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HealthWorks A National Strategy for Comprehensive Workplace Health Promotion


Developed tailored wellness program and interventions ... Corporate strategy. Metropolitan Halifax Chamber of Commerce: Healthy Business Award ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: HealthWorks A National Strategy for Comprehensive Workplace Health Promotion

HealthWorksA National Strategy for Comprehensive
Workplace Health Promotion
  • Why Wellness An Integrated Approach to Workplace
  • NS Safety Council Conference
  • March 25, 2004

Mary-Lou MacDonald MSc. Director,
HealthWorks Heart and Stroke Foundation of NS
  • What is HealthWorks and why did Health Canada
    fund this project in Nova Scotia?
  • What is wellness and why is an integrated
    approach the only successful option?
  • Why is this initiative important to you?

Unique Partnership
  • Major Partners
  • -Health Canada
  • -Heart and Stroke Foundation of NS
  • -Metropolitan Halifax Chamber of Commerce
  • -Capital District Health Authority
  • Supporting Partners
  • NSCC, WCB, Office of Health Promotion, AHWI,
  • National Quality Institute

HealthWorks Purpose
  • Work with business leaders/champions to create
    local case studies for workplace health (3 pilot
    businesses selected)
  • Create a network of public and private
    organizations committed to sustaining workplace
    health in Nova Scotia
  • Develop national support networks for
    dissemination and sustainability.

The Pilot Sites Small/Medium Size Business
  • Secunda Marine Services
  • Rideau Construction
  • Page and Wood
  • Developed awareness and commitment
  • Developed and conducted health and organizational
    culture assessments
  • Developed tailored wellness program and
  • Assisted with the program roll-out and evaluation
  • Developed business case

The Workplace Paradox
  • The workplace has become an environment that
    both contributes to employee ill health, while
    simultaneously offering the most potential for
    improving overall employee health and
  • Canadian Council on Integrated Health Care 2002

Elements of Comprehensive Workplace Wellness
  • Healthy and Safe Workplace

Organizational Health
Personal Health
Environmental Health
What is a Healthy Workplace?
  • Occupational Health and Safety reducing work
    related injury, illness and disability by
    addressing environmental hazards in the
    workplace, ergonomics and air quality
  • Leadership improving job satisfaction and
    productivity by changing worker attitudes and
    perceptions, management practices and the way
    work is organized
  • Health Promotion reducing the risk or incidence
    of worker illness by addressing individuals
    lifestyle behaviors through education, supportive
    environments and policy

Workplace Wellness
  • Environmental Wellness ergonomics, noise level,
    air quality, workplace design, work pace, safe
    lifting, safety guidelines, physical demands
  • Organizational Wellness work-family balance,
    flextime, morale, training/professional
    development, recognition, supervisor
    communication/ feedback, social atmosphere,
    management style/skills
  • Personal Wellness smoking cessation, physical
    activity, healthy weight, shift work,
    alcohol/drug use, stress coping

  • The health of workplaces has a determining effect
    on the health of Nova Scotia and Canada.

Cost of Unhealthy WorkplacesIn Nova
Scotia/National Comparison
  • Highest rate of deaths from cancer and breast
  • Highest rate of death from respiratory disease
  • Highest rate of hospitalization for chronic
  • Highest percentage of smokers
  • 80 of NS have one or more of the major risk
    factors for CVD
  • 2nd highest spending rate of health per capita
    on institutions

Cost of Unhealthy WorkplacesIn Nova
Scotia/National Comparison
  • 2nd highest rate of diabetes
  • 2nd highest psychiatric hospitalization rate in
  • 2nd lowest life expectancy
  • 3rd highest percentage of heavy drinkers
  • 3rd highest percentage of overweight adults
  • Highest reported use of disability days

  • A strong case can be made that a healthy
    workforce, a healthy and safe work environment,
    lead to optimal employee productivity, higher
    quality of goods and services, and improved
    corporate performance.
  • IHPM 2000

The Human Factor
  • Productivity cannot be reduced to simple
    accounting or presence on the job or volume of
    work output
  • Simple representations of work and production
    misrepresent the reality of work life
  • A simple dichotomous representation of work such
    as absent or not, injured or not, or flawed or
    correct, does not accurately reflect the
    continuum of performance that extends beyond the
    absolute boundaries of these incident-based

Nova Scotia Economic Losses
  • Work absences are increasingly due to personal
    reasons. Canada lost 82.2 million workdays for
    personal reasons in 2001, up from 65.6, 5 years
  • NS has more sick days than any other province
    (8.7 days per year)
  • Ontario has 6 days per year
  • Canada has 7 days per year
  • In Nova Scotia more than 400 million a year is
    lost to the economy due to sickness and disability

GPI Atlantic 2003
Health and the Workplace
  • While Canadas health care system is under
    intense scrutiny, little attention is being paid
    to the role of workplace culture on employee

Canadian Council on Integrated Health Care 2002
Cost of an Unhealthy Workplace Culture
  • Canadas workforce is aging. Older workers
    (55-64) average 2x number of sick days of younger
    workers. Benefit costs and absenteeism will
    escalate if older workers dont improve their
  • Workers who have little input into
    decision-making and how their job is organized
    were found to be 50 more likely to suffer from
    heart disease
  • Mental and nervous conditions have replaced
    musculoskeletal conditions as the top conditions
    causing long-term disability. Estimate approx. 30
    billion is lost to the Canadian economy annually
    to mental health and addiction problems.

