HSE invites bright ideas

first_img Previous Article Next Article HSE invites bright ideasOn 1 Apr 2001 in Personnel Today The Health and Safety Executive has launched its annual competition togenerate ideas for health and safety research projects. The competition has so far resulted in more than £5.8m of contractedresearch being taken forward in the past two years. Last year 61 organisations took part, submitting 164 proposals across 22areas. A total of 32 of these ideas are now under contract negotiation, with fouractually awarded contracts. The competition will give a “high priority” to collaborativeprojects, said the HSE, with the deadline for entries set at 12 noon on May 16.The four ideas where contracts have been awarded included one for aerospaceand defence group BAE Systems Defence Consultancy, looking into human factorsaffecting health and safety in the onshore and offshore hazardous industries. Others were looking at improving standards and the optimisation of”roll-over” protection in workplace vehicles, the measurement andcontrol of noise exposure from headsets and the impact of exposure to chemicalson human health. Dr Paul Davies, the HSE’s chief scientist and director of the HazardousInstallations Directorate, said, “The competition of ideas makes animportant contribution to advancing the frontiers of health and safety researchand technology.” www.hse.gov.uk/research/content/opps/mrm2001.htm Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Industrial Society call for open policy over stress

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Industrial Society call for open policy over stressOn 3 Jul 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article The difficulty of achieving a healthy work-life balance is adding toemployees’ stress levels, according to HR managers. Nearly 70 per cent of respondents to an Industrial Society survey cite alack of balance between work and home life as a major factor in occupationalstress. But poor communication and tight deadlines are also a major cause ofstress for the 500 HR professionals surveyed. Eighty-six per cent feel that stress is a problem in their organisation,with over a third believing it to be a significant issue. The report calls on employers to improve their management training, with 95per cent of those polled believing that supportive managers are best placed tohelp employees cope with work-based stress. Nearly 80 per cent believe that absenteeism is the main symptom of stress. Pat McGuiness, occupational health expert at the Industrial Society, said,”Employees need to feel they can talk about stress without fear ofrecrimination. In this way companies get a more accurate picture of negativeprocesses, practices and bad job designs which compromise employeeperformance.” Employers need to introduce flexible working and a family- friendly culture,claims the report. Forty-four per cent of respondents want organisations toimplement flexible working arrangements, while one third would encourageemployers to adopt a family-friendly culture. McGuiness calls on companies to incorporate a stress policy. He said,”The pace of change in organisations is not being matched by thedevelopment of employee well-being, which should include safety nets such aseffective stress policies and good job designs. Having a comprehensive stresspolicy, which is part of the organisational fabric and develops with theorganisation, can help reduce the likelihood of individuals experiencingoccupational stress, improving productivity levels and so benefit the bottomline.” By Paul Nelson www.indsoc.co.uk last_img read more


first_img Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. PeopleOn 30 Oct 2001 in Personnel Today Notonly is Terry O’Brien an award winning HR director, she also manages to findtime for reading, visiting the theatre and a rigorous exercise programme.Shehas just taken up a new role as the group HR director for KingstonCommunications after spending much of her career in the construction industry.Kingstonis a UK-based communications company which encompasses a broad portfolio ofvoice, data, Internet, mobile and managed services. “It was a differentsector for me and I was interested in the new technology aspect of the group.It’s a good group of companies that has great potential for growth,” shesays.O’Brienmoves from Balfour Beatty where she received acclaim for her HR, training andcommunications programmes and was short-listed in the Personnel Today Awardslast year. Hersuccess is driven by her passion for HR and she is firmly committed to helpingdevelop talent in the workforce.”Theaspect of HR I enjoy most is developing people and giving them the tools to addto their own knowledge. I also really enjoy the variety,” she says.Inher new role, she is looking forward to implementing her own ideas andphilosophy.”Iwant to create a culture where everybody helps deliver the business plan,”she said. “If everybody does that, it ultimately means that the companywill achieve its brand mission.”Thisis an exciting time for the company and my initial focus will be to build onthe good work that has already been done to ensure we attract, retain and developCV2001Group HR director, Kingston Communications1998HR director, Balfour Beatty1997Head of HR, Tarmac quarry products1995HR development manager, Tarmac ConstructionOnthe moveAlanCrozier has joined Watson Wyatt and will lead European communication consultingfor its human capital group. He will combine his current role as human capitalgroup leader with wider responsibility for thought leadership across Europe.Crozier joined the company in 1999 and prior to that led Mercer’s communicationpractice in the north.Insurancecompany CMG Admiral has appointed Darren Gardner as a senior consultant in itshuman resources and payroll services sector. He joins from Rebus and has morethan 10 years’ experience in the industry. Gardner will be responsible forsecuring sales from large organisations, where he will focus on sellingcombined HR and payroll services to new customers.Interimmanagement provider Leading Edge has recruited David Bateson to its team ofconsultants. He has been appointed as the new director of client services asthe company aims to expand in its third year of trading. He joins the team fromKettlefish and prior to that he worked at Macmillan Davies Hodes. last_img read more


