Associate Professor Carole James – Associate Director, Centre for Resources Health and Safety, The University of Newcastle
Obesity is a major problem in Australia, with over 70% of Australian’s being overweight or obese. Rates of obesity in NSW coal miners are significantly worse (83.4%). Workers who are obese have higher rates of absenteeism, reduced productivity, increased injury and illness, slower recovery rates and increased workers’ compensation costs.
Building on from the Blueprint for the Management of Overweight and Obesity in the NSW Mining Industry, the healthy weight initiative – RESHAPE – was developed. . RESHAPE is an intervention framework based upon the World Health Organization’s Healthy Workplace Model and provides a worksite framework, with coordinated actions, that aim to contribute to a site and industry-wide change in the prevention and management of overweight and obesity.
Findings from a current study that is investigating what obesity management programs have been trialled within the coal industry, the outcomes of these at a site level and information on the challenges and benefits of these programs, will be presented. These findings will provide industry with insight into the next steps which can be considered for the prevention and management of overweight and obesity as a critical part of the industry’s overall focus on the general health of its employees.
Julia Mansfield – Health Coordinator, Glencore, Ernest Henry Mine
Statistics show that almost half of Australians will experience a diganosable mental health condition at some time in their lives. While these conditions can potentially impact a workers safety, productivity, health, and return to work duration; there is also a well-documented link with suicide. Alarmingly, suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged 25-44; and research indicates that men in semi-skilled occupations like mining are indeed at an even greater risk.
Ernest Henry Mine acknowledges the prevalence of mental health issues, with management support numerous site-based initiatives were implemented to assist workers with this emerging and complex trend. The program has been successful in raising awareness about Mental Health and Wellbeing; enhancing accessibility to appropriate help/support; improving the village/camp lifestyle; promoting engagement; and facilitating a more positive work environment.
While these mental health initiatives are a step in the right direction, ongoing effort is required to reduce stigma and to provide an environment that is both protective to the development of mental health conditions and conducive to recovery. It is hoped that other mining operations can draw learnings from Ernest Henry Mine’s initiatives.
Michael Stubley – Principal Consultant – Rapid Response
Geri Morrell – Client Manager – Resources Sector and Regional Queensland, Converge International
Evidence-based reviews have concluded that ‘debriefing’, also known as The Mitchell Model has little effect, or that it actually worsens the trauma symptoms. Yet, many sites, often unknowingly, are still using this model.
This presentation will discuss what Psychological First Aid is (and isn’t), and how Leaders can effectively apply it to ensure that their people are supported in the immediate aftermath of a Critical Incident.