Health and Wellbeing
IPL Values People. This means that we care for the health and wellbeing of our employees and aim to create a balance between work and personal needs for everyone. Studies show that companies that manage wellness programs effectively profit from increased employee engagement and higher organisational performance.
The IPL Zero Harm Council has responsibility for health 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. From an organisational point of view, health and wellbeing initiatives can:
• reduce absenteeism
• improve overall work performance
• reduce workplace accidents and injuries
• improve staff morale
• assist IPL in being an ‘employer of choice’
• develop a healthy balance between work and home activities for our employees
• provide a supportive and healthy work environment that promotes effective teamwork and fosters professional growth
In addition, we encourage our employees to maintain their health for personal benefits such as a longer life, an improved quality of life, increased energy and happiness and reduced expenditure on medical providers and premiums.
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 8 September 2016, 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.|
Sleep and driver safety
During 2016 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 Drivers’ 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. The issue of fatigue in the workplace and importance of sleep for good mental and physical health continues to be a focus. The US sites will provide information for employees on the importance of sleep for good health and safety.
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. Several 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
During 2016 we continued to focus 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 arise. In the USA and Canada alone, 197 early reports of pain and possible strains allowed them to be treated with first aid, successfully reducing the severity of work related injuries. Refresher training was provided for all managers/supervisors and passed on to employees, on the importance of early reporting in reducing severity and pain and suffering for employees. 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. In the USA Mexico, and Canada, investigation of incidents includes assessment of manual task injury reduction action items to further reduce the risk of injury.
Men's Health Week 2016
Men’s Health week was promoted to our employees this year from June 13th to 19th. The 2016 theme was ‘Health Elements’ and the week aimed to increase the awareness of important male-specific health issues, including prostate health and cancer awareness, and mental health issues such as stress and depression. During Men’s Health Week, employees were encouraged to participate in community outreaches to men, boys and their families to promote health and wellbeing through engaging activities, events and promotions. These events create the right setting for conversations about the elements that make us healthy - life, purpose, health and wellness and everything in-between - because they are locally tailored to the needs of men and boys and their local communities. Employees were also reminded of the resources IPL offers to support Men’s Health, including the HSE Men’s Health page on our internal intranet, which contains information to increase employees’ understanding of heart health, mental health and general wellbeing, the Employee Assistance Program, and the IPL Work & Life Hub.
The IPL Work and Life Hub
The IPL Work and Life Hub is an online support service available to our Australian based employees. Run by our partner SeventeenHundred, the program is designed to assist our employees to achieve a healthy work-life balance and can help with a range of queries and concerns, from mental and physical well-being to relating to parenting and caring responsibilities. Once registered, employees have access to information and services to help support a healthy work/life balance. Australian employees can access the Program from work or home and services offered include:
• Finding a nanny or babysitting service profile to ensure the care giver is a suitable match for an employee’s family
• Searching for accredited childcare centres, primary and secondary schools close to work or home
• Searching for elder care and disability care information
• Accessing health and nutrition information
• Finding information on government benefits