Scotoil Services

Last reviewed on 24/01/2013 14:55

Gordon Graham from Scotoil Services talks about how Healthy Working Lives helped to reduce sickness absence and staff turnover, and even helped the company to win new business. 

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Scotoil Services is a company with 45 employees, offering environmental services to the oil and gas industry. Gordon Graham looks after safety, health, environment and quality at Scotoil Services, and has been involved with the Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives since 2007.

Reduced staff turnover

The first thing that Scotoil Services did was to conduct a staff survey. The health and safety committee also acted as a Healthy Working Lives steering group to help identify the issues that were most important to the workers.

Scotoil used this information to devise an action plan to introduce a wide range of health improvement measures such as smoking cessation and stress management classes.

Our sickness absence reduced quite significantly
Gordon Graham
- Safety, Health, Environment and Quality






‘We undertook a lot of training courses,’ Gordon says. “It's not just about training managers and supervisors, but also training the employees, getting the employees all to go along to classes.’

Staff are more likely to stay with a company that looks after them well. A survey published by PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2010 revealed that on average 10.4% of UK employees resigned from their jobs in the last year, but staff turnover at Scotoil is now extremely low.

‘We don’t have any… we haven’t lost an employee for the last two years, so we don’t have any turnover at all.’

Short-term sickness absence halved

Scotoil has introduced free fruit in the workplace, health checks and monthly health information topics, and thorough workplace health policies.

Gordon believes that the Healthy Working Lives programme has been of real benefit to the business, and uses sickness absence to illustrate his point.

‘Our sickness absence reduced quite significantly,’ he says. ‘It more than halved over the last four or five years.’

'It’s all through Healthy Working Lives, because we’re involved.'

The yearly number of staff absences at Scotoil Services has fallen steadily, from 457.5 days in 2006 to 303 days in 2007. By 2009 this figure had dropped to just 201.75 days per year.

Networking with potential customers

As well as the benefits to the staff at Scotoil Services, Gordon points out some other benefits that Healthy Working Lives has delivered for the business.

Healthy Working Lives events allow staff and management to network with representatives from large companies. The meetings help Gordon to tailor the programme so that it fits with a smaller business and given him an opportunity to impress potential clients

‘When you go to the meetings with Healthy Working Lives, you’ve got Shell and BP working towards it.’

‘Most, in fact all of these big companies are really impressed when they hear that we’ve got the Gold Award.’

New business interest

Scotoil Services has also won new business as a direct result of taking part. The Gold Award that Scotoil has earned is a plus point for potential customers, particularly those from larger companies.

Gordon tells us that at least one contract was awarded to Scotoil Services because the award distinguished Scotoil from its competitors. ‘It was one of the offshore operators,’ he says, ‘but that was just one example.’

‘All of these offshore operating companies look for good practice, like their own good practice, which Healthy Working Lives enables us to demonstrate,’ Gordon continues.

‘They treat their employees well, and they’re all involved in initiatives such as Healthy Working Lives to varying degrees. They see it as a benefit if we’re working along the same lines, and treating all of our employees the same way that they treat theirs.’

‘The contract rewarded the work being done with Healthy Working Lives,’ he concludes.

Gordon Graham
Safety, Health, Environment and Quality
Scotoil Services Ltd.
Miller Street
AB11 5AN


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