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Mastering the Art of Good Posture with Display Screen Equipment

In our digitally dominated work environments, the importance of an ‘ergonomic assessment for DSE’ cannot be overstated. Whether it’s a desktop in the office or a laptop at the kitchen table, our daily engagement with display screen equipment (DSE) has profound implications for our posture and overall health. Recognising this, our Health, Safety, and Wellbeing manager, Noora Mättö, emphasises proper ergonomic evaluation to prevent the discomfort and strain associated with prolonged DSE use. This blog serves as a guide for both employers and employees to establish and maintain good posture while using any DSE, supporting wellbeing and productivity.

A correctly arranged workstation is the cornerstone of good posture. Let’s break down what this should look like: 

  • Screen Height and Distance: The top of your monitor should be at eye level and about an arm’s length away. This prevents you from bending your neck up or down as you look at the screen, reducing strain.
  • Shoulder Position: Keep your shoulders relaxed. Your chair height should be such that you don’t hunch or shrug to use your keyboard.
  • Keyboard and Mouse Placement: Your keyboard should be placed just below elbow height, allowing your arms to rest comfortably. Align your mouse with your elbow to avoid reaching or straining.
  • Seating: The height of your seat should evenly support both the front and back of your thighs. If necessary, use a cushion to raise your seated position. There should be a small gap (2-3 cm) between the front of the seat and the back of your knees.
  • Back Support: The back of the seat should support your lower back adequately. If not, use a cushion to prevent slouching and encourage a natural spine curve.
  • Workstation Layout: Ensure the computer and screen are directly in front of you to prevent twisting your back. The screen and keyboard should be central on the desk.

Despite their portability and convenience, laptops often present ergonomic challenges due to their compact and fixed design. To transform your laptop into an ergonomically efficient workstation, consider these adjustments:

  • Peripheral Integration: Attach a separate keyboard and mouse. This allows you to position the laptop on a stand or riser, elevating the screen to an optimal viewing height without affecting your ability to type and navigate comfortably.
  • Elevated Viewing: When prolonged use is expected, connect your laptop to an external monitor. This setup enables you to maintain the top of the display at eye level, a key factor in preserving good posture without sacrificing the utility of your laptop’s own keyboard and trackpad.

Making these manageable adjustments can lead to major improvements in your posture and comfort, ensuring that even the most mobile workspaces promote a healthy, ergonomic setup.

But it’s not just about the initial setup. Employers have a duty to engage in continuous education and regular evaluations to ensure these setups remain optimal. It’s about creating a culture where adjustments and breaks are as natural as the tasks, and employees feel empowered to take ownership of their workspace comfort.

To encapsulate, embracing the correct posture and ergonomics is synonymous with nurturing a productive and healthy work environment. The effort to understand and implement these ergonomic guidelines is a testament to a collective commitment to workplace health — an intelligent move for employers looking to minimise health risks and for employees aiming to preserve their comfort and well-being.

As the boundaries between work and home blur, taking the initiative to fine-tune your workspace can mean the difference between enduring the day and enjoying it.

Are you prepared to prioritise the health of your team and optimise your workplace ergonomics? Contact us on 01387 248811 or drop us an email at info@genesisohs.co.uk for further details. Your journey towards a healthier, more efficient workspace begins here!

[Good posture when using display screen equipment – MSD – HSE]

 

 

 

Navigating Unsocial Hours: The Health Challenges of Shift Work

Our Occupational Health Nurse, Lisa, investigates the consequences of working non-traditional hours and examines the crucial role that Occupational Health can play in supporting night shift workers, addressing their distinct challenges and enhancing their overall well-being.

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Traditional working hours have evolved significantly in a world where businesses often operate around the clock. Commercial organisations, particularly those in industries demanding continuous 24/7 operation, such as steel production, have adapted to meet the demands of a globalised economy. However, this transformation comes at a cost for individuals working these unconventional hours and society.

Approximately 21% of European workers are involved in some shift work, including night shifts. This shift towards a 24-hour society challenges the natural circadian rhythms that humans have developed over millions of years. We are inherently diurnal beings, designed to be active during the day and at rest during the night, with our body functions, including temperature, blood pressure, and hormone levels, governed by these rhythms. Yet, the demands of modern life have led us to override these instincts, and the implications for shift workers and society are profound. 

