HEALTH & WELLBEING

Reduce the Risk: Heat Stress

BY: Tracey Mesken01/11/2018

​With heat levels rising and summer approaching, it's time to get serious about heat stress. It’s always better to prevent health risks than to have to deal with the consequences of them when it’s too late. That’s why we’ve compiled some key tips for staying safe this summer, especially when working outdoors or in hot conditions. We have also included information on recognising the signs and symptoms of heat stress. Keep reading to find out more and to view our latest video from the WorkPac Group Safety & Risk team on understanding and managing heat stress.[responsive_vid]​​

$50,000 donation to make a difference in young lives

BY: Tracey Mesken26/04/2017

​The WorkPac Group and Clontarf Foundation are changing the lives of Indigenous boysThe WorkPac Group is partnering with the Clontarf Foundation to improve education and employment prospects for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men.The Clontarf Foundation provides school-engagement mechanisms for Indigenous male students who would otherwise not attend or have low school attendance.Clontarf academies are located across Australia and focus on mentoring and supporting Indigenous school boys to improve their education and employment prospects as well as their self-esteem and life skills.WorkPac will be contributing $50,000 to the Foundation to support their work across Australia. The program also receives state and federal government funding.This money will help to change the lives of more Indigenous students by helping the Foundation to expand its program.National Manager of the WorkPac Group’s Indigenous division, JobTrail, Julian Genn says the program is helping close the gap through education, sport, and employment initiatives.“I travelled to some academies around Toowoomba and saw first-hand the kind of work Clontarf does and how funding is spent,” said Mr Genn.“In the morning, we travelled to each boy’s home, collecting them for school.“First up was Rugby League training on the school grounds followed by breakfast in the Clontarf room; The boys then went off to school but were able to come back to the Clontarf room during the day as required.​“They’re taught to introduce themselves to new people in the room and to make eye contact, these kids are highly engaged and it was easy to see the value Clontarf is providing”.The Foundation also holds Clontarf Camps and boys who meet attendance KPIs are invited to attend.Ongoing mentoring and support is provided by Clontarf and WorkPac after the boys leave school and into their employment.“The ultimate aim of the Indigenous services division of the WorkPac Group is to improve Indigenous life outcomes and through genuine partnerships with foundations like Clontarf, we can deliver meaningful and lasting change”.The Clontarf Foundation achieves consistent results in helping close the gap in education, employment and health.Year to year the retention average for the academy is 90%, attendance averages 80%, and on average 80% of Clontarf graduates remain engaged in employment or further training and study 12 months after leaving school.According to a 2014 independent study conducted by ACIL Allen Consulting, the economic impact of the academies delivers significant return on investment.Every dollar spent in maintaining a boy in the program returns $8.13 to the state over his working life.

$50, 000 donation to make a difference in young lives

BY: Tracey Mesken26/04/2017

​The WorkPac Group and Clontarf Foundation are changing the lives of Indigenous boysThe WorkPac Group is partnering with the Clontarf Foundation to improve education and employment prospects for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men.​The Clontarf Foundation provides school-engagement mechanisms for Indigenous male students who would otherwise not attend or have low school attendance.Clontarf academies are located across Australia and focus on mentoring and supporting Indigenous school boys to improve their education and employment prospects as well as their self-esteem and life skills.WorkPac will be contributing $50,000 to the Foundation to support their work across Australia. The program also receives state and federal government funding.This money will help to change the lives of more Indigenous students by helping the Foundation to expand its program.National Manager of the WorkPac Group’s Indigenous division, JobTrail, Julian Genn says the program is helping close the gap through education, sport, and employment initiatives.“I travelled to some academies around Toowoomba and saw first-hand the kind of work Clontarf does and how funding is spent,” said Mr Genn.“In the morning, we travelled to each boy’s home, collecting them for school.“First up was Rugby League training on the school grounds followed by breakfast in the Clontarf room; The boys then went off to school but were able to come back to the Clontarf room during the day as required.“They’re taught to introduce themselves to new people in the room and to make eye contact, these kids are highly engaged and it was easy to see the value Clontarf is providing”.The Foundation also holds Clontarf Camps and boys who meet attendance KPIs are invited to attend.Ongoing mentoring and support is provided by Clontarf and WorkPac after the boys leave school and into their employment.“The ultimate aim of the Indigenous services division of the WorkPac Group is to improve Indigenous life outcomes and through genuine partnerships with foundations like Clontarf, we can deliver meaningful and lasting change”.The Clontarf Foundation achieves consistent results in helping close the gap in education, employment and health.Year to year the retention average for the academy is 90%, attendance averages 80%, and on average 80% of Clontarf graduates remain engaged in employment or further training and study 12 months after leaving school.According to a 2014 independent study conducted by ACIL Allen Consulting, the economic impact of the academies delivers significant return on investment.Every dollar spent in maintaining a boy in the program returns $8.13 to the state over his working life.

