Health and Wellbeing

The IPL Zero Harm Council has responsibility for health and wellbeing across the Group and each business unit and site offers health and wellbeing programs appropriate for local needs and to suit local regulatory and cultural requirements.


All Australian and US employees have access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP).


In Australia, this program provides up to five confidential specialist counselling sessions each year, available 24 hours per day. It offers support for work and personal issues either face-to-face, over the telephone, in writing, via the internet or by video conferencing. The counselling can help with managing conflict, coping with change, stress, grief, career transitions, relationship issues, gambling, alcohol and substance abuse, parenting conflict, pain, trauma, anxiety, depression and many types of emotional difficulties.


Across our Australian sites, we promoted R U OK? Day on 10 September 2015, an initiative supported by the Australian Government to equip and encourage work mates to start a conversation whenever they notice that a colleague might need help to seek assistance. Stress management information and/or training is instigated at a site level as needs are identified by the relevant site manager. This may take the form of site wide training, training for specific work groups, or referral for an individual needing assistance in this manner. Online modules on stress and resilience are open to employees to participate in across the Group and counselling or other support services are also available in response to specific events e.g., a natural disaster or site incident.   

2015 Fitness Challenge


Last year we formed a Wellness Committee in the USA to further embed the importance of health and wellbeing across our North American business. The Committee piloted an eight week Walking Challenge to encourage employees to build more exercise into their everyday activities. This year the program was extended to all employees in the USA, Canada, Chile and Mexico in the form of an eight week Fitness Challenge to encourage employees to incorporate more physical activity into their lives. The challenge allowed employees to participate as individuals or as teams and prizes were awarded to those entrants who logged the most minutes of physical activity each week.


Sleep and driver safety


During 2015 our Dyno Nobel Transportation (DNTI) and Distribution business in North America continued to operate a Driver Alertness Program for our current truck drivers and new hire drivers. The program aims to assist in reducing fatigue and help keep our drivers safe on the road. Drivers are screened for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and tested if found to be at risk. Those who are diagnosed with OSA are assisted to access treatment to improve their sleep. Follow up to monitor progress and ensure treatment is also part of the program and, as with all of our drivers, determination for fitness for driving is made by the Department of Transport doctor. In the case of OSA, doctors confirm CPAP treatment compliance and monitor progress before issuing drivers with a medical card to drive. In addition, DNTI started a Transportation Driver’s Council to promote weekly wellness activities and increase awareness of the importance of health and wellness.  The Drivers Council is producing a quarterly newsletter to inform drivers of current issues and plans, and the newsletter includes a page on wellness.  Plans for 2016 include exploring the possibility of expanding the program to our Operations Drivers in the USA. 


Health assessments 


Across our US and Australian operations, occupational health assessments are also offered to employees. For example, we currently offer our US based employees confidential Wellness Screenings on an annual basis. The screenings focus on the early identification of personal modifiable health risk factors. This provides each employee with a picture of their overall health status including blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, and triglyceride levels, and the effects of smoking. Delivered by a third party professional health provider, this screening information is provided confidentially to employees who are then assisted in partnering with their physician to take corrective action and improve health outcomes where required. Because the screening is conducted annually, a six month check-up is included to track progress and assist in improving their health. Employees in Australia who are exposed to noise, dust and other occupational exposures undergo relevant periodic medical assessments to monitor and ensure that their health is maintained.

Some of our sites in Australia, such as Phosphate Hill and Moranbah, have access to a range of health and fitness support facilities and services such as a gymnasium, other sport and recreational facilities and lifestyle, nutrition, health and fitness professional support and advice. Many other sites offer a subsidy towards gym membership or other fitness programs. 


Giving up smoking


In the US, a tobacco cessation program is also offered in association with the Wellness Screenings program and is conducted by the same third party health provider. We incentivise this program by reimbursing the employee’s costs for any approved tobacco cessation products once an employee has successfully completed the program and stopped smoking.  


Reducing sprains, strains and manual handling injuries


We also focused on early intervention and prevention of all types of sprains, strains and manual handling injuries during the year through a combination of eliminating manual handling tasks where possible, and encouraging employees to report any signs of strain injuries as soon as they arose. In the USA and Canada, 187 early reports of possible strains allowed them to be treated with first aid, successfully reducing the severity of work related injuries.  Similar reductions in injury rates were reported across our Asia Pacific businesses, and in Australia we established the Hazardous Manual Task Injury Reduction Program to further minimise the risks of musculoskeletal injuries.