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Healthy employees are happier, more productive, more engaged, and less prone to injury.
Stress and unhealthy lifestyle choices may be costing your workplace productivity and profits. A recent study conducted by Dr. Lindsay McMillan concluded a whopping 57% of the Australian workforce is not working at peak performance, only 39% rated their physical health as being excellent, and 52% rate their mental health below excellent to very good.
Within the mining and resource sector obesity, mental health concerns, and poor lifestyle choices are ongoing issues. While there is a focus on improving the lifestyles of people within this cohort many of the initiatives have a long way to go.
In addition to the statistics above, dehydration is another major area of concern.
Several studies have concluded between 60% – 91% of miners commence work in a dehydrated state. (Hunt et al. 2013, Montazer et al. 2013, Peiffer and Abbiss 2013, Polkinghorne et al. 2013, Mears and Shirreffs 2015).
Statistics like this may help us to understand why preventable injuries occur, in this article, I share 5 ways you can keep your people healthy, engaged, and reduce injury while on site.
WHAT IS THE COST TO WORKPLACE?
In the Key WHS statistics Australia 2020 report produced by Safe Work Australia, in 2018/19 there were 114,435 serious injury claims, the median time lost is 6 weeks per seriously injured person, and the median compensation claim is $11, 700.
The top 5 serious claims include:
39% traumatic joint/ligament and muscle-tendon injury
16% musculoskeletal and connective tissue injuries
16% wounds, lacerations, amputations, and internal organ damage
9% mental health conditions
Serious injury isn’t the only culprit, a recent article published on the Victorian Trades Hall Council’s (VTHC) website (2019) states lost productivity due to absenteeism costs the Australian workforce about $6 billion per annum. Presenteeism is over 4 times that figure, costing businesses approximately $25 billion per annum.
WHAT CAN YOUR ORGANISATION DO TO KEEP YOUR WORKPLACE WELL?
To ensure your program is a success, and your people are invested, it is vital they are consulted, and a part of its concept through to implementation.
Surveys with an enticing prize or a workshop session as part of a toolbox meeting is a great way to get valuable feedback on where your people need support the most. You may be surprised to discover many are looking for support to; quit smoking, improve sleep, reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, financial education, or a variety of entertainment options to break the monotony that can come with a FIFO life.
LEADERSHIP IN ACTION
How are your leaders showing up?
Are they fresh, vibrant, positive, and engaged?
For culture change to take place, it is imperative leader’s role model healthy behaviours and be seen attending wellness initiatives. When leaders are enthusiastic and engaged, they inspire their people.
The best and most enjoyable sites I have worked on are the ones where leaders, lead the way. They are like rays of sunshine beaming through the stormy clouds.
EMPOWER WITH EDUCATION
Many well-intended programs and initiatives fall flat because they are delivered by people who are not subject matter experts. Sending out a PowerPoint presentation and expecting someone with no knowledge on the subject, or skills in speaking and presenting, will not inspire healthy lifestyle change. Show your people you care, have an expert deliver these important messages.
MOVEMENT IS MEDICINE
It has been tried, tested, and scientifically proven, movement is medicine. Some of the benefits include stress management, weight management, reduced risk of injury, and prevalence of lifestyle-related diseases. Notice I didn’t use the word exercise? It can be a trigger word for many, associated with hard work, and getting sweaty. Ensure your program is inclusive, and holistic with options to suit all levels and needs. Yoga, mindfulness, and meditation programs are extremely popular in mining. When delivered by a professional, these sessions are better attended than traditional group fitness programs.
For change to become a habit it takes approximately 12 weeks, rather than the typical monthly challenge of push-ups, wall sits, plate lifts, etc, that targets the regular gym user. offer quarterly challenges with educational workshops to empower your people to make lasting change.
Many onsite challenges are basic, poorly attended, and have prizes that offer little incentive or excitement. Create camaraderie and competition by offering challenges with other experts onsite, these should include baseline measurements and assessments, and education. Have relevant and enticing prizes up for grabs to help make people’s time on-site more comfortable and enjoyable.
ON A PERSONAL NOTE
Many years ago, for 15 years, I was a FIFO wife, juggling an active growing family. My husband at the time was an exploration driller, on a good roster he was away for 4 weeks, and home for 1 week. Most rosters were 6 weeks away, 1 week at home, at the end of our marriage he was assigned a project in Mongolia working 12 weeks away, and 4 weeks at home.
For 2 years, I have worked in mining delivering workplace wellness programs across many remote mining villages in Western Australia. Through this work, and my personal experience, I have seen the need for vibrancy and education on resilience, well-being, and lifestyle management to help people within the mining and construction industry live and lead healthier happier more fulfilled lives.
WHERE TO FROM HERE?
I deliver a range of workplace wellness programs, leadership coaching, and self-care workshops, to help your people become leaders in life.
Rebecca Hannan is known as The Momentum Maker. Your workplace wellness expert. Specialising in working with organisations, and whole communities to take back control of your life so you can live and work WELL.
Rebeca’s passion and enthusiasm for living and working well is infectious. Her mission is to educate, inspire, and empower you to take back control of your life so you can live and lead a life of wellness.
She is the author of The 30 Day Momentum Maker Challenge workbook. A book crafted with love to help you get out of your funk and into your flow.
Wife, mother, entrepreneur, runner, yoga lover, salad queen, chaos buster………The Momentum Maker