NCIG bouncing into healthy practice with Ethos
A partnership between two Hunter based companies is leading the way in health and safety practices.
With the goal of improving overall health and safety, the team at Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group (NCIG) joined forces with workplace health services specialists, Ethos Health to develop a program customised to the needs of people working at the coal loader. The Bounce program utilises best practice solutions developed by Ethos Health in fatigue management, workplace ergonomics, injury prevention and health and wellbeing programs
CEO of Ethos Health, Dr Trent Watson, said NCIG was a great example of a workplace that was motivated to support its team to be fit, well and healthy.
“Most of us spend at least a third of our lives at work. For NCIG, it was vitally important that its employees were in the best possible position to be well and work safely,” Dr Watson said.
Ethos Health commenced working with NCIG’s workplace safety team in 2010, to help customise programs to suit the type of work, shifts and environment at Kooragang Island. Since that time, the partnership has continued to create ways that effectively engage employees to be motivated about good health while managing the risks and associated costs of injury and fatigue.
NCIG Workplace Health, Safety & Environment Manager, Nathan Juchau, said that the Bounce program kicked-off with assessments of personal health and was followed by education programs.
“Our goal was to motivate people to take control of their health. For many of us this was about understanding the spiralling effect of weight gain, the importance of exercise and practical ways to strengthen our bodies to prevent injuries and manage our workplace activities,” Mr Juchau said.
NCIG also implemented a team challenge to encourage exercise and movement. NCIG Maintenance Planner, Brett Mills, took-out the team challenge in 2017 raking-up more than 1.9 million steps in just eight weeks.
NCIG Safety Officer, Lauren Ross, said that Brett’s efforts continued to motivate everyone else.
“We set high targets of about 70% participation for the program but in our most recent challenge there was 98% participation and employees.
The Bounce program also includes a range of practical stretch exercises designed to improve strength and agility with employees reporting less strain on their bodies since participating.
Dr Watson said that organisations that promoted health and wellness programs in the workplace experienced great outcomes for their team and the bottom line.
“Employees that engaged in customised programs were two and a half times more likely to be a best performer, about three times more likely to be more productive and eight times more likely to have employees engaged in the business,” he said.
“Businesses also find that program benefit employee retention, innovation and reduce workplace injury, loss time and bottom line costs,” he said.