Mining industry client


Client context: A large gold mining corporation who were looking for a solution to improve the health and wellbeing of employees, and the wider community, at their operation in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Focus areas: Health promotion and individualised coaching | High-risk employee health management and fitness for work | Physiotherapy | Mental health and counselling | Recreation and wellbeing – onsite activities for workers and families

The challenges

In an 18-month period prior to contacting Healthy Business, this client had seen far too many of their valued employees pass away from lifestyle-related diseases, such as heart attack, liver disease, and diabetes, which could have been managed or prevented if addressed early on.

The mining industry faces many occupational challenges when it comes to health and wellbeing. Remote working environments, shift work and fly in fly out work (FIFO) are all typical demands of the industry which have been identified as contributors for obesity, a key risk factor for many lifestyle related diseases[1].

On top of this, the physical and mental demands of the job, social isolation, and environmental hazards such as hot and humid conditions, are all risk factors for injury and illness.  

In Australia alone, the mining industry has the third highest fatality rate of any industry with an average of 9 workers dying each year[2].

According to the World Health Organization, PNG also has a significantly lower life expectancy than western countries, with 63 years for men and 67 years for women, compared to 81 and 85 years respectively in Australia.

Healthy Business have effectively established many health and wellbeing programs at mining and industrial workplaces across Australia and New Zealand, however nothing of this type or size had been tried in PNG before. There were some questions if the Papua New Guinean workforce would embrace the message of healthy living, and more importantly, if the program would be effective.

The solution

To address their organisational needs, this client partnered with Healthy Business to design and deliver a health and wellbeing program that would engage their people and support positive health and wellbeing outcomes.

The program was a multifaceted approach to health and wellbeing, which included:

  • The development of an energetic and multidisciplinary PNG national team to ensure the program was culturally sensitive and relevant.
  • Integration into existing processes, policies, operations, and procedures. For example, Healthy Business integrated with the onsite medical centre to provide a referral pathway for clients on return-to-work plans, or for those who identified as ‘high-risk’ for lifestyle disease related factors, such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesteremia, etc.
  • Providing personalised, one-on-one coaching, and other promotional activities, to provide employees with the education, support, and empowerment they need to improve their health and wellbeing.
  • Providing and promoting a confidential one-on-one counselling service to support mental health.
  • Providing physiotherapy treatment to reduce the burden of musculoskeletal injuries, while also providing larger scale injury prevention initiatives.

The outcomes

From the beginning of the program in 2016, Healthy Business have been able to improve the general health and wellbeing of the client’s workforce, with over 11,600 employees participating in the program up until February 2022.

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.

By creating a healthier workforce and reducing the amount of lifestyle related diseases onsite, 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.

Beyond the client’s workforce, the program is bringing many benefits to the wider community at the PNG site. Providing access to a fully equipped gym and range of recreational activities, including gym and social sports competitions, and group exercise classes, as well as regularly engaging with the local school. These activities are creating a healthy and vibrant onsite community, providing some welcome relief to the challenges of working in such a remote location.

The health and wellbeing program continues to have a lasting effect on the health and wellbeing of the workforce and now has a fully embedded presence onsite, with full team coverage 365 days a year.

“Having the Healthy Business team provide our ongoing health checks has not only given our employees education and knowledge on certain aspects of their health and wellbeing and how to maintain/improve it, but the program has also identified an employee who had health issues in the way of High BMI, blood pressure and diabetes.  
The Healthy Business team has continued to work with this employee, helping them to reduce their BMI and put them in a position where they no longer need continual medical monitoring and are fit for work without restrictions. I believe the program is a massive asset in the way we help our employees make healthy decisions.”

Manager of a major contractor team (50+ staff)

1. Safework Australia,
2. World Health organization:

Back to Our Results