safe tea trolley english rail ferrovial services & amey
Health and Safety

Why I spent £6,000 on a cup of tea

05 of July of 2016

You’re probably wondering which high street barista chain saw me coming to pay so much for a humble cup of tea but there are actually a couple of great reasons – both for our people and our business – why this was money well spent.

It’s amazing what a cuppa can do for wellbeing

How many times have you been sat at a desk on a warm summer’s day, looked out the window and wished that you worked outdoors? When I talk to people about what working al fresco is like, most of them seem to imagine a similar picture, and they almost always involve green spaces – like a park or forest. If you too are visualising warm sunshine and gentle breezes, I have to warn you that the reality is not as poetic.

In our rail business, we work around the clock, 365 days a year so [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]our men and women working on the frontline come up against some of the most challenging weather conditions [/inlinetweet]our unpredictable British climate has to offer.

So now imagine that it’s late at night. It’s freezing (and probably raining) and you’d give just about anything for a hot cup of tea to revive your weariness and stave off the cold. But the kettle is more than an hour away. What do you do? Until recently, you’d likely have trooped on but that’s not going to do anything for staff morale or safety. But thankfully there is a solution – the safe-tea trolley.

What is the safe-tea trolley?

The safe-tea trolley is the brain-child of one of our Senior HSEQ Advisors, and is basically a customised refreshments unit that is latched onto a standard track trolley, meaning it can be transported along the tracks to wherever workers are based.

Having a cup of tea at work is something that many of us take for granted, and yet it makes an important difference to wellbeing. There has been an overwhelmingly positive response to it by workers, with some saying that it could make the difference between making a shift bearable or unbearable. The trolley has also received some great feedback from the industry.

It’s amazing what a cuppa can do for our business

The safe-tea trolley is just one of a number of innovations that have been developed by our people – after all, who better to develop a solution than the people on the sharp end of the issue – and invested in by Amey.

One of my colleagues in our utilities business recently wrote an article on how to create an innovation culture in the workplace, and how you can’t expect innovation just to happen. She was absolutely right. We actively encourage our people to bring their ideas to us, even if they seem a bit whacky at first. Demonstrating that [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]we will spend money on making what we do safer, smarter or more efficient is just one way that we nurture innovation to make us a better business[/inlinetweet].

Add to this that we can now take credit for inventing the world’s first safe-tea trolley, an innovation that has the backing of the Track Safety Alliance and is being rolled out across the UK in partnership with Network Rail, thereby strengthening our reputation in the markets we work in as being a forward-thinking company on the cutting edge of industry developments.

[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Looking after and investing in our people is something that we’re serious about [/inlinetweet]so backing new ideas that enhance wellbeing in the workplace and boost our business – like spending £6,000 on a tea trolley, is a no-brainer for us.


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