Occupational Health Awards 2007: National Britannia Award for Health Promotion and Wellbeing

Category judge: Lisa Fowlie, president of IOSH and safety adviser, University of Wales

Lisa Fowlie has an honours degree in Occupational Health and Safety and has worked in safety and health in retail, wholesale, transport, industry, agriculture and academia. She has a postgraduate certificate in education and an MSc in training and human resource management with Leicester University. Fowlie has been employed by the University of Wales in Bangor since 1999.

Shortlisted teams:


  • About the organisation: BSkyB is a broadcasting and media company creating multimedia delivery platforms using TV and telephony services. It employs 14,000 people.

  • The challenge: Health and wellbeing was identified as an important element of the company’s People Plan, and the OH team wanted a holistic and proactive approach.

  • What the team did: It introduced the ‘Feel Karma’ brand to focus not only on physical fitness, but also emotional, social and psychological fitness. A programme of events has been delivered covering food, health screening and mental health. The annual staff survey has seen an increase in the number of workers saying the company encourages them to stay fit and healthy.

  • Judge’s comment: “A very professional entry that as it states is driven by “passion, energy and entrepreneurial spirit”. A clear target and results-led entry that demonstrates commitment to strategic aims, engages a cross-multidisciplinary partnership approach, and delivers through a clearly branded programme.”

The British Library

  • About the organisation: The British Library is the world’s greatest research library, and now faces the challenge of revolutionising its services to adapt to changes in information technology. It employs 2,100 staff.

  • The challenge: The organisation needed to ensure the modernisation programme did not create stress-related ill health, and the team also needed to increase employee satisfaction and performance.

  • What the team did: A range of initiatives were launched, including flu jabs, yoga sessions, osteopathy and annual four-day health events. The average cost of sickness has been cut by about £506,000, and sick days have fallen from 10.9 in 2004 to 7.71 in 2007.

  • Judge’s comment: “A well-presented entry for a ‘Wellbeing Programme’ that is supported by a very positive statistical impact. It identifies wellbeing as an “integral driver of the people strategy”, adopts a practice of global ownership, and delivers a wide range of diverse activities with measurable results.”

The Welsh Assembly Government

  • About the organisation: The Welsh Assembly is responsible for promoting health in Wales, and employs 6,500 staff.

  • The challenge: The small OH team’s main priority was to improve the health and wellbeing of staff to achieve optimum productivity and healthy employees in the long term.

  • What the team did: It introduced a Health and Wellbeing Plan with no- smoking days, mental health action week and other initiatives, including annual lifestyle health fairs. The OH team worked in partnership with other stakeholders, and much emphasis was put on communicating with staff. Sickness absence is falling year on year.

  • Judge’s comment: “An enthusiastic entry that outlines a programme designed to both meet and exceed national standards with an impressive range of initiatives. It clearly demonstrates leadership, engagement and delivery to both an internal and wider audience. It uses the resources available to the best means and delivered targeted solutions with measurable, statistical results.”

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