Aug 31, 2012
Solutions provider launches healthier workplace projectBack
Engineering|Africa|Environment|Health|Kimberly Clark|PROJECT|Resources|Systems|Africa|South Africa|Able And Long-term Solution|Health Solutions|Products|Solutions|Systems|Nthato Malope
© Reuse this
Independent research conducted on absen- teeism in South Africa has confirmed that the average company loses about 4.5% of its work- force to absenteeism daily and, in 40% of all cases, people are not at work because of minor illnesses, such as colds and the flu, he notes.
This has led to the urgent need for a sustain- able and long-term solution to deal with the problem.
Kimberly Clark states that its business is to help its customers create exceptional workplaces that are healthier and more productive for employees. This prompted it to launch the Healthy Workplace Project.
The project shows customers’ employees that, by taking a few simple steps, the risk of spreading harmful germs in the office can be reduced. This will, in turn, reduce absenteeism and raise employee productivity levels.
Malope says companies often do not know how to measure and manage absenteeism.
“They tend to invest in wellness programmes that are well intentioned but the foundation of wellness investment should start with the basics of providing employees with a clean and hygienic workplace. This will ensure that the benefit of an overall wellness initiative is provided to the employee.”
In a workplace, the primary way through which people become sick is by means of the cross contamination of bad bacteria and viruses that are found in germ hotspots.
The project encourages employers to reduce the risk of cross contamination in typical germ hotspots, such as the kitchen, desks, the front door, the reception area and other high-traffic areas, through the washing, wiping and sanitising protocol outlined by the project, which will ensure maximum protection in the workplace.
The Healthy Workplace Project is designed to respond to the threat of germs in a three-step process.
Using adenosine triphosphate reading devices, Kimberly Clark is able to measure the biological concentration levels of bacteria on any given surface, from the high-traffic areas to individual workstations.
Based on the data gathered, the company will make recommendations on where to implement the hygiene systems.
Once the recommendations have been made and approved by the customer, the company will install the most appropriate hygiene systems in the workplace.
Kimberly Clark believes a partnership between itself and its customers must be forged if the project is to succeed and if customers’ employees are to benefit.
The final and most important part of the project is the engagement aspect. This involves an interactive communication campaign, which comprises posters, stickers and other internal communication material in attracting the attention of employees and persuading them to use the hygiene products. This will help to achieve long-term healthy lifestyle behavioural change by employees.
Malope says it is essential to continuously provide employees with information to educate them on how to create a healthy workplace.
Providing an incentive or a reward and recognition programme are also effective ways of engaging people and impacting a behavioural change in them so that they become more health conscious.
This will further inspire employees to adopt the programme and feel self-accountable for their fellow employees. It will encourage them to feel that the company is concerned and willing to invest in its people, he says.
“As it is still in its infancy, the Healthy Workplace Project has a long way to go in changing employee behaviour from not being very health conscious to healthy.
“If Kimberly Clark is able to make this project a priority for human resources and wellness departments in companies and position itself as industry experts on health and hygiene in the workplace, the company may continue to create value-added solutions for its current and future clients, while making a difference in the general wellness of employees,” says Malope.
The company aims to increase productivity levels through its engagement process and reduce absenteeism levels as an initial but significant result of the project.
Malope says Kimberly Clark is working with a prominent South African financial insti- tution in customising the Healthy Workplace Project to suit the brand of the institution.
Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online
Other Industrial Cleaning and Shutdown News
Multi-service group the Goscor Group is extending its offering of cleaning services with the expansion of two of its Port Elizabeth operations, which include Goscor Lift Truck Company (GLTC) and Goscor Cleaning Company (GCC), with the official launch to its new...
Updated 54 minutes ago Fifteen years after the United Nations agreed on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), much progress had been made in the development of information and communications technology (ICT) worldwide. However, much more progress was needed to ensure that the...
Updated 56 minutes ago Nigeria's Agriculture Minister Akinwumi Adesina won an election on Thursday to be the new president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), the lender said. After six rounds of voting that saw seven rivals from across the continent defeated, Adesina secured around...
Updated 1 hour 34 minutes ago The head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to South Africa, Ambassador Roeland van de Geer, expects a quieter year in relations between the 28-member-country bloc and South Africa, following an action-packed and, at times, tempestuous 2014. Besides a high-profile...
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
This Week's Magazine
While strongly welcoming the promulgation of the new Part 101 of South Africa’s civil aviation regulations, governing the commercial operation of civil remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs) in South Africa, the Commercial Unmanned Aircraft Association of Southern Africa...
LSM Distributors has contracted engineering consultancy WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff Africa to undertake the R100-million restoration of the 54-year-old Kyalami racetrack, situated in Midrand. The restoration will assist in re-establishing it as a venue for...
South African Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has expressed the hope that the defence budget will be significantly increased over the next five years. She did so while addressing the media in her recent budget vote media briefing. The 2015/2016 defence...
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has been an implementing agency for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) since 2008. The relatively young portfolio has 28 projects over 30 countries on the continent according to the 2014 AfDB and GEF annual report released...
Investment in South African youth through apprenticeships and learnerships will not only create direct benefits for businesses but will also contribute significantly to job creation and socioeconomic transformation in the country.
Next ArticleCleaning association forms international alliance