Let’s analyse the impacts of non-traditional working hours on employee well-being, exploring the challenges faced by individuals with unconventional schedules and delving into potential mitigation strategies, as well as how employers and Occupational Health can help support – 

Impact on Shift Workers:
Shift workers experience disruptions across various facets of their lives, including biological rhythms, social interactions, and domestic routines. These disruptions can lead to health problems, performance impairments, and safety risks associated with shiftwork.

Shift Work and Chronic Health:
One of the more concerning aspects of shift work, particularly those involving circadian disruption, is its potential link to breast cancer. Melatonin, a hormone central to regulating the body clock, plays a role in cancer risk. Recommendations to mitigate cancer risk among night workers include limiting consecutive night shifts and promoting healthy lifestyles.

Shift Work and Metabolic Disorders:
Shift workers are more likely to develop metabolic disorders like obesity, dyslipidaemia, abnormal blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. Disrupted eating habits, including consuming more energy at night, contribute to these risks. Gastrointestinal problems due to variations in digestive processes are also common. Employers can enhance the health and well-being of shift workers by offering healthy food options in vending machines and providing access to facilities for storing and reheating home-cooked meals. Hosting regular well-being days throughout the year can provide nutritional guidance as part of their well-being initiatives.

Reproductive Health:
Shift work has also shown associations with reproductive health issues, including pre-term delivery, small-for-gestational-age births, preeclampsia, and gestational hypertension. Reducing exposure to shiftwork may benefit pregnant women. Employers must conduct risk assessments for individuals who become pregnant, are breastfeeding, or have given birth within the last six months. These assessments should also be undertaken regularly as the pregnancy advances or if there are significant alterations in the individual’s work duties or work environment.

Mental Health:
Shift work can induce stress, characterised by a lack of job autonomy and social isolation. The mental health effects of shift work, particularly among female shift workers, warrant further research. Providing counselling services to assist employees can be crucial in offering support.

Safety Risks:
Fatigue and cognitive impairment significantly increase the risk of mistakes and accidents during night shifts. This risk accumulates over consecutive night shifts, underscoring the importance of limiting their number and duration. Incorporating rest breaks can help prevent risk escalation during shifts.

Health Assessment:
Night workers require regular health assessments, with ongoing checks to evaluate the severity of conditions, individual coping mechanisms, and managing health issues. 

Mitigation Strategies for Shift Workers:
For those engaged in shift work, prioritising sleep is paramount. Aiming for 7-9 hours per 24-hour period, establishing a consistent sleep schedule and bedtime routine, strategically napping, creating a comfortable sleep environment, and monitoring caffeine and nicotine intake are essential strategies. Suppose employees are showing any potential signs of sleep deprivation, depending on how a sleep disorder is affecting them within their role. In that case, OH can conduct a fitness-for-work assessment to ensure that appropriate measures and plans are in place to safeguard the well-being of those employees.

In summary, proactive measures are essential, while there may not be a one-size-fits-all solution to the intricacies associated with shift work. To effectively address shift workers’ unique needs and challenges, employers must establish strong partnerships with occupational health professionals.

Employers can play a pivotal role in mitigating the negative impacts of shift work. Key considerations include designing work schedules that minimise circadian rhythms and sleep disruptions. Factors like minimising rapid forward rotation between shifts, providing adequate intervals between shifts, and avoiding extended night shifts should be considered. By adopting a comprehensive approach to address these issues, occupational health can significantly contribute to the overall health, safety, and well-being of those working unsocial hours.
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To learn more about how Genesis can help assist with the services mentioned above, please contact us on 01387 248811 or email info@genesisohs.co.uk

Empowering Women and Workplaces: World Menopause Day and Occupational Health Support

Leading up to World Menopause Awareness Day, the Occupational Health Team here at Genesis have been busy providing in-house training sessions for our employees and delivering informative toolbox talks to many of our clients. In this latest blog post, the team encapsulate the significance of World Menopause Day, an annual event observed on October 18th, aimed at increasing awareness, dispelling stigmas, and spotlighting the available support systems for enhancing the health and well-being of individuals navigating the menopausal journey.

