Published on February 28, 2014
Research and learnings from the WorkHealth program Understanding the links between lifestyle risks and workplace safety
A call to action on worker health Page 2
About WorkHealth A voluntary program dedicated to educating and empowering employers and workers Delivered 800,000 WorkHealth checks to Victorian workers Engaged around 38,000 workplaces to deliver WorkHealth programs Provided seed funding to help 1,800+ businesses introduce health promotion activities Helped nearly 40,000 at-risk workers take action to reduce risk factors for type 2 diabetes and heart disease
The research WORKER WORKPLACE VICTORIAN WORKFORCE 1. WHC dataset 2. Follow up study 3. Impact evaluation study 4. Impact modelling
The research: What we know from WorkHealth checks Nearly 93% of workers don’t eat enough fruit/veg 27% of workers have high total cholesterol 30% of males are at high risk for type 2 diabetes; females 17% 5,223 (1%) of workers advised to see their GP within 24 hours 32% of males had high blood pressure; females 16% Older workers have healthier lifestyles but have more biomedical risks Males 2x more likely to receive an urgent GP referral Generally, rural workers have a higher risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes Blue collar workers have poorer lifestyle habits than white collar 90% rated their health as good to excellent
Using the WorkHealth check dataset
The research: What happens to ‘at-risk’ workers? Workers • 1,306 survey respondents • 1,121 pathology linkage @ risk • 24% @ high risk T2D • 16% @ med-high risk CVD Health behaviour change • fruit intake ▲17%, smoking ▼25%, alcohol ▲22%, waist ▲10% • smoking ▼70%, exercise ▲ 43% GP follow-up • 48% visited GP for testing • 40% had 1+ pathology test/s Diagnosis • 4.5% FBG indicated likely T2D • 85% normal FBG
The research: WorkHealth’s impact on workplaces WorkHealth provided first opportunity to participate in on-site health program WorkHealth checks have been powerful for health awareness The workplace is an effective setting to target men’s health 50% of workplaces say their culture is proactive towards health and wellbeing Workplaces that had WorkHealth checks and a grant were 3x more likely to make changes Employers say they should support healthy choices, but change is up to the individual There has been a ripple effect beyond CVD and t2d into other areas, e.g. mental health Interaction between safety and health in the workplace
The research: Modelling and forecasting future impact Program participant data Average effect sizes of similar interventions from the published literature # WHCs WH Coach/ Life! # grants X Forecast impacts for workers participating in WorkHealth = ▼ Absenteeism ▼ Presenteeism ▼Compensable injury / illness 9
The research: Modelling and forecasting future impact Absenteeism Presenteeism Injury claims 11-15% up to 5% 3-5% A mix of interventions will have the best impact on workplace productivity. Page 10
Research acknowledgements and how to find the reports Our research team: Prof Malcolm Sim, Dr Helen Kelsall, Dr Roslin Botlero, Dr Mohammadreza Mohebbi, Dr Mina Roberts, Prof Andrew Tonkin, A/Prof Sophia Zoungas, Prof John McNeil, Ms Nerida Joss, Ms Cassandra Wright, Prof Helen Keleher, Prof Niki Ellis, Dr Anna Peeters, Mr Kumar Pasupathi Monash School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, ISCRR, Baker IDI More information: Synthesis Report, infographic video, and industry datasets, available at: worksafe.vic.gov.au Research summaries at: iscrr.com.au
What more have we learned about workplaces? Key themes: The workplace is a relevant setting for health promotion ‘Culture of care’, versus ‘culture of compliance’ Workplace health promotion works best when built on sound OHS Strong leadership / workplace champions are critical to success A mix of interventions works best
Where to next? Interaction between safety, health and wellbeing in the workplace • The coordination of workplace health promotion activities typically occurs through HR functions rather than OHS functions. • Some participants expressed concerns about workplace health promotion resulting in a reduced focus on OHS. • Workplaces with OHS Committees reported better health behaviours than those without. • Further research is required to advance understanding of the integration of worker health, wellbeing and safety.
OHS focus only OHS + health & wellbeing
Where to next?: ‘Integrated’ approaches are effective for: Smoking reduction Prevention & management of musculoskeletal disorders Reducing stress and poor mental health Reduced medical costs* Reduced leave usage Reduced compensation costs
Where to next? From workplace health promotion to ‘integrated’ approaches
What does integration look like? • • • • Operates and maintains Melbourne's EastLink tollway 210 employees (50 office based, 160 call centre) 24/7 operation Joint venture • Dedicated HR, Risk & Safety Manager & Team • Policies that address both OHS & HP • Coordinated communication • Management buy-in and accountability • Organisational commitment • Evaluation and monitoring
What does integration look like? Barriers, enablers and outcomes Enablers: • • • Strong management commitment translated into resourcing, policy and program visibility Organisation history and culture (approach is culturally accepted) Employee buy-in Challenges: • • • Diverse workforce (different status, job roles and locations) Inclusion of external staff (e.g. sub-contractors) Operating hours (24/7) Outcomes: • • • • Low turnover and high staff retention Increased self-esteem and satisfaction Strong safety outcomes Cost benefit “we are creating a culture in which our employees can flourish, enjoy their work and develop their full potential”
Timothy McLean Program Manager, WorkHealth WorkSafe Victoria e: firstname.lastname@example.org t: (03) 9641 1911 worksafe.vic.gov.au
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WorkHealth Research Synthesis Report ... an initiative of WorkSafe Victoria, is a program of voluntary WorkHealth checks (WHCs) for chronic disease
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WorkSafe Victoria WorkHealth Healthy Workplace Kit 1 ... Workplace Kit WorkSafe Victoria Initiatives for ... risk factors for chronic disease.
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