Supporting shift workers to thrive, not just survive

19 February 2018

New Acland Mine hosted a family health expo in Highfields last Sunday exploring how to effectively manage the health of shift workers and their families.

Aptly titled, Shiftworkers: How to Thrive, Not Just Survive, the family-friendly expo offered a range of activities including; health checks, physiotherapy consultations, massage therapists, personal trainers, yoga instructors, and healthy-cooking classes.

New Acland Mine’s Senior Health and Safety Coordinator Stewart Sherrington said the expo was a joint initiative between the mine’s health and safety committee and allied health providers LiveWell Australia.

"Shift workers are an integral part of the mining industry and New Acland has invested a lot of time and money in ensuring our workers are healthy and well supported," Stewart said.

"The mine and our health and safety committee have done a lot of work implementing health programs at the mine site but the negative effect of shift work is often felt the strongest at home."

"The expo aimed to open a dialogue between our workers and their families about the impact shift work can have on the family unit and how to best to manage it."

LiveWell Australia representative Kylie Patchett said the health expo aimed to support shift workers to live healthy and happy lives.

"Shift work can offer people rewarding and interesting careers and more often than not, the challenges shift work presents are unrelated to the work itself," Kylie said.

"Shift workers usually work hours that are vastly different and longer than a usual 9 to 5 job and that can impact the opportunity they have to focus on things outside of work like spending time with family, exercising and catching up with friends."

"Our health expo tackled those challenges head on and key note speaker Paul Spinks provided great advice he learned throughout his career as an Advanced Care Paramedic and Trauma Counsellor."

"The health expo taught us that good planning, open communication and a healthy lifestyle will support shift workers to thrive and get the most out of their work and personal life."