WISH unveils worker engagement tool

Ways to help employees better engage with health and safety were unveiled at the WISH worker engagement and leadership conference in Manchester last week.

The Waste Industry Safety and Health (WISH) forum has designed a draft set of copyright-free questions to help assess an employee’s engagement with their company on health and safety issues. The tool was given to attendees at the conference to take back to their own companies on a trial basis.

The tables of questions are designed to give guidance on employee engagement within the industry as well as helping staff members to give crucial feedback to their employers. Talks at the event highlighted the importance of leadership and worker engagement in UK waste management companies.

Geoff Smallwood, the former director of health and safety at Renewi plc, was instrumental in the tool’s creation process. “This has been created to give guidance in employee engagement and leadership, as well as self-assessment. Leadership and engagement are really both sides of the same coin,” he said.

Mr Smallwood added: “The tool has been developed to any and all companies in the industry, and can be copied from its source as many times as is needed.”

Focus throughout the conference was placed upon increasing the effectiveness of leadership in the waste disposal industry, as well as heightening worker involvement in health and safety.

Representatives from WISH and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) were involved in talks and presentations to guide waste management companies in monitoring the engagement of their front line workers.

As well as hearing from Mr Smallwood, the event was addressed by Andrew Turner, head of agriculture, waste and recycling at the HSE, as well as three health and safety representatives who were instrumental in creating the tool.

The WISH forum exists to communicate with key stake holders, trade unions and local and national government bodies. Traditionally WISH has worked to identify and draw up solutions to health and safety issues within the industry.

The conference was funded by FCC Environment, Cory Energy, Veolia and the GMB union.

See Ashley Wild's related blog