Manufacturing industry client


Client context: A multinational dairy co-operative who process and market dairy foods around the globe. This client was looking for a solution to proactively address their health and wellbeing risks at their manufacturing sites and sales offices across Australia.

Focus areas: Injury prevention and management| Health and wellbeing support | Mental health| Fatigue management

The challenges

The Australian manufacturing industry faces many challenges regarding employee health and wellbeing, which result in a high number of work-related injuries and illnesses each year. In 2019-20 the industry had the second highest frequency rate for serious claims with 9.1 claims per million hours worked[1].

This client needed to find a solution to address the challenges of the manufacturing industry, which included the risks associated with:

  • fatigue from shift work (long hours, night shifts, rotating rosters),
  • repetitive strain injuries due to the nature of production and laboratory work,
  • musculoskeletal injury from tasks involving manual handling,
  • musculoskeletal injury from roles involving static postures, such as prolonged sitting/standing,
  • general health and wellbeing concerns of the workforce, and
  • managing stress from workplace demands.

Having previously taken only a reactive approach, offering onsite physiotherapy services for employees who were already experiencing musculoskeletal issues, the client needed to find a proactive solution across a broader range of health and wellbeing risks.

With a geographically diverse workforce, they needed a consistent approach to health and wellbeing across their various locations, with an ability to understand and address the different needs of each site. They also needed to be able to measure the effectiveness of what they were doing to improve health and wellbeing on each of these sites. In addition, the client wanted to provide their people with a culture of care by supporting positive health and wellbeing.

The solution

To address their needs, this client partnered with Healthy Business to design and deliver a program, across their various locations, that would engage their people and support positive health and wellbeing outcomes. The program needed to allow employees with pre-existing musculoskeletal complaints to continue receiving support, while also focusing on the prevention of incidences of poor physical and mental health.

The health and wellbeing program included:

  • Providing employees with individualised one-on-one health and wellbeing coaching to:
    - proactively identify and address any health and wellbeing concerns early;
    - provide them with personalised support, education, and empowerment to make sustainable improvements to their health and wellbeing; and
    - to target support to those we identified as needing it the most.
  • Supporting employees presenting with musculoskeletal issues
  • Providing proactive injury support through additional services, such as:
    - manual handling training,
    - task analysis, and
    - production of job-specific pause break stretches.
  • General health and wellbeing awareness messaging, both onsite and digitally, including presentations, posters, articles, videos and emails.
  • A monthly organisational risk profile to provide the client with oversite and to guide the appropriate interventions and/or the allocation resources.
  • Adapting to address the needs of the organisation, including:
    - providing additional assistance to help prevent workplace injuries,
    - running onsite challenges, and
    - supporting other health and wellbeing initiatives provided by company.

The outcomes

From the beginning of the program in 2016, Healthy Business were able to improve the general health and wellbeing of the workforce and reduce the rates of injuries.

From initial health assessment data, there has been a successful reduction in employees presenting with high-risk lifestyle health metrics, including:

By working with these employees and providing the appropriate early intervention, we have been able reduce their risk of developing more serious and potentially life-threatening conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, heart attack or stroke.

In addition, the program has proactively supported over 820 employees with musculoskeletal concerns, potentially preventing them from developing into serious injuries, which could lead to absenteeism and even compensation claims.

Through a combination of organisational changes and the implementation of the Healthy Business program, this client has recorded a 90% reduction in ‘First Aid Injuries’ (those that require treatment) at their Tasmanian manufacturing sites from 2015 to 2020.  

The health and wellbeing program has made significant improvements on the lives of this client’s employees. By creating a healthier workforce and proactively addressing musculoskeletal issues, there is a flow on effect of less absenteeism from injury and ill health. On top of this, productivity levels increase, with staff feeling more engaged, motivated, and cared for by their employer.

Throughout the duration of the program, the Healthy Business coaches have been able to form long lasting and trustworthy relationships with the individual employees, which has been a key element to the successful outcomes of the program.

“After I had been working here a few months, I met our [Healthy Business] health and wellbeing coach. My first appointment was in November 2016, my weight at the time was 110.2kg. I decided I needed to do something about this as I was 56 and needed to do something to improve my health.
I’ve been a regular visitor to Healthy Business to be monitored and keep a check on my progress. Today (28/2/2018) I’ve achieved my goal weight of 90kg, with a loss of 20kg. I’ve lost 21cm around my waist, and my blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure has all reduced into normal ranges.”
I’ve achieved this through a combination of exercise, changing my diet and basically lowering my sugar intake. I’m now the healthiest I have been since my 30s. Healthy Business were my starting point, and I can’t thank them enough for the continual checks and encouragement... I’ve done all the hard work, but their guidance and encouragement has been a big part of me getting there. I’m now a happier healthier person...”

References: SafeWork Australia, Key work health and safetystatistics, Australia 2021

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