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Sep 21, 2012

Wellness campaign promotes health

DURBAN|Crossroads|Environment|Health|Road|Safety|Systems|Testing|Healthcare Costs|Logistics|Services|Solutions|Systems|Treatment Of An Illness|Workers With These Services|Chronic Conditions|Diseases|High Blood Pressure|HIV|HIV/Aids|Hypertension|Illness|Shola Naidoo|Thandeka Mcunu|Operations
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To ensure its staff remains healthy, logistics solutions provider Crossroads encourages employees to participate in a yearly wellness campaign.

Crossroads operations fleet supervisor Shola Naidoo says the wellness campaign was established in a collaborative effort between the eThekwini municipality in Durban and awareness initiative Trucking Wellness.

Employees are tested for blood pressure, sugar levels, HIV and hypertension, as well as for other illnesses and chronic conditions.

Testing takes place at various wellness centres in the country.

Crossroads national safety, health, environment, quality and road safety manager Thandeka Mcunu says employees are a company’s most valuable asset and adds that healthier employees are happier and more productive.

“The programme is about offering employees information. “We hope to have better-performing workers, as well as lower absenteeism and healthcare costs.

“By providing workers with these services, companies are improving employee wellbeing and job satisfaction. “Partnering with Trucking Wellness has been a huge success in the initial implementation stages of our wellness programme,” she says.

Meanwhile, Naidoo points out that such campaigns can significantly improve the efficiency of businesses, as the early detection and treatment of an illness enable employees to serve the company for longer and be with their families for longer.

Mcunu says every individual has some sort of health risk to varying degrees, whether it is unhealthy eating, drinking, smoking, a lack of exercise or sleep, or even a genetic issue.

She notes that a wellness programme can foster positive change and can encourage employees to be more responsible in treating the health risks to which they may be exposed.

“Some employees mentioned that they didn’t know they had any diseases, so, going forward, it’s about taking care of themselves by eating right and being more responsible.

“One employee was not even aware that he was suffering from high blood pressure. “After he had been tested, he was immediately sent to hospital and subsequently booked off until his condition stabilised,” Mcunu reveals.

Meanwhile, Crossroads also hosts regular fun days for employees and their families to educate them on various health issues.

The most recent event was an HIV/Aids awareness day in March.

Naidoo says employees turned out in large numbers with their families, showing great enthusiasm.

Free medical testing was done at the event and counselling and advice were given to attendees by trained medical staff.

Various motivational speakers, including those who have a medical background and HIV-positive persons, addressed employees. They emphasised the importance of staying healthy and knowing one’s status, and outlined the impact HIV/Aids could have on one’s family and lifestyle.

Naidoo notes that HIV/Aids also impacts on the company, as ill workers become fatigued.

“They could also be a threat to themselves or others if they become accident-prone. “Another concern is the number of days they are absent from work, which results in the company having to arrange for standby drivers on certain days,” she says.

Meanwhile, as part of its health and safety compliance, Crossroads has implemented the OHSAS 18001 standard, which is an Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series for health and safety management systems.

It is intended to help an organ- isation control occupational health and safety risks.

“At each Crossroads depot, monthly safety, health and environment (SHE) meetings are held for health and safety reps and management to discuss pertinent SHE-related issues.

“There are occupational health and safety committees at all Crossroads premises and they are part of the occupational health and safety management programme. “All our premises are inspected monthly and audited yearly,” Mcunu reveals.

Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online
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