Anglian Water's Dave Matthews says levels of wellbeing needs to be as core to utilities as their health and safety records.

Health and safety has evolved a great deal over the last 20 years. When I first started out it was about preventing accidents, stopping people from getting injured while carrying out their work activities. Nowadays, working in Health & Safety presents a much greater opportunity.

Now, health and wellbeing is the new “safety”.

An organisation is only as good as its people. If they are unhappy, unhealthy or unsafe at work, then productivity suffers and customers don’t get the service they deserve.

Many organisations are now focusing on health and wellbeing as much as safety. Anglian Water is no different. Our  LIFE program links all three. Its aim is to bring about a cultural change by asking people to look at their attitude to their health, their safety, at the choices they make, and to take responsibility for the wellbeing of themselves and their colleagues. In doing so we’ll create a happier, healthier and safer environment.

There is a fundamental connection between the health and wellbeing of employees and business effectiveness. Everyone has worries and problems in their lives that can affect their work. It’s important to recognise this and offer proper, on-demand support to people, whatever the issue – whether it’s financial, family-related, or something else. We’re all human, and we look out for each other.

Health, safety and wellbeing should be a core value of any successful organisation. The challenge is getting people engaged at all levels.


Dave Matthews will speak at Utility Week’s Health and Saftey conference in Birmingham on 6 Decmeber. Find out more about the event and book your place here.