Business butts out
Nearly one in six Australians aged 18 and over smoke daily. Tobacco smoking is still considered the largest single preventable cause of death and disease in Australia and it's impact on the workplace is an important consideration of a successful health and wellbeing program.
Smoke-free workplaces can result in a range of business benefits, including greater employee productivity and morale, fewer absences due to ill health caused by tobacco smoking/passive smoking, healthier staff and the provision of a safer, cleaner and healthier work environment.
Foundry and engineering business Dobbie, a Bronze recognised healthier workplace, is working to address smoking and implement a comprehensive health and wellbeing program for their staff. We chatted with Occupational Health and Safety Manager Erick Campello.
Why a focus on smoking?
One of the key drivers to implementing our health and wellbeing program was the impact tobacco smoking was having on our work and workers.
"20% of our workforce were smokers and the majority of them wanted to kick the habit"
Has there been an improvement?
Through the development of a smoke-free policy, including support for workers to quit, management have seen the percentage of workers’ smoking drop to just under 5%.
Smoking was impacting workers’ health and productivity. We were losing an estimated six hours every day from the engineering arm. Since we’ve made changes the impact of smoking has significantly reduced. It’s a win-win for us.
Benefits of a Health and Wellbeing Program
Dobbie has also seen a reduction in sick days and lost work hours since the program was implemented in September last year.
Our employees experience a physically demanding and stressful workload. The health and wellbeing program has positively impacted our bottom line with a major decline in employee absenteeism and injury rates which will provide ongoing savings on our Workers’ Compensation Insurance premiums.
Investing in the health and wellbeing of our employees has seen an increased enthusiasm and attitude of participants and influenced other staff members to join. We look forward to seeing the ongoing benefits and are working towards Silver recognition.
Looking for support?
There is plenty of information and support to help smokers quit including;
- Quitline on 13 7848 (13 QUIT)
- Advice and support from a GP, Aboriginal Health worker or pharmacist
- Resources such as posters and fact sheets
- FREE My QuitBuddy app
- FREE Quit for You – Quit for Two app
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