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, Indonesian, USA and Canadian employees have access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
In Australia, the EAP is available to employees through Converge International, providing up to five confidential specialist counselling sessions each year, available 24 hours per day. The EAP offers support for work and personal issues either face-to-face or over the telephone. Employees can also access the free Converge International portal online or directly on mobile devices through the new EAP Connect App. The portal offers tip sheets and handy hints on a range of lifestyle topics, including Ten Habits of Highly Effective Listening, Making Lifestyle Changes Stick, How Do I Know if I'm Not OK, Communication & Collaboration, and Creating a Positive Workplace (tips for managers and staff).
In the USA, employees and their immediate family members can access the EAP through SupportLinc, which offers up to eight confidential face-to-face or over the phone counselling sessions, regardless of whether employees enrol in other Company benefit programs. Employees can log on to the SupportLinc website for access to thousands of helpful articles and tip sheets, including topics such as child care, elder care, education, legal and financial assistance, and more. SupportLinc is also available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The counselling offered through the IPL EAP 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.
In Canada, the EAP is available to employees and their families through LifeWorks by Morneau Shepell and our Indonesian employees and their families can access the EAP through Iradat Konsultan.
Across our Australian sites, we promoted R U OK? Day on Thursday 13 September 2018 to equip and encourage work mates to start a conversation whenever they notice that a colleague might need help to seek assistance.
Employees were encouraged to download a tip sheet and watch some helpful videos on YouTube about signs to look out for which may indicate that a co-worker, family or friend is struggling. A number of our office and site locations organised activities to talk about R U OK? Day, and employees were encouraged to think about how they can recognise, and act to support someone at work or at home who may be having a hard time. In addition, the IPL EAP was also promoted to employees.
In 2018, the Executive Team endorsed the IPL Mental Health strategy to promote a mentally healthy workplace and a mentally healthy workforce at IPL.
IPL recognises that work is, in itself, beneficial to an individual’s total health. Hence, the workplace has a significant opportunity to promote a mentally healthy workforce through establishing frameworks and programs that assist to reduce stress and build ‘protective’ factors. Two executives from the IPL Executive Team have been nominated as champions for the mental health program. The Program was launched by the champions on World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2018.
A key strategy of the program is to increase the awareness of mental health, its effect at work and where and how to seek help. As at 30 September 2018, over 230 workers have participated in Mental Health Workshops and have provided very positive feedback.
Shown to the right are two members of the IPL Health Services Team as they visited Telfer and Port Hedland in Western Australia during August. The team ran mental health awareness sessions which included some valuable team discussions. Occupational health and hygiene hazards were also assessed during the visits.
Sleep and driver safety
During 2018, 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. 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. Dyno Nobel Transportation has partnered with Sleep Well to electronically monitor CPAP compliance for drivers using CPAP and to assist drivers with issues they may be having with their CPAP treatment. In addition, DNTI established a Transportation Drivers’ Council to promote weekly wellness activities and increase awareness of the importance of health and wellness. In Australia, ‘fitness for driving’ medical assessments are also conducted as part of the requirements for Dangerous Goods Drivers’ licencing. The issue of fatigue in the workplace and importance of sleep for good mental and physical health continues to be a focus.
Health assessments and Wellness Program
Across our US and Australian operations, occupational health assessments are also offered to employees. For example, we currently offer our US based employees confidential Health Evaluations on an annual basis. The screenings are goal oriented focusing on the early identification of personal modifiable health risk factors, which employees are encouraged to improve throughout the year. 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 services provider, this screening information is provided confidentially to employees who are then assisted in partnering with their physician and certified health coaches to take corrective action and improve health outcomes where required. Because the screening is conducted annually and includes a goal achievement component, a six-month check-up is included to help employees track their progress and improve 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.
In the US, the Wellness Program inspired great results in 2018:
• 67.9% of participants improved blood pressure levels,
• 70.5% improved LDL Cholesterol levels,
• 62.5% improved blood Glucose levels, and
• 64.3% improved Triglycerides.
The IPL Health and Wellbeing Annual Calendar of Events
In 2018, the first IPL Health and Wellbeing calendar was developed and distributed to all employees across the Asia Pacific region and in Turkey. The calendar was translated into Bahasa for Indonesian employees and Turkish for those in Turkey. The calendar served as a Health and Wellbeing activities guide for the 2018 Health and Wellbeing program, with each month focusing on a theme and specific references to identified risks. These risks were also used to design the IPL 8 Week Health and Wellbeing Challenge in 2018 (see below).
During 2018, the IPL 8 Week Health and Wellbeing Challenge was redesigned and extended to all employees globally. A total of 76 teams and over 660 employees participated. The objectives of the program were to promote the 5 ways to wellbeing: connect; be active; take notice; keep learning; and give. This approach encouraged participants to adopt a holistic and sustainable way of caring for both their physical and mental health and wellbeing. The top 3 teams were asked to nominate the charity of their choice to donate the prize money.