first_imgThis week’s guruLondon teachers get help with lifestyleWestminster Council is considering offering teachers lifestyle managers forfree in a bid to attract them to work in one of the UK’s most expensive areas. Personal helpers will drop the car at the garage, find a plumber, takedelivery of a new washing machine or even book a restaurant table. But the proposals, that have yet to be approved, have come under fire fromthe National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, which hascalled on the council to put any spare cash into teachers’ wage packets to helpthem afford to live in the area. A spokesperson for the union said: “The only thing that does not seemto be on offer is the service of an escort agency.” If Guru were a teacher he would welcome the idea and ask his lifestylemanager to spend a few hours babysitting his boisterous kids each weekday. Cruel employers ban Backus from imbibingGuru was fascinated to read about thecase of a US publisher who is claiming he was ordered to sleep with his wifeevery night by his employer after he started experiencing marital difficulties.Marty Backus Jr is suing Lancasters Newspapers Inc overwrongful dismissal after 21 years’ service. He claims he was fired after bossesbegan to question his loyalty.He alleges that company representatives told him they would notemploy a publisher who had marital problems. As well as confining him to theconjugal bed and banning him from touching alcohol, they said he must havedinner with his family five times a week.Guru is all in favour of a strict moral code and is thinkingabout imposing a similar regime at home after Mrs Guru banished him to thespare room over his (alleged) snoring and other questionable bedtime habits.Womb with a view defenceThe next time Guru is shouted at by his boss after being caughtslumped in his chair gazing out the window he will have a good comeback .Researchers in New Zealand have found that slacking in adultscan be traced back to the foetal stages.An Auckland University study shows under-nourishment in thewomb results in a resistance to a hormone called leptin, leading toover-eating, obesity and sedentary behaviour in adults.Guru will be able to inform his employer that he shows allsigns of having suffered from foetal malnutrition and thus cannot help beingworkshy.Of course Guru is fibbing, he was a very  well nourished infant – 8lbs 12oz at birth. Output is up – at least at the barA West Midlands firm claims profits soared 200 per cent afterstaff were encouraged to hug each other every day.Farrelly Facilities and Engineering, Sutton Coldfield, alsoplays soothing music, bans overtime and gives employees expenses to socialisetogether.Owner Jerry Farrelly, 44, got the idea from a management coursebased on the Chinese philosophies of Tao Te Ching.The 44-year-old said: “Staff respond by giving their all.There is a lot of love in the office so people do not fall out.”Guru would be more concerned about love outside the office –you’re asking for trouble if you encourage staff to hug, then give them moneyto go and get drunk together. GuruOn 16 Apr 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. last_img read more

Gene therapy research targets osteoarthritis

first_img Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Gene therapy research targets osteoarthritisOn 1 Nov 2002 in Personnel Today A team of scientists at the University of Manchester is hopeful that aresearch project could lead to an effective new treatment for the millions ofpeople in the UK who suffer from osteoarthritis. The team at the School of Biological Science believe they can slow down orpossibly even prevent the development of osteoarthritis by developing atargeted gene therapy over the next five years. If their approach is successful, it could lead to clinical trials onpatients within the next decade. The team’s work is being funded by a five-yeargrant of almost £685,000 from medical research charity the Arthritis ResearchCampaign. Around two million people in the UK have osteoarthritis, the most commonform of arthritis. The number of people with the condition is rising as thepopulation’s age and weight increase. “We’re very optimistic. We’ve been working towards this for about 10years now, and we’re at the point where we can talk about developing a treatment,”said Gillian Wallis, a senior lecturer in medicine, who, together with RayBoot-Hanford, a reader in molecular biology, is leading the research programme “We are still very much at the research stage, but if all ourlaboratory experiments work out then we hope to translate the results directlyinto clinical practice. We would hope to be looking at clinical trials onpatients within 10 years,” she added. The only currently available treatments for osteoarthritis are non-steroidalanti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that alleviate symptoms but do not stop theprogress of the disease. But many patients cannot tolerate these drugs because of side effects. www.arc.org.uklast_img read more

