The latest activities and partnerships involving AME:
Free Employee Health Checks to AME Members!
Through recent discussions with the Victorian Employers Chamber of Commerce (VECCI), the AME is pleased to announce an exciting opportunity. VECCI can assist AME members access the WorkHealth programme.
Download Brochure and Application Form Here (418Kb PDF)
VECCI has provided the following information about the Programme:
WorkHealth checks can provide your business and employees with free and confidential health checks by trained professionals. Quick and easy, the checks take just 15 minutes to complete and give employees an assessment on their blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and waist circumference measurement. Feedback is immediate and constructive and aims to assist employees see the consequences of poor lifestyle choices.
The Victorian WorkHealth initiative is the first of its kind to target the connection between chronic disease and workplace health and wellness. An unprecedented $218 million has been allocated to the program over a five year period.
If more than 50 employees undertake a health check employers will receive a summary report. The report will not identify anyone; instead it will present overall results such as '30 per cent of your workforce are smokers'. This information can then be used to guide and implement healthy workplace practices and policies.
There is a major health need to address, the average Australian now has four lifestyle risk factors: poor diet, lack of exercise, high cholesterol and excessive body weight. These all add up to greatly increase the risk of developing a chronic disease. The days of the bronzed and healthy Aussie have well and truly disappeared!
Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease are Australia’s two leading but preventable chronic diseases. In Victoria, the latest data from 200,000 health checks conducted as part of the WorkHealth program indicate that 66 per cent of workers are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease. In the last decade more than one million Australians have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and for every diagnosis there are another four people unaware they have the condition. This highlight the importance of health screening programs, with the workplace identified as an ideal setting for primary prevention.
Unhealthy lifestyles, which are conducive to the development of chronic disease, have been identified by VicHealth as a major factor affecting workplace absence. The direct cost to Australian business, caused by workplace absence and injury has been estimated at $7 billion annually, or roughly $1000 per employee per year. The good news is; workplace health programs can reduce employees’ health risk factors by 56 per cent, which goes along way to manage these costs.
These voluntary programs do not seek to burden employers with extra responsibility, but rather open up new ways to improve key business metrics. Wayne Kayler-Thomson, CEO of VECCI, says employers who implement workplace health programs can expect culture changes, which attract new talent, as well as reduce staff turnover, improve absenteeism and lift productivity rates. VECCI supports a range of programs for employers.
The business case for workplace health promotion is strong. One business which has recently experienced the benefits is OneSteel’s Laverton North manufacturing plant. Ken Fuhrmeister, OneSteel’s Occupational Health Nurse, says that the company is already seeing the benefits of participating in the program.
“It’s great to see a few conversations about health happening about the place,” said Mr Fuhrmeister.
“It’s not something we’ve done here before and the feedback has been excellent. People have really enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about their health.”
Like many manufacturing outfits, OneSteel’s focus to date has been on delivering high standards in occupational health and safety through traditional means such as eliminating identified hazards in the workplace. By offering free WorkHealth checks to its staff, the company is delving into new and exciting territory.
”WorkHealth checks are going to be a good prompt for us to look at what else we could be doing to support the health and wellbeing of our employees,” said Mr Fuhrmeister.
The WorkHealth program can be accessed in a number of ways. VECCI has allocated a full-time resource to assist employers access the programme free of charge. This offer is open to all AME members. Because you care about the wellbeing of your employees, you will sign up.
To sign up please complete the application form and fax or email to John Wigg, WorkHealth Program Manager at VECCI:
Fax – 03 8662 5367
For more information phone John on 03 866251323 or 0403 457 631.