Within six months of embarking on a health and safety apprenticeship with construction company Morrisroe, supported by training provider RHG, Essex-based Ryan Crane is already making his mark. Working with a colleague at construction firm Mace, the 22-year-old recently ran a wellbeing campaign to encourage all site personnel to track their daily step counts.
Part of the RHG delivery plan for the SHE apprenticeship programme is for apprentices to create and deliver a health and wellbeing campaign mapped to the Occupational Health and Hygiene learning outcome. 'Ryan not only delivered an amazing campaign but also combined it with raising money for charity; this was one of the most inspired campaigns our learning coaches had seen,' explains Sarah Douglas, head of operations at RHG. 'We felt it deserved to be shared with other OSH practitioners to showcase how talented our apprentices are.'
Ryan tells us more.
How did the initiative come about?
As a mental health first aider, wellbeing is an important part of my role. Using an annual calendar of planned works, along with monthly global events, we devise monthly safety stand downs.
In May I took the initiative to use one of the topics in the monthly stand down calendar to organise a wellbeing campaign. I wanted to raise awareness of the importance of exercise and living a healthy lifestyle. I also ran the campaign as part of my apprenticeship (Level 3 Safety, Health and Environmental technician) portfolio work. It gave us all the chance to focus on something other than COVID-19.
Tell us more about the campaign.
It was called ‘Walk this May’ and its aim was to create healthy competition by walking more while raising money for charity. To encourage more people to get involved, I engaged with Mace and invited them to take part. They really liked the idea of using the stand down to promote the wellbeing campaign and asked to run the event alongside Morrisroe. To make it a success I needed funding, which both companies were happy to provide.
What did it involve?
Initially, I considered buying fitness trackers for participants but limitations due to COVID meant that wasn't possible. So I decided to incentivise participants by spending the budget on prizes.
Each day the operatives tracked their steps and sent me screenshots. At the end of each week, whoever walked the furthest received a £50 Amazon voucher. The challenge ran for three weeks.
At UCLE Marshgate, Mace’s Joe Haffenden and Morrisroe’s Ryan Crane have rolled out a wellbeing campaign, encouraging all site personnel to track their daily step counts. We are proud of all our employees who make a positive difference to the communities and teams they work in. pic.twitter.com/zl26h50uOS— Mace (@MaceGroup) June 2, 2020
Fifty operatives took part, which is roughly a quarter of the site. The most steps walked in a week was 154,993 and the most steps walked in a day was 33,650.
At the end of the campaign we held a raffle to raise money for the British Heart Foundation, our chosen charity. We raised £660 which will be put to good use in these difficult times.
How did you make it a success?
To effectively keep track of all operatives’ steps I created a table in Excel and input formulas to calculate the daily and total steps for each operative. Doing this enabled me to make sure that the results were fair.
To advertise the event I liaised with a Mace employee who was able to get in contact with their social media team and post it on Mace’s social platforms.
The stand down benefited the workforce by getting them walking more and realising the effect of exercising and having a healthy lifestyle. It gave me the opportunity to provide educational material and information in a friendly and interactive way, which will hopefully create positive lifestyle habits.
It was a great success and the operatives enjoyed the challenge and the raffle. They gained a greater understanding of the importance of a healthy lifestyle and I'm really pleased with how it turned out.
I also received a letter from the British Heart Foundation, thanking me for my efforts, as well as a certificate for donating the money raised. I'm incredibly proud to be able to show these on site as recognition of the campaign.
How are you finding the apprenticeship?
I'm really enjoying it. I aim to pass by April 2021 and become a safety advisor for Morrisroe. The next step will be to gain my NEBOSH diploma and eventually become a safety manager.
RHG has been extremely supportive throughout my apprenticeship. Sarah's and Barry's commitment and unwavering support has enabled me to grow as an apprentice and absorb much needed health and safety knowledge in a very short period of time.
As far as stand downs go, I am planning more fun and engaging campaigns. I aim to keep improving the level of stand downs and raise more money for fantastic charities along the way. I have plenty more ideas in the pipeline and I hope to carry some out in the near future.
'Ryan has become an invaluable member of the site team, as well as the safety team, by being able to juggle day to day health and safety duties with the benefit of being digitally skilled and innovative,' adds Ligia Ionescu, Ryan’s apprenticeship manager. 'His development is outstanding and throughout his apprenticeship he has increased his base knowledge and experience in health and safety, as well as his confidence.
'He has already made such a big impact on the project on which he is working, bearing in mind he is only halfway through his apprenticeship. Ryan quickly learnt and enforced the Morrisroe safe working practices, building relationships with those around him and earning the trust and respect of those more experienced than him to work collaboratively on improving our operations,' Ligia says.