Background

The effort to implement a workplace health programme began two years ago, when the company was reviewing the staff fitness level and safety. It was found that age has a bearing on physical health.

The age profile indicator affirms a need to implement measures to promote a healthy lifestyle as most of the oil spill specialists are in their 40s and have been with the company since inception.

In addition, great emphasis is being placed on the company preparedness as a Tier 3 oil spill response centre.The company is on standby 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Staff fitness and safety are paramount.Thus there is a need to build up staff fitness stamina by implementing wellness programme to promote healthy lifestyle.

Workplace Health programme

In 2003, the workplace health programme was formalised. The initial effort on reservoir walks and fruity days, though ad hoc in nature, increased in momentum as the company embarked on the workplace health programme organized by the Health Promotion Board. The programme was initially driven by a two person team i.e. the Chief Executive (CEO) and the Administration Manager. However with staff commitment and positive support, the team is enlarged to five members from various departments.

The CEO is the leader and motivator while the Administration Manager oversees the whole programme.The team members are facilitators to ensure that activities are effectively implemented according to schedule.

Objectives

The company conducts a bi-annual needs survey.Results are assessed and objectives are clearly identified and formalized

Broadly, three objectives were identified and formalized in 2004 :

  • To reduce the number of smokers from 11 to 5 within a year

  • To reduce total medical leave to 2%

  • To reduce unhealthy level of organisational stress among the younger staff to 25%

Programme

The planned programme is structured. Several factors such as health screening results, feedback from staff survey, observations and cultural issues are taken into consideration when planning programme.

Priorities and activities are subsequently formulated to address specific needs.

In 2004, the focus was on smoking cessation.Based on needs survey, 40% of the staff were smokers and majority are in their 40s.This percentage was alarmingly high compared to the national average of 15%.A smoking cessation talk ensued.More than 80% of the smokers responded favourably to the company sponsored intervention programme.Conducted over a 12 months period by a professional service provider, the programme was a success with high quit rate.To date three personnel have quitsmoking successfully.The rest of the "non smokers to be" are on the verge to quit. Their number of cigarettes per day is drastically reduced to one or two.

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