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East Midlands Chamber News

East Midlands Chamber is among first in region to sign up to WELL Health-Safety Rating seal for safe return to office

East Midlands Chamber has signed up to a new building health and safety accreditation to ensure its offices have a recognised safety seal in time for the anticipated return of employees and visitors after lockdown.

The organisation’s offices in Chesterfield, Nottingham, Derby and Leicester will be assessed according to the WELL Health-Safety Rating.

Established by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) public benefit corporation, it provides a third-party verified rating focusing on operational policies, maintenance protocols and design strategies to address a post-Covid environment.

Office fit-out specialist and workplace consultant Blueprint Interiors is working with organisations across the East Midlands to roll out the accreditation and the Chamber is the first to sign up.

East Midlands Chamber chief executive Scott Knowles said: “After such a considerable period of working from home, we wanted to ensure we could display a certificate that is an internationally-recognised seal of approval that our workplaces are safe.

“When Blueprint Interiors approached us, we jumped at the chance to be the first organisation in the East Midlands to sign up to achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating and we will be encouraging all Chamber members to consider the reassurances this seal of approval can provide.”

What is the WELL Health-Safety Rating?

The WELL Health-Safety Rating was created with input from IWBI’s WELL Building Standard and more than 600 experts within its Covid-19 Task Force, in addition to guidance developed by groups including the World Health Organisation.

It helps building managers and organisations address the health, safety and wellbeing of their people via 22 strategies, including sanitising spaces, assessing air and water quality, and communicating health and safety efforts.

The accreditation is a visible indication of confidence and trust as the WELL Health-Safety Rating communicates to everyone entering a space that evidence-based measures have been adopted and verified by a third party.

Blueprint Interiors is promoting benefits of safe and agile working

Blueprint Interiors is a long-standing Chamber member and patron. In 2017, the company completed the fit-out of the Chamber's Chesterfield head office, which was designed to provide more agile workspaces. It has also revamped the organisation's Leicester and Derby offices.

It was this early foresight and investment that enabled Chamber employees to adapt easily to work from home during the pandemic.

The company is now advising businesses in the region on how to achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating.

Blueprint is also redeveloping its own office in Ashby-de-la-Zouch to illustrate the benefits of safe and agile working, in a project called WorkLife Central.

Founder and chairman Rob Day said: “As people begin to plan their return to work, a lot of businesses are rethinking their needs and discussing how to create compelling reasons for their most valued asset – their people – to return to work safely.

“Businesses that achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating seal have to demonstrate that they have met the highest health and safety standards, and therefore employees and visitors will feel confident knowing the space they are entering is managed by an organisation that believes in putting health first.”