Menopause is a natural biological process that marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years, typically between the ages of 45 and 55. While it signifies the cessation of menstruation, it also brings physical and hormonal changes. One crucial aspect often overshadowed during this phase is the impact of menopause on cardiovascular health. As we observe Menopause Awareness Day today, it’s essential to shed light on the intersection of menopause and cardiovascular health and the measures women can take to maintain a healthy heart throughout this transformative journey.

Furthermore, it’s important to recognise that menopause is not solely a matter of gender or age; it’s an organisational issue that can directly or indirectly affect colleagues. Awareness surrounding this topic is crucial for reducing the stigma associated with menopause and fostering open conversations about it.”

Understanding Menopause

Menopause occurs when a woman’s ovaries stop producing eggs, and the levels of oestrogen and progesterone, two vital female hormones, decline significantly. This hormonal shift results in various physical and emotional symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and changes in bone density. However, it also has significant implications for the cardiovascular system.

The Connection Between Menopause and Cardiovascular Health

Hormonal Changes: Oestrogen, a vital hormone in regulating the menstrual cycle, has a protective effect on the cardiovascular system. It helps maintain healthy blood vessel function, reduces inflammation, and promotes good cholesterol levels. As oestrogen levels drop during menopause, these protective effects diminish, increasing the risk of heart disease.

Increased Risk Factors: Menopause often coincides with increased risk factors for heart disease, such as weight gain, high blood pressure, and unfavourable changes in cholesterol levels. Combining these increased risks with hormonal changes creates a perfect storm for cardiovascular issues.

Vascular Changes: Menopause can lead to changes in the structure and function of blood vessels, making them less elastic and more prone to plaque buildup. Such changes can contribute to the development of atherosclerosis, a condition where arteries become narrow and hardened, increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Metabolic Changes: Menopause is associated with an increased tendency to develop insulin resistance, which can lead to type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a significant risk factor for heart disease.

Acting for Cardiovascular Health

Healthy Lifestyle Choices: Women going through menopause can reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease by adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle, such as eating a balanced diet, engaging in regular physical activity, managing stress, and avoiding smoking.

Hormone Therapy: Some women may consider hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to alleviate menopausal symptoms and potentially reduce the risk of heart disease. However, HRT may not be suitable for everyone and should be discussed with a healthcare provider to assess the individual’s risk and benefits.

Regular Check-ups: Women should prioritise regular health check-ups, including blood pressure and cholesterol monitoring. Early detection of risk factors allows for timely intervention and management.

Education and Awareness: On Menopause Awareness Day and beyond, it is crucial to spread awareness about the relationship between menopause and cardiovascular health. Knowledge empowers women to take control of their heart health.

How Occupational Health Can Support Menopause in the Workplace

Occupational health can help provide valuable support to help employees manage menopause. Here are some of the services that we can offer here at Genesis:

Education and Awareness: Conduct workshops and training sessions to raise awareness about menopause and its potential impact on employees. These sessions can educate employees and managers on the physical and emotional changes associated with menopause. [Course information Sheets available on request. Please email info@genesisohs.co.uk]

Individual Health Assessments: Face-to-face, telephone or video assessments for employees experiencing menopausal symptoms. These assessments can help identify specific needs and accommodations required. Recommendations provided can guide managing common menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, and sleep disturbances, as well as facilitating the transition back to work and implementing flexible work arrangements.

Ergonomics and Workplace Design: Ensure that workstations and environments are designed for the comfort and well-being of employees, considering the specific needs of those experiencing menopause.

Mental Health Support: Self-referral and manager referrals for counselling can be initiated through the Genesis OHS portal to provide mental health support and referrals to employees facing emotional and psychological challenges during menopause.

Stress Management: Stress management training and strategies to assist employees and managers in mitigating stress linked to menopausal symptoms as part of their Mental Health and well-being Awareness and Mental Health Self-Care courses. [Course information Sheets available on request. Please email info@genesisohs.co.uk]

Access to Healthcare: Genesis referrals can provide employees access to in-house physiotherapy and holistic approaches, including massage therapy and reflexology.

Health Promotion Days: Health promotion campaigns that encourage healthy lifestyle choices, such as regular exercise and a balanced diet, to alleviate menopausal symptoms can be conducted onsite or here at Genesis Training Centre, 5 Buccleuch Street, Dumfries, DG1 2AT.

