Mindfulness with EDF Nuclear Power Professionals: Heysham 2

So how does mindfulness actually work in a workplace?
  • Heysham 2 is an EDF nuclear power station in the North West of England.
  • Pre-course collaboration resulted in a clear brief; to run a mindfulness course to support staff wellbeing and, where possible, to support Human Performance and safety.
  • In 2017 and 2018, two cohorts undertook an 8 week course, meeting for 90 minutes per week and undertaking home practice. The quantitative and qualitative data shown below was collected from these two courses.
  • NB Since compiling this page and the data below a further course has been run with EDF Heysham 2 and two courses have been run with EDF Heysham 1. The results have continued to show similar positive shifts in attention and wellbeing. Further work is ongoing on both Nuclear plants. Contact Anchor Point for updated information.

The Outcomes:

1. Significant gains in personal Wellbeing and Resilience:
  • A statistically significant 25% gain in wellbeing and resilience, as measured by the ‘WEMWEBS’ scale (Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale) for both groups undertaking the mindfulness course, whilst a ‘control’ group saw little change.
  • Many specific personal examples of feeling less stressed, having better sleep and a sense of having more choice over how to respond to events.

“It helps you gain perspective on the way you live and think, it helps to give you coping mechanisms, it helps to see areas in yourself (and possibly others) where stress can be minimized.”

“I’ve found I’ve improved my ability to recognise stressful situations and to take a step back.”

2. Significant gains in Attention and Awareness:
  • A statistically significant 33% increase in awareness and attention as measured by the MAAS scale, again with a control group seeing little change. These are obviously key skills within a safety critical environment. 
  • These were accompanied by reports of being more able to focus and prioritise;

“I’ve taken steps to eliminate distractions and focus on my intended task. I’ve also been more able to stand back and prioritise.”

“The most valuable aspect has been having much less worry about work problems/tasks and more attention on carrying out tasks themselves.”

3. For many, an enhanced capacity to work collaboratively:

For many the course supported communication and team working; a key element in safety and efficiency.

“I have found that I am able to deal better with clashes in personalities: largely being able to accept & acknowledge differences and move on…. I have found empathy has been enhanced. I find that I have become more sensitive to my staff’s stress levels & struggles and see the signs relating to their pressures more clearly.”

Comments about the course:

“The course has helped me feel invigorated and more confident in my abilities in the workplace.”

“Excellent; well structured, with new insights and material each week. Very practical with very good interactions and discussions with all participants.”

“A good mix of the practical and theoretical. Martin has an engaging and empathetic manner. “

Positive dialogue is ongoing to look at how the course can be used across other nuclear sites and in other High Reliability Organisations (risk-critical workplaces). Please contact Anchor Point for further details.