Cost of an Unhealthy Workplace
  • Canadians are experiencing extreme levels of
    stress due to work-life conflict. Workers with
    high work-life conflict registered 13.2 days
    absence/year vs. 5.9 days in those with low
    work-life conflict.
  • Recent study of executives in Canadian public
    service showed that an individuals lack of job
    control increased the likelihood of distress.
  • High distress in turn was shown to increase the
    likelihood of experiencing musculoskeletal
    problems by 90 cardiovascular problems by 120
    gastrointestinal problems by 210 coronary heart
    disease by 350 and mental health disorders by

Due Diligence
  • By providing a healthy workplace environment
    employers protect themselves from liability
    charges related to exposure to an unidentified
    work hazard.
  • Employers may soon face litigation based on lack
    of due diligence that creates excessive stress
    for employees. As well, unhealthy employees may
    threaten the health and safety of others.
  • As employees become more stressed they become
    more likely to become involved in workplace
    accidents and sustain injuries.
  • Employers are required to protect employees and
    the public from the unsafe actions of a worker.

  • All effective interventions aimed at improving
    the physical work environment probably have some
    behavioral or social component, and rely on a
    conducive corporate culture to be effective.
  • Institute for Heath and Productivity Management

More Research Required
  • Rather than a living representation of mechanical
    performance, the human also experiences the
    effects of mental, motivational, emotional and
    social influences
  • Because of this strong association of
    productivity with softer factors, researchers
    and practitioners often have difficulty
    identifying and describing exactly what it means,
    let alone what should be done to optimize it.

Choose Wisely-But Choose!
  • Employers are now realizing that the astute
    selection of, and investment in, these programs
    may be key in increasing worker performance and
    corporate productivity-essential factors in
    business success today

IHPM 2001
How Long for Return on Investment?
  • within a few months
  • employees engaging in healthy activities during
    work hours
  • within 1 year
  • your front-line managers see evidence of
    increased job satisfaction, commitment to work,
    improved productivity among workers and an
    increase in customer satisfaction
  • within 3 years
  • Significant quantitative improvements in health
    related costs

Source CCIH, 2002
Behavior Change Programs
  • Behavior change programs typically require 3-5
    years of intervention programming for
    cost-benefit to occur
  • This timeframe puts nutrition, smoking, and
    exercise programs outside the typical short-term
    corporate business planning cycle
  • However, the top four for short term outcomes

  • Exercise programs for low back pain problems
    reduce absenteeism
  • Evidence on exercise and its impact on
    performance shows short term reductions in
    absenteeism and reduced turnover etc., etc., etc.
    etc., etc.
  • Depression detection and treatment significant
    and immediate relevance in work setting. Few
    health issues take such a broad toll in cost,
    performance and quality of life.
  • Smoking cessation to reduce smoke breaks
    increases productivity (unscheduled smoke breaks
    cost NS employers 208 mil/yr estimate smokers
    cost employers 2308-2613 more than nonsmokers)
  • Vaccinations for influenza reduces both
    absenteeism and medical cost

Pathways to Productivity
Disease Prevention, Health Promotion
Reduced Absenteeism
Increased Productivity
Acute Chronic Illness Management
Improved Performance, Creativity, Motivation
Environmental Health Safety
Reduced Accidents, Cost Savings
Cost Reduction
Healthy Corporate Culture
Reduced Health Care Costs
IHPM 2001
A Healthy Workplace Why is it Important?
  • Employee
  • Increased job satisfaction, health and
    productivity, loyalty
  • Employer
  • Positively affects the bottom line of the
  • Lower insurance premiums and benefit costs
  • Better able to attract and retain higher caliber
  • Lower absenteeism rates, disability costs
  • Community and Government
  • Broad social and economic benefits

Walk the Talk
  • If people are truly our most valuable asset
    why arent more businesses and organizations in
    Nova Scotia creating work environments that
    contribute to the health and well being of their
  • Education
  • Cost
  • Support

HealthWorks A National Strategy for
Comprehensive Workplace Health Promotion
Social Marketing
Create Sense of Urgency
Create Awareness
Leadership/ Sustainability
Impact Leadership
Identify Leadership
Training/ Education
What, How, Who
Tools/ Supports
What, Who, How?
Chamber of Commerce
Health Insurers
Financial Institutions
Tools and Support
  • Developed National and Provincial Model for WPHP
  • Network of Stakeholders
  • HealthWorks Website
  • Government of NS
  • Workplace Champions Award
  • Support development of provincial strategy
  • Corporate strategy
  • Metropolitan Halifax Chamber of Commerce
  • Healthy Business Award
  • BusinessToolkit (posters, brochures, awareness
  • Sponsor National Policy at Canadian Chamber
    National Meeting
  • National Quality Institute Framework for the
    Development of a Healthy Workplace
  • Small business assessment tool, recognition and

Metro Halifax Chamber of Commerce
  • Nothing is more important to productivity than
    a healthy, well-motivated workforce So it is in
    the economic interest of our business community
    to take a personal interest in the health and
    well-being of our employees We must be much more
    proactive than in the past.
  • - Metro Halifax Chamber of Commerce
    Health Care Task Force, 2001