As we conclude, it is imperative to remember that menopause, a natural phase in a woman’s life, necessitates a profound understanding of its implications for cardiovascular health. By acknowledging and addressing the hormonal, metabolic, and vascular changes that accompany menopause, women are equipped to manage their heart disease risk proactively. With knowledge as their ally and healthy lifestyle choices as their weapon, women can confidently embrace the menopausal journey, securing a future of enduring heart health and vitality. Furthermore, through our various services, from education and individual health assessments to ergonomic support and mental health resources, Genesis OHS is dedicated to fostering a workplace environment where everyone can thrive during this significant life transition.

Elevating Mental Health in the Workplace: A Strategic Investment for Employers and a Universal Human Right

World Mental Health Day October 2023

As the calendar flips to October, Genesis Occupational Health Nurses Tara and Lisa focus on ‘World Mental Health Day’ and delve into a topic of utmost importance – mental well-being in the workplace.

In today’s dynamic times, where the lines between personal and professional life often blur, the recognition and proactive handling of mental health have never been more crucial. At Genesis OHS, we firmly believe that every individual should thrive in a work environment that cares for their physical health and prioritises their mental well-being. In this blog post, the OH team share valuable insights, practical strategies, and essential resources to foster mental wellness in the workplace.

Mental health awareness has gained significant traction in recent years, shedding light on the importance of mental well-being in all aspects of our lives, including the workplace. Recognising the profound impact mental health has on their workforce, employers are increasingly investing in initiatives to promote mental wellness among employees. Recognising mental health as a universal human right is imperative in promoting a society that values every individual’s dignity, equity, and well-being.

Employers play a pivotal role in fostering a supportive workplace environment. By promoting open communication, offering resources, and eliminating stigma, they can create an atmosphere where employees feel safe discussing their mental health challenges. This open dialogue is essential in addressing issues early on, preventing escalation, and providing timely support.

Employees who feel mentally well are more likely to be productive and engaged in their work. A positive work environment prioritising mental health reduces stress and morale. Mentally healthy employees can better focus on their tasks, leading to increased efficiency and higher-quality work output. Moreover, a mentally healthy workforce is more likely to collaborate effectively, contributing to a positive and vibrant workplace culture.

Mental health issues often lead to absenteeism, where employees cannot work due to their condition. Additionally, even when physically present, employees experiencing mental health challenges might not be fully productive, a phenomenon known as presenteeism. Investing in mental health initiatives can significantly reduce absenteeism and presenteeism rates, saving employers substantial costs associated with lost productivity.

In today’s competitive job market, prospective employees seek employers who prioritise their well-being. Companies that invest in mental health initiatives demonstrate their commitment to the holistic welfare of their employees. This reputation helps attract top talent and enhances employee loyalty. Moreover, by fostering a mentally healthy workplace, employers can reduce turnover rates, as employees are more likely to stay in an environment where they feel valued and supported.

Apart from the moral imperative to care for employees’ well-being, there are legal and ethical reasons for employers to address mental health in the workplace. Many countries have laws requiring employers to provide a safe and healthy work environment, including mental health considerations. Failing to meet these obligations can result in legal consequences and damage a company’s reputation.

In summary, acknowledging mental health as a strategic investment and a universal human right is critical to fostering healthier workplaces and societies. Employers who invest in mental health initiatives not only respond to societal awareness but also drive productivity, compassion, and sustainability. Moving forward, organisations should prioritise open communication, reduce stigma, and provide mental well-being resources to empower employees and reap benefits like increased productivity, reduced absenteeism, and enhanced talent retention. Recognising mental health as a universal right is our collective responsibility to create dignified environments. It transcends legal and ethical obligations, shaping our workplaces and societies into more inclusive, compassionate, and prosperous spaces where everyone can thrive.

Genesis offers various services to promote mental health in the workplace. If you’d like to delve deeper into these services, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a more detailed discussion.

Fit2Fit Excellence: Accreditation and Face Fit Testing

Workplace Face Fit Testing

Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of employees should be a top priority for any organisation. In industries where respiratory protective equipment (RPE) is necessary, like construction, healthcare, and manufacturing, fit testing is a critical process to guarantee that the RPE provides adequate protection. If the mask does not fit, it does not protect!

