Our responsible business commitment to improve the health, safety and wellbeing of our people and communities.
We will report on our progress against our Thrive365 strategy and continue to report the number of health and safety regulation breaches. For mental health and wellbeing we will develop volunteering opportunities.
Desired impact – For South East Water to ensure all employees, partners and communities go home safely each night, but that they are also enjoying good health and wellbeing.
How have we performed?
Clearly throughout the year our response to Covid-19 has been a huge priority, but we have also had to ensure our key workers were able to work safely while working in a new way. We had no Health and Safety Executive regulation breaches during the year.
We are proud to have kept the number of Covid-19 cases low (our sickness rate during the year was just 1.75 per cent) and that our employee pulse surveys during the year gave a score of 92 out of 100 for staff trusting that South East Water is treating their health and safety as a high priority.
The health and safety of those we work with is of the utmost importance. We were therefore disappointed to experience a high reportable injury rate during the last year. This was in part due to two cases of Covid-19 contracted while at work. Overall lost time injuries were high, although the amount of time lost was below the industry average. Most were the result of slips and trips or manual handling and thankfully the severity of the injuries and the amount of time lost for each was low. Manual handling activities are being reassessed and retrained in the coming year and awareness regarding slips and trips will be promoted as we work hard to reduce this in future.
Mental health engagement has been well received with 511 contacts recorded by our Mental Health First Aiders who also categorise each contact made. The majority of issues raised are not work related. Feedback regarding the support on offer at South East Water remains positive with our Wellbeing Hub providing regular updates on the situation and advice for colleagues through the year.
Impact of Covid-19
Volunteering activities have not been undertaken due to Covid-19 restrictions – we hope we can reintroduce these in 2021 as we know this is an important element of wellbeing.
Some training was not able to take place face-to-face and so we are working to ensure all is completed as soon as possible as restrictions relax.
Clearly Covid-19 has impacted everyone’s mental health in some way and is undoubtedly behind some of the contacts made to our Mental Health First Aiders and third party support organisations.