Assessor is praised as engineer

first_imgSkills.trainer and assessor Emma Reynolds, 25, was voted runner-up in theYoung Woman Engineer of the Year 2002 competition run by the Institution ofIncorporated Engineers. A former aircraft engineering apprentice, she works for Exchanging, thepersonnel and training arm of BAE Systems at Warton, Lancashire. “Training is totally rewarding and I really enjoy it” saysReynolds, who is working towards an EAL assessor qualification, while studyingfor a degree in design and manufacturing. “The way I see it is that I’mengineering new engineers, helping them to move forward.” Reynolds is the only female member of the team which manages apprenticetraining at the centre approved by EMTA Awards Ltd (EAL) to deliver engineeringNVQs. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Assessor is praised as engineerOn 1 Jan 2003 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Worth versus wealth: fat cat pay could be justified

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. A lack of understanding about the true role of a CEO within an organisationhas led to the backlash over the pay packages being awardedIt is open season on chief executives right now. Each day brings a freshdenouncement of some previously anonymous individual’s remuneration package. While the popular press has no problem in citing market forces as the reasonwhy, say, a journeyman Premier Division footballer can earn £10,000 per week,it appears to be in a state of permanent outrage at similar rewards enjoyed byour captains of industry. Of course, this assault on UK boardrooms is partly fuelled by envy. The US celebrates wealth as a tangible example of success, yet the Britishhave always had an ambivalent attitude towards personal gain, particularly inbusiness. In this instance, however, envy is the by-product of widespread lack ofunderstanding of the precise role and contribution of a CEO. If people have little appreciation of someone’s fundamental value to anorganisation, they are more sceptical about how they are rewarded. This lack ofunderstanding often exists within the boardroom itself. While most businesses assess the contribution of their staff regularly,similarly rigorous programmes often aren’t applied to assessing CEOs. The main problem is arriving at a series of measures that have any realmeaning. What do CEOs actually do? When, for example, you are hiring a call centre manager, you know exactlywhat their responsibilities are and the criteria on which they are going to beassessed. It is much more difficult to determine what constitutes effectiveness atchief executive level because there is no clear ‘line of sight’ between whatthe CEO does day-to-day and how this truly affects an organisation in the longterm. We know that normally, a CEO is expected to provide leadership and strategicdirection. But how do you measure nebulous concepts? You also have to factor in a range of issues outside of a CEO’s control thatmay affect business performance, such as macro-economic developments,government regulation, etc. Also, the CEO’s function is to deliver performance through other people. Howcan you measure the performance of individuals who, by the very nature of theirjobs, are charged with delegating specific actions rather than carrying themout themselves? These barriers to formal assessment means judgement of a CEO’s performanceis left to the vagaries of public perception. People fall into the trap of ‘confirmation bias’; they seek out confirmingevidence to support their view of the CEO and discount disconfirming evidence. So, if people like a CEO, they will hear things that reflect favourably onthem, while turning a deaf ear to bad news or attributing it elsewhere. The power of ‘context dependence’ helps to distort people’s evaluation of aCEO’s true value. This law has it that if a company is doing well, the CEOtakes the plaudits; if it is doing badly, the CEO ends up carrying the can,despite the fact they may have been powerless to change the outcome. There is a way forward and it comes largely from re-examining the psychologyof performance management. Typically, when asked about how it assesses performance, a business claimsto have hard measures. But those measures tend to be described in terms ofspecific activities, rather than measurable ‘outputs’. The principle that should govern performance measurement at all levels isthe necessity to be explicit about what needs to be achieved. As long as peopleare clear about their destination or target, they are good at working out howto get there. They cannot work efficiently when they don’t know what they areexpected to achieve. CEOs are no different. There is a tendency when assessing people performance to measure what is‘acceptable’. But people need to be assessed on whether they have exceeded anacceptable level of performance, or fallen short of it. This is essentially a ‘cybernetic’ concept of performance. Having stretchinggoals to strive towards is motivational, while having a clear understanding ofwhat is unacceptable guides performance. Providing clear parameters gives people the freedom to decide their ownroute and take risks in achieving their objectives. Merely telling people whatis acceptable doesn’t ‘raise the bar’; people are more likely to cruise. The criteria by which a company leader’s contribution is assessed should beeasily understandable, with only a few well-defined areas, and the resultsshould be completely public. Key stakeholders should be able to make aninformed judgement about company performance. That starts by understanding howthe CEO is meeting, and exceeding, their brief. A good CEO should welcome the opportunity for formal assessment because theywill know precisely how they will be judged. By Robert Myatt, senior consultant, Kaisen Consulting Previous Article Next Article Worth versus wealth: fat cat pay could be justifiedOn 17 Jun 2003 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Firms neglecting asbestos assessments