Fit2Fit Face Fit Testing Accreditation is a certification that organisations can achieve to demonstrate their commitment to adherence to industry standards. The accreditation scheme was developed by British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). In this blog post, we will explore what Fit2Fit Face Fit Testing accreditation is, its significance and benefits, and recall our advisors’ journey to achieve the accreditation.

Understanding Fit2Fit Face Fit Testing Accreditation

Fit2Fit is a recognised accreditation scheme for organisations that perform face fit testing for respiratory protective equipment. Face fit testing is a method used to ensure that an individual’s chosen RPE forms an effective seal around their face, preventing the ingress of hazardous substances. The scheme was established to set a high standard for face fit testing and accreditation. An accreditation can be achieved in both qualitative and quantitative method. The qualitative method is a simple test that can be used to test the fit of disposable and reusable half face respirators. This method is a subjective test and relies on an honest response from the test subject and their ability to detect taste. Quantitative face fit testing is an objective method that measures the mask’s fit by calculating the ratio of particles outside the mask to particles inside the mask. This method uses specialised equipment, such as particle counting device or a controlled negative pressure system, to provide a numerical result. This method can be used to evaluate the fit of any mask or respirator, including tight-fitting masks that may not be suitable for qualitative testing.

Significance and Benefits of Accreditation

Achieving Fit2Fit accreditation signifies that the organisation is compliant with Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations and fulfils the standards set by the HSE and BSIF. The accreditation demonstrates commitment to creating and upholding safe working environment and to educating about the risks of exposure to harmful substances. Those holding the accreditation can signify commitment to quality standards and professionalism. Holding the accreditation ensures that those carrying out face fit testing are doing so in the highest standard and have undergone training and examination to carry out the process correctly every time.

The Fit2Fit Accreditation Process

Our Health and Safety Advisors Noora Mättö and Stephen Little have achieved this prestigious accreditation in the qualitative face fit testing method. They received specialised in-house training to ensure they understand the testing procedure thoroughly. On the assessment day, our advisors attended the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) in Edinburgh to process through the required testing and examination to achieve the accreditation. The test comprises of two parts – a multiple choice closed book examination based on the HSE document INDG497 Guidance on respiratory protective equipment (RPE) fit testing and the BSIF companion document and a practical element where the candidates are asked to perform a mock face fit test with troubleshooting scenarios presented to them. Although performing under examination conditions is stressful to most people, or our advisors both achieved their accreditation and are now allowed to perform qualitative face fit testing under the Fit2Fit banner. To ensure professional development and the quality of assessors, the examination and practical test must be repeated in full in no less than three years from the date of qualification to keep the accreditation.

Genesis Can Offer Face Fit Testing and Training Services

We can offer our clients face fit testing related services that are carried out by our accredited Health & Safety Advisors.

Qualitative face fit testing – Our Fit2Fit accredited advisors can carry out qualitative face fit testing for disposable and reusable tight-fitting half-face respirators. The service includes a fit check for the mask provided, the fit test with either a pass or a fail result, and education to the employee about respiratory risks at work and how to take care of their masks appropriately. The whole process only takes 15 minutes per person so multiple employees can be tested in the same day guaranteeing efficiency.  Our advisors will present a badge to confirm their qualification under the scheme.

Face fit testing train the trainer – Do you want to have trained employees within your organisation who can carry out qualitative face fit testing? We offer a Face Fit Testing Train the Trainer half-day course which equips delegates with necessary knowledge about the COSHH regulations and how to carry out the face fit testing process step-by-step. Because our advisors are Fit2Fit accredited, you will always receive quality training based on the principles that our advisors needed to know and understand to achieve the accreditation. We can also order face-fit testing kits to provide to you if you don’t already have one.  Further details on this service can be found on our website. 

Spotlight on Excellence: Meet Our Exceptional Team

Simon Bone

Introduction:

At Genesis Occupational Health & Safety (Genesis OHS), we are privileged to have Simon on our team. Simon is not only an expert in first aid training but also a friendly and approachable trainer who brings a unique energy and passion to his classes. Today, let’s take a moment to get to know Simon and discover why he is an invaluable asset to the team.

