and wellbeing
How to get involved
There are many opportunities for you to contribute to leading health and safety on Britain’s railways.