Hitachi Rail

Hitachi Rail is leading by example in Newton Aycliffe by signing up to the North East Better Health at Work Award. 

Hitachi Rail has committed to investing in the health and wellbeing of its staff at its site on Newton Aycliffe Business Park in Co Durham by signing up to the Better Health at Work Award.

The North East Better Health at Work Award (BHAWA) is a partnership between the 12 Local Authorities in the region, the Northern TUC and the NHS, developed to give recognition and endorsement to those organisations that are committed to developing a sustainable culture of health and wellbeing in the workplace. This means offering encouragement, opportunity and practical support so staff have the chance to be fitter, healthier and safer. The Award is free, open to all organisations in the north east, regardless of size or sector and brings real benefits for employers, employees and the economy.

Hitachi Rail already promotes healthy lifestyles and considers the health of its employees as important so this Award will help the business move forward in a structured and supported way.

Louise Williams, HR Advisor at Hitachi Rail Europe said: “We are committed to the health and wellbeing of our workforce and are busy promoting healthy lifestyles inside and outside of work. We are currently in the process of encouraging our 800 employees to have a Check4Life to raise awareness of any health issues they may have. This has been a real success. We are excited to be taking part in the Better Health at Work Award and are looking forward to seeing the benefits.”

For those organisations who have not considered promoting health at work, taking part in this award will help you reap the rewards of encouraging a healthy workforce.

There are 4 levels to the Award, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Continuing Excellence, with appropriate criteria at each stage to build into an Award Portfolio.  

The Bronze Level lays a firm foundation to build a healthier workplace and is the starting point for all participants. So, amongst other things, this will see Hitachi Rail raising awareness of health in general, conducting a workforce health needs assessment and then running three workplace health campaigns/events based on these results, which could be anything from heart health and diabetes to smoking cessation and stress awareness. Organisations have up to a year to complete each level before they are assessed and progress to the next one, with the ultimate aim of workplace health and wellbeing becoming as embedded as safety.

The County Durham area of the award is managed by the Pioneering Care Partnership, Lindsay Sheridan, Programme Manager for the Award says, ‘I am delighted that Hitachi Rail has joined over 60 other local organisations operating in County Durham to raise awareness of health and wellbeing in the Workplace, this is a huge developing area for employers as we need to support our employees in becoming healthier and happier at work.  The economic cost of working age ill health is £100bn a year to the national economy, with 131m working days lost.  The BHAWA can assist in reducing work-related ill health and health-related worklessness by creating healthier and more productive workplaces’.  We are hoping that other organisations on the Newton Aycliffe business park follow Hitachi’s lead and join in on becoming a healthier workplace too.

For more information on the Better Health at Work Award contact Lindsay Sheridan, Programme Manager on or telephone 01325 321234.

More information can be found at or

Mental Health in the workplace

Following Theresa May’s statement on Monday 9th January 2017, which stated that there will be review on improving support around Mental Health in the workplace, Mental Health will be a focus for many employers. Some research from MIND confirms that a culture of fear and silence around mental health is costly to employers:

  • More than one in five (21 per cent) agreed that they had called in sick to avoid work when asked how workplace stress had affected them
  • 14 per cent agreed that they had resigned and 42 per cent had considered resigning when asked how workplace stress had affected them
  • 30 per cent of staff disagreed with the statement ‘I would feel able to talk openly with my line manager if I was feeling stressed’
  • 56 per cent of employers said they would like to do more to improve staff well-being but don't feel they have the right training or guidance


CIPD’s Financial well-being report

The CIPD’s survey Financial Well-being: The employee view (2017) finds:

  • 19% of respondents are losing sleep at night because they are worried about money. That translates into a negative impact on their ability to concentrate at work and their productivity.
  • 30% are also making uninformed financial decisions – they say they don’t use advice or information from any source when weighing up options about saving or spending.
  • 58% face barriers to managing their finances, including lack of time, difficulty in understanding financial products and services, only earning enough each month to get by and the hassle involved in taking action to save money by researching products and services.

Within the CIPD’s model of well-being financial well-being and financial education are placed within emotional well-being as part of personal growth.

This highlights the importance of money management in contributing to people’s sense of security and confidence in being able to live comfortably and stresses the opportunity for empowering people to improve their financial affairs.

CIPP Financial Education saving through payroll

Financial Education in the workplace saving through payroll

Financial well-being practical guidance report