Passion for Teaching and Helping Others:

Simon’s journey as a first aid trainer began with a genuine passion for teaching and a strong desire to impact workplace safety. He firmly believes that by providing individuals with the necessary knowledge and skills, he can empower them to respond effectively in emergencies. His interactive and engaging training sessions show Simon’s dedication to helping others.

Approachable and Supportive Nature:

One of the most remarkable qualities that participants appreciate about Simon is his approachable and supportive nature. He creates a comfortable and inclusive learning environment where participants feel encouraged to ask questions, share their concerns, and actively participate in discussions. Simon’s friendly demeanour instantly puts everyone at ease, fostering a collaborative and enjoyable training experience.

Adapting Training to Individual Needs:

Simon understands that everyone has unique learning styles and needs. That’s why he goes the extra mile to ensure that his training sessions cater to the specific requirements of each participant. Whether you are a seasoned professional or new to first aid in the workplace, Simon’s adaptable teaching approach ensures that everyone receives personalised attention and gains the confidence to handle emergencies effectively.

Real-Life Scenarios and Practical Application:

One of the aspects that sets Simon apart as a first aid trainer is his focus on practical application. He believes that hands-on experience is crucial for developing confidence and proficiency. Simon incorporates real-life scenarios into his training sessions, allowing participants to practice their skills and apply their knowledge in a safe and controlled environment. This approach ensures that participants are well-prepared to handle emergencies in the workplace.

Creating a Supportive Learning Community:

Simon understands that learning is not limited to the classroom. He strives to foster a supportive learning community among his participants. By encouraging open communication, collaboration, and sharing of experiences, Simon creates an environment where individuals can learn from one another and build a strong support network. Participants often leave Simon’s training sessions not only with valuable skills but also with lasting connections.

Conclusion:

Simon’s friendly nature, passion for teaching, and commitment to creating a supportive learning environment make him an exceptional first aid trainer at Genesis OHS. His dedication to equipping individuals with life-saving skills and fostering a community of empowered first aid responders is commendable.

When you choose Genesis OHS for your first aid training needs, you can rest assured that a friendly and knowledgeable professional like Simon will guide you. For further information on our training courses and dates, please visit ‘Training’ or email info@genesisohs.co.uk

 

A Day of Adventure and Bonding: Our Unforgettable Team Building & Wellbeing Experience at Mabie Forest

Team building and well-being events are essential for fostering camaraderie, boosting morale, and enhancing communication among colleagues. In our quest to strengthen the bonds within our team, we recently embarked on an exhilarating team-building day at Mabie Forest in Dumfries. This picturesque location provided the perfect backdrop for a day filled with orienteering, mind-bending puzzles, a sports day, and an unforgettable silent headphone disco. Join us as we relive the highlights of this remarkable day and the valuable lessons we learned along the way.

Energizers: Igniting Team Spirit and Energy:
To kickstart our team building day, we began with a series of energizers designed to ignite our team spirit and boost our energy levels. These activities were fun and engaging and served as icebreakers, allowing us to get to know each other better. The forest soon became alive with laughter and friendly competition. The energizers set a vibrant tone for the day, breaking down barriers and fostering a sense of camaraderie among the team members.

The Magic of the Silent Headphone Disco:
Equipped with wireless headphones, each playing our own choice of music, we then transformed the forest clearing into a dancefloor. With no external speakers, it appeared as if we were dancing in silence, creating an enchanting and surreal experience. The shared laughter, games, spontaneous dance-offs, and uninhibited revelry showcased the power of collective joy and highlighted the importance of celebrating success and fostering a positive team culture.

Mind-Bending Puzzles for Collaborative Problem-Solving:
After a short break to refuel and hydrate, we embarked on a series of challenging puzzles that tested our critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. From logic puzzles and riddles to physical challenges that required coordination and teamwork, these activities pushed us beyond our comfort zones and encouraged us to think creatively. Solving these mind-bending puzzles demanded effective communication, trust, and collective effort. It was a powerful reminder that a team’s strength lies in its members’ diversity and ability to collaborate. Upon completing the puzzles, each team obtained a code to unlock a map, leading the team to an exciting orienteering challenge.

Discovering the Wilderness Through Orienteering:
With the support and guidance of Tim O’Donoghue, Chairman & Coach from Solway Orienteers, the teams armed with maps set out on a journey to locate hidden markers scattered throughout Mabie Forest. This activity required us to work together and communicate effectively and encouraged us to tap into our problem-solving skills.