The Challenge began on February 5th. Employees earned points for their teams by achieving targets related to each of the 5 ways to wellbeing. The Challenge was promoted to employees by email and on the internal intranet through a weekly theme with bonus points available through engagement in weekly themed activities. Encouraging positive, sustainable lifestyle changes, all with a bit of fun, the outcomes achieved in total were 459 kilograms lost, 212 centimetres lost, 14,829.5 hours exercised solo and 10,543 hours exercised with someone else. The winning team from Dyno Nobel Indonesia is shown above being awarded their trophy and certificates. The team donated their prize money to the Yayasan Ronald McDonald House of Charities.
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 gym, 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 services 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. During 2018, 9.5% of repeat participants quit using tobacco through this program.
Reducing sprains, strains and manual handling injuries
During 2018 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 US and Canada alone, 218 early reports of pain and possible strains allowed many of them to be treated with first aid, successfully reducing the severity of work related injuries. In the US, Mexico and Canada, investigation of incidents includes assessment of manual task injury reduction action items to further reduce the risk of injury. In addition, an Injury Prevention Active Warm-up Program for all manual task employees was rolled out. Designed during 2017, the program helps employees and contractors prepare their bodies before work by stretching. A version of the program was also rolled out to all office employees in Dyno Nobel North America during 2018. Reductions in musculoskeletal injury rates were also reported across our Asia Pacific business due to the ongoing success of the Hazardous Manual Task Injury Reduction Program.
Case Study: Reducing low level muscular skeletal strains at Moranbah
Our Moranbah Site identified that over the past 12 – 14 months employees had been experiencing regular, generally low-level muscular skeletal strains. Jane Leow, Health Services Manager for IPL, visited the Moranbah site in June to conduct training in Injury Management for People Leaders, as IPL recognises that leaders play an essential role in ensuring an effective injury and illness management process is implemented.
Accompanying Jane was Dr Sid O’Toole from Resile who is a specialist Occupational Physician. Dr O’Toole (pictured centre with Gerad Corkill and Jane Leow) was engaged to review and assess the tasks and environment at the Moranbah site with the scope including repetitive tasks and tasks involving additional PPE, identification of potential manual handling issues, heat stress, fatigue, and task sequencing. A report was presented to the site with recommendations on improving current tasks and options to consider changing some tasks completely to eliminate the risk of strain injuries. The report will be reviewed with a view to applying the recommendations across the rest of Australian Manufacturing.
Men's Health Week 2018
Men’s Health Week was promoted to our employees this year from June 11th to 17th. The 2018 theme was ‘Men and Families: Making Healthy Connections. This year, employees were encouraged to raise Men’s Health Week as a culture share, tool box talk or an agenda item at their meeting, with the aim of talking about raising happy kids, work-life balance and ways to manage stress, as well as ways to build rewarding emotional relationships with family and friends. Employees were directed to the Men’s Health Week website and were also reminded of the internal resources IPL offers to support Men’s Health, including the HSE Men’s Health page on our intranet, which contains information to increase employees’ understanding of heart health, mental health and general wellbeing, the IPL Employee Assistance Program, and the IPL Work and Life Hub. In addition, the monthly EAP webinar for June, which is available to Australian employees, was on Building Positive Relationships and covered topics including The foundations of positive relationships; The principles of positive relationships; and Reflections on building positive relationships.
The 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 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
• The Keeping Connected program, which provides fortnightly emails regarding the stages of pregnancy and the developments of your child.
• Resources for Remote/Onsite Workers Work and Wellbeing
• Parenting, including a Return to Work after Parental Leave Checklist
• Transitioning to retirement
During 2017 IPL developed the Remote and Onsite Workers Pack in conjunction with SeventeenHundred to support our Fly In Fly Out (FIFO) and Drive In Drive Out (DIDO) workforce. The Pack includes case studies written using actual IPL remote worker experiences and contains a guide for remote work and wellbeing with information on topics including:
• Benefits and challenges of onsite work
• Onsite and At Home coping strategies
• Help for the families of onsite workers
• Taking care of yourself
• Taking care of the kids
• Taking care of your relationship
• How to find your happy place at work
• Staying positive at work
• Lifestyle lessons from a FIFO worker
• How to fight fatigue and stay safe at work
• Nutrition advice for onsite worker
• Making your money count
• How to find strength in the face of workplace change
• Surviving in a tough work environment
Building Mental Health into Leader as Coach training at Moranbah
During 2018, our Moranbah manufacturing site in Australia built health and wellbeing into the Leader as Coach training program by looking at the ‘Happiness Advantage’ video by Shawn Achor. Rather than success determining our happiness, Shawn proposes that the formula is, in fact, reversed and that happy people are actually more successful. The concepts mentioned in the video relate to positive psychology practices that help build resilience, which in turn can help protect us from mental illness.
Key concepts include expressing gratitude, practising mediation and mindfulness, leveraging your strengths and taking time to savour the ‘good’.
One team got back together to discuss their experience after 21 days and the response was overwhelmingly positive, with the entire team planning to continue the activities. The team also shared their learnings on our employee social media site for anyone who is thinking about trying the program.
Their tips are:
1. Do your 3 gratitudes and journaling at the start of the day;
2. Make time to exercise;
3. Learn how to meditate (start small) before beginning;
4. Stick with it, if you miss a day pick it back up the next day;
5. Have an actual physical journal to record your progress/events;
6. Do it as a team - it is easier to stay on track if you are doing it with someone else; and
7. Find something that works for you