first_img Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Firms neglecting asbestos assessmentsOn 1 Nov 2003 in Personnel Today Two-thirds of UK firms still have no plans in place to manage the risksassociated with asbestos in the workplace, insurance group Zurich Risk Serviceshas warned. Companies have until 21 May 2004 to comply with new duties contained in lastyear’s Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations. But Zurich’s research shows there has only been a 14 per cent increase inawareness of the regulations, and a similar rise in the number of firms thathave put asbestos risk management plans in place in the past year. Roger Cottell, managing director, said: “Our research shows that notall companies are on track for getting asbestos management plans in place, andawareness needs to increase dramatically if firms don’t want to be caught outby the deadline date.” To comply with the new legislation, companies must find out whether theirbuilding contains asbestos, and what condition that asbestos is in. They mustthen assess the risk and make a plan to manage that risk. In general, bigger companies had a better understanding of the newregulations, and were more likely to have plans in place. A total of 66 per cent of the respondents rated asbestos’ potential threatto health as a major concern. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Coffee Talk: Extell’s Gary Barnett and Ryan Serhant

first_img Tags You can count on Extell Development’s Gary Barnett not to mince words: The hard stop that the coronavirus pandemic put on construction last spring has been a “pain” for the construction industry, and it may take time for the new development industry to recover.In an interview with The Real Deal founder and publisher Amir Korangy, Barnett predicted that the slowdown will go for another couple years. “There will be very little supply,” in the wake of the pandemic, Barnett said during the latest episode of Coffee Talk. “For a period of time — it could be another year, it could be two years, it could be three years — we’re going to see very little development going on.”That may sound surprising coming from Barnett, whose firm is responsible for some of Manhattan’s most ambitious, expensive residential towers in recent history, including One57 and Central Park Tower on Billionaires’ Row. But he’s optimistic about what this means for the future.“It’s good for the overall market, because we will absorb the supply that’s come on the market, and it will stabilize,” he said.When the time came to find a brokerage for Brooklyn Point, Extell’s first condo in Kings County, Barnett placed his bets on “Million Dollar Listing” star Ryan Serhant, who recently left Nest Seekers International to launch his own namesake brokerage.Why not go with a more established firm? Because in a sea of brokerages and agents, Serhant was “not just another pretty face.” Barnett recognized him as someone “who does the work,” with a fresh perspective on selling properties. “Ryan is someone who stands out from the crowd,” Barnett said.The risk paid off: Extell and Serhant announced Brooklyn Point on Instagram Live and pulled out all the stops — “a ballerina, a string quartet and a million-dollar listing” — and Barnett said since the broker came on board, signed contracts have accelerated.“I’ve always responded well to pressure,” Serhant said. Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Share via Shortlink Commercial Real EstateDevelopmentVideolast_img read more

Government-linked housing scandal builds in South Korea

first_img HousingSouth Korea Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Share via Shortlink Tags South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who vowed to crack down on corruption and curb real estate prices, is now dealing with a crisis involving the Korean Land and Housing Corporation. (Getty)A government-linked real estate scandal has erupted in South Korea weeks before a pair of key mayoral races seen as referendums on the country’s leader.President Moon Jae-in took office in 2017 with promises to crack down on government corruption and curb rising real estate prices. The latest scandal strengthens perceptions held by many South Koreans that government officials use their positions to unfairly enrich themselves, according to New York Times.The scandal centers on the government-run Korean Land and Housing Corporation, which is in charge of developing housing in the country.Last month, Moon’s administration announced it planned to build hundreds of thousands of new homes over the next four years, according to the Times.ADVERTISEMENTThe plan was a tightly-held secret until the announcement. Two civic groups recently reported that 10 agency officials months ago bought land in an area southwest of Seoul pegged for government housing development.The government has since identified 20 other officials with the land agency suspected of using that information to buy land later slated for development.Housing in South Korea has become unaffordable for many young Koreans — housing prices in Seoul have increased 58 percent since Moon took office in mid-2017.Park Young-sik, a 29-year-old office worker, said the “scandal shows how some people in South Korea make a quick fortune through real estate foul play, while the rest of us can barely buy a house even if we toil and save for a lifetime.”[NYT] — Dennis Lynch last_img read more