A Spirited Sports Day:
After an exhilarating morning and a spot of lunch in the shade, we engaged in a range of spirited sports activities. From classic team sports like football and relay races to fun and unconventional games like bean bag toss and the ultimate Genesis assault course, there was something for everyone. The competitive yet light-hearted atmosphere fuelled our team spirit and encouraged us to support and motivate one another. Sports have a unique way of breaking down barriers and forging bonds, and we certainly felt a sense of unity as we cheered on our teammates, celebrated victories, and laughed together in the face of defeat.

Mindfulness 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding:
Lastly, we closed our eyes and embarked on a sensory journey. Opening our eyes, we observed and verbalized five things we could see, four things we could touch, three things we could hear, two things we could smell, and one thing we could taste. Through this exercise, we became fully present and engaged with our surroundings, fostering a deep connection and mindfulness. It was a transformative experience that reminded us of the importance of grounding ourselves in the present moment for enhanced team well-being.

Key Takeaways and the Power of Team Building:
Our team-building and well-being day in Mabie Forest has had a lasting impact on us all. Beyond fun activities and memorable moments, it reinforced essential teamwork, communication, and collaboration lessons. We learned that effective communication is the bedrock of successful teamwork. Whether navigating through the forest, coordinating sports strategies, or solving puzzles, clear and open lines of communication were crucial.

Collaboration was another crucial element that emerged throughout the day. It reminded us that a team’s strength lies in leveraging its members’ diverse talents and perspectives. By combining our strengths and working towards a common goal, we overcame challenges more effectively.

Lastly, the day emphasised celebrating success, fostering a positive team culture, and nurturing camaraderie from cheering each other on during sports activities to dancing.

Hopefully, everyone can earn a well-deserved whilst plans are already in the making for the next event.

Team Genesis

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Thank You:

To all who supported us behind the scenes, ensuring logistics and overall smooth execution, we appreciate your dedication and hard work. Your professionalism, attention to detail, and commitment to delivering a seamless event experience significantly impacted our team building and wellbeing day.

Mabie Forest – https://forestryandland.gov.scot/visit/mabie

Solway Orienteering – www.solwayorienteers.co.uk Solway Orienteers | Facebook

MML Direct MML Tasty Treats | Dumfries | Facebook

Ultimate Leadership Training – LEADERSHIP TRAINING UK

Silent Disco Hire – Silent Disco 4U

 

Genesis Health & Wellbeing February Plank Challenge

You may have noticed that our blogging page on the website and other social media outlets needs to be more active, and we agree! Erin, our Business Development Manager (BDM), who normally ‘gently’ nudges us to post, has returned from maternity leave and will soon have us all back to being more socially active! 

In addition to being more socially active, we have just completed our internal Genesis OHS ‘Plank Challenge.’ The Plank Challenge is part of our Genesis 2023 Health & Wellbeing Programme. Each month, we encourage each other to maintain healthy or healthier lifestyles with various challenges, including focusing on sleep, hydration, mindfulness and self-care.

The physical planking challenge in February aimed to help strengthen core muscles, abdomen, and hips, improve body balance and boost our mental health. Throughout the month, we successfully built endurance and gradually increased the time we could hold a plank. To prove this, on the last day of the challenge, all those participating undertook the plank challenge in person or via teams. Although some of us could not endure the whole five minutes, all agreed that they felt stronger and noticed improved posture and mood, perfectly setting us up for March’s nutrition and hydration challenges. 

If you want to undertake a physical challenge in the workplace like the Plank Challenge, here are some of our top tips! 

  1. Set clear guidelines: Clearly define the objectives of the challenge.
  2. Encourage participation: Make the challenge accessible to everyone in the workplace, regardless of fitness level or experience. 
  3. Create a supportive environment: Encourage participants to support and motivate each other throughout the challenge. Consider creating a Microsoft Teams group where participants can share their progress and encourage each other.
  4. Monitor progress: Keep track of participants’ progress and provide regular updates (pssst this part is essential); it will help keep participants engaged and motivated throughout the challenge.
  5. Prioritise safety: Ensure participants are informed how to undertake the challenge safely and guide proper form and technique to prevent injury.
  6. Have fun: Remember, the challenge aims to promote physical activity and create a fun and healthy workplace culture. So make sure everyone involved has a positive and enjoyable experience.

