Take Care of Your Equipment – Reaching Industrial Worksites with Workplace Wellness

Take Care of Your Equipment

On April 6th BCAHL hosted a webinar showcasing the latest case studies, how-to’s and hands-on resources to help workplaces increase the wellness of workers outside of the office environment. (And a bit of a shameless plug for our Working on Wellness project).

BCAHL and our partners at Canadian Cancer Society and Canadian Mental Health Association developed new resources for workplaces that don’t quite fit within traditional office environments. We were very excited to share details of these WoW resources that ask industrial workers to ‘take care of their equipment’ like their heart, lungs, mind and arteries.

This webinar walked participants through the FREE and EASILY ACCESSIBLE resources. Speakers representing the worksites and partners who developed and fine-tuned these resources shared their experiences and offered advice about how to get worksite wellness programs started.

Our first speaker, BCAHL’s own Samantha Hartley-Folz shared the findings from the WoW pilot sites – some of the data from the program roll out and a walk through the modules, videos and activities.

  • The WoW resources include modules on healthy eating, physical activity, healthy minds, tobacco reduction, healthy sleep, UV and Sun Safety and immunizations. All resources include posters, tips and activities to help workplaces support healthier options for employees
  • If you’re not sure where to get started, there’s a how-to guide and step by step instructions to EDUCATE, ACT and SUPPORT healthy workplaces, including 5 5-minute videos that walk you through the steps and provide stories from the WoW pilot sites.
  • Over 4,500 employees took part in the WoW pilots across 9 sites in BC and the NWT, with the feedback from those sites incorporated into the final resources.
  • Final data from the evaluation suggests that changes in behavior happened across the worksite, even with employees who didn’t participate actively in the event. These findings support the evidence for creating supportive workplace environments for wellness.

Julia Kaisla described Canadian Mental Health Association’s development of the Healthy Minds module of WoW and how additional training support through CMHA programming added value to the WoW pilot at Diavik Diamond Mine.

  • Julia described the reasons for creating supports for mental wellness in worksites, and how CMHA developed a customized training course called Safe and Sound: Creating a psychologically healthy and safe workplace to help supervisors start healthy conversations around mental health.
  • Three videos were created to support the healthy minds messaging – Julia shared the video of an industrial worker, Jason and his story of depression with the webinar audience.
  • In-person training started with these personal stories, opening the floor to more engagement by putting a human face to the issues. The Safe and Sound training allowed supervisors to take part in a two-way dialogue and role play to practice their communication skills.
  • Of the 130 supervisors trained at Diavik, 86.3% indicated they had a better understanding of their responsibilities as a supervisor regarding workplace mental health and 81.2% indicated they feel more confident in their ability to help someone experiencing a mental health issue at work

Melinda Morben shared Island Timberlands’ experience in implementing the WoW program. As the workplace champion, Melinda brought workplace wellness to their Nanoose Bay site and the 150 workers there.

  • Her experience with the WoW resources was very positive and she provided some of her success tips, including working with management and employees at their own pace to move the program forward.
  • But one of the most impressive facts for companies thinking about participating was the significant savings that Melinda identified from implementing workplace wellness at their site – a $250,000 reduction in short term disability over the year that WoW has been in place – enough that the company has increased the budget for workplace health.
  • Her lessons were to keep up the momentum and commit to the program.
  • Melinda also recommended the WoW resources and augmenting the day to day education pieces provided with presentations from dietitians and other wellness experts to help engage staff and motivate action.

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