If you would like a copy of our Plank Challenge Worksheet or would like to join us on future challenges, please let us know at info@genesisohs.co.uk 

Work after lockdown

Employee Wellbeing Genesis OHS

The study, ‘Work after lockdown: no going back’ funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), has examined how hybrid working has now become the new workforce expectation with a mindset shift around how work can be organised. It has also considered the longer-term implications of working from home including employee wellbeing and whether new working practices were likely to remain encouraged. 

The report has identified various benefits experienced by workers from hybrid working through the various lockdown cycles in 2020 and 2021. These included: increased managerial trust in remote working; new management skills around remote working; new digital skills; better-quality meetings; improved access to work for people with disabilities/health conditions; reduced commuting and travel costs; going paperless; business model innovation (including greater use of technology); and improved team relationships. 

But there were also downsides, including social deficit, more complicated communications within teams; poor-quality line management; work intensification; lost opportunities for on-the-job learning; employee fatigue, and concerns over wellbeing.

The report identifies seven key areas that organisations should focus on when adopting or continuing a hybrid working model. One of which is to ensure that employee wellbeing is made a top priority within the organisation. Here at Genesis, we can help support you with the continuation or migration towards a hybrid working model with the following services

  • Counselling Services, including mental health support for various issues relating to personal life or the workplace that employees may be experiencing or have done in the past. 
  • Toolbox Talks, including General Health and Wellbeing 
  • Classroom-based training on-site or delivered at our offices in Dumfries, either bespoke or open courses.
  • Live online webinars, delivered by highly trained occupational and health and safety professionals who will reach and engage with you and your team. Popular webinars include Mental Health & Wellbeing Awareness, Mental Health Self Care and Health and Safety Awareness. Each webinar consists of live Q&A sessions, poll participation, and the opportunity to obtain a certificate of training upon successful assessment.
  • Occupational health assessments to identify any support or adjustments that would assist with hybrid working.
  • Hybrid workplace DSE assessments to help protect the health and wellbeing of employees and reduce common injuries and issues, including blurred vision, musculoskeletal problems, and headaches.

For further information on any of the above services, please call us on 01387 01387 248811. The complete ‘Work after lockdown: no going back’ report can be accessed online at www.workafterlockdown.uk

Definitions: A hybrid working pattern refers to a blend of home-based and office-based working, which may be fixed or fluid in the proportion of time spent in either location in a typical week.

Erin Wilson (BA Hons, Assoc. CIPD)
Genesis Business Development Manager

Parry J, Young Z et al. Work after lockdown: no going back. University of Southampton, 2022. www.workafterlockdown.uk

Occupational Health at Work April/May 2022 (vol. 18/6) pp42

At Work Partnership Journal issue 18 6 Work After Lockdown

 

Nutrition and Hydration Week 2022

The UK’s 10th Nutrition and Hydration Week is here! Nutrition and Hydration Week is an annual event with a shared objective to highlight, promote and celebrate improvements in providing nutrition and hydration locally, nationally and globally.

Nutrition and Hydration Week is an excellent opportunity for organisations to improve the health and wellbeing of their employees. By promoting good nutrition and hydration, employers can help their staff stay healthy, productive and motivated.

There are many benefits to employees of keeping on top of their nutrition and hydration, including:

– Improved energy levels and concentration

– Reduced risk of health problems such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes

– Better mental wellbeing

– Reduced absences

The workplace can also promote good nutrition and hydration amongst its employees, some ways in which employers can do so include:

– Offer healthy food options at work canteens or vending machines, such as fruit and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat proteins

– Encourage staff to take regular breaks for snacks and water

– Incorporate standing desks, allowing employees more range for movement and opportunity to remain more alert and active

– Host nutrition workshops and talks

– Promote workplace wellness programmes such as Genesis Wellbeing Medicals 

Genesis Wellbeing Medicals can help identify those at most risk of heart disease, stroke or chance of developing Type 2 Diabetes over the next ten years. Genesis provides employees with a detailed report, including recommendations and additional material for support. 

To find out more, please contact our office on 01387 248811 or email info@genesisohs.co.uk.