Reasons your resume isn't getting noticed

BY: Tracey Mesken03/04/2017

​You submit your resume and wait.  And wait.  And wait.  Why isn’t anyone calling?A resume is an important tool in your job search. It is the key to helping you get hired for a position.Your resume is a chance to make a great first impression. It can be tough to stand out in today’s competitive job market.  Follow these tips to create a resume that gets the phone ringing and helps you land the job you want.1. Open with a punchThe first section of your resume should pack the strongest punch.  Your resume needs to be more than just a list of jobs. Start with a summary of your most important skills that are relevant to the jobs you are chasing.  Think about what the employer would be looking for and then tailor your existing skills and qualifications accordingly.  Include things like:• Your degree/s and any specialisations• Licenses’, tickets & certifications like your CPR• Medicals & Inductions• Years of experience• Important skills & industry knowledge2. Your Work HistoryYour work history is where you have a chance to prove your skill level. You might find it difficult to identify your achievements because you feel you were just doing your job.  Have a think about the responsibilities and achievements you take for granted and include these in your resume. Ask yourself questions like:• Did you win any awards of receive incentives for work performance?• Did you train new employees?• Did your work enable a project to be completed on time and/or on budget?• Did you complete any special training?• Did you submit all your reports on time?• Did you implement or recommend processes that improved productivity or efficiency?3. TrainingA stand out resume needs to include hands on education and training.  Use this section to list courses attended, vocational training, further education, certification, licenses completed, signed skills matrix & equipment competencies.4. Include KeywordsEver wondered how prospective employers or recruiters find your resume on platforms like SEEK or in their own databases? They search for candidates using keywords. Using keywords such as "registered nurse"or "nurse case manager" in your resume, for example, will help an employer or recruiter find your resume in their database or on a job board - as long as they're searching for candidates who are either a registered nurse or nurse case manager. This is keyword matching. Always think about what your next employer is searching for when writing your resume.5. Proof ReadSpelling and grammatical errors are very common in resumes.  Avoiding these mistakes can make all the difference in your resume being put forward to possible employers.  Make sure you show your resume to a few people to double check it is error free.  You need to think of your resume as an advertisement of your services, that extra attention to detail will make all the difference.Don’t be disheartened and don’t give up! There are so many roles out there and so many people applying that you are not likely to find the perfect job on your first go.So use the tips above, create that stand-out resume and make sure you set time aside each day to sit down and search for new positions and apply, apply, apply!

WorkPac named finalist in 2017 Hunter Safety Awards

BY: Tracey Mesken30/01/2017

​WorkPac has been named a finalist in the 2017 Hunter Safety Awards for the Most Innovative Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) Idea category for large organisations.WorkPac won the 2016 Hunter Safety Award for best WHS Management System and has been recognised for its industry-leading safety in Hunter workplaces.Winners will be announced at the Hunter Safety Awards gala event on Friday 17th March 2017.National Safety and Risk Manager, Rachel Pearse says WorkPac wanted to support employees and facilitate discussion on fatigue and mental health while addressing the key challenges of engaging with a geographically diverse workforce.“Our initiative was to broaden our communication approach of safety messages across platforms like video and social media,” Ms Pearse said.“Our first message focused on fatigue management and our second message focused on mental health and wellbeing which are two really important issues in our line of work,” she said.Across the industries WorkPac services, the statistics speak for themselves. A construction worker is six times more likely to commit suicide than die as a result of a workplace incident. If the worker is under 24 years of age, the risk increases by 10 times.The Minerals Council of Australia’s blueprint for mental health and wellbeing estimates costs to the resources industry, including lowered productivity, is between $320 million to $450 million per year or around $300,000 to $400,000 for an average worksite of 170 people. Luke Tresidder, Business Centre Manager at WorkPac Hunter Valley says the WorkPac team wanted to do more than produce posters and flyers or transfer the responsibility over to an external Employee Assistance Program provider when dealing with mental health issues.“We engaged with our workforce and identified that traditional forms of communication were no longer the only way to reach our field team. We didn’t want to wait around for tragic statistics before we formulated an initiative to address fatigue and mental health,” Mr Tresidder said.“We knew we needed to implement new ways to reach our workforce and our research pointed to social media, video communication and real people communicating sincere messages,” he said.WorkPac’s Head of Marketing Tracey Mesken says Facebook now serves more than 8 billion video views per day.“That’s double the amount the video content users were consuming in early 2015,” Ms Mesken said.“LinkedIn and Facebook allowed us to elevate workplace challenges that have influencing factors external to the workplace, into social networks enabling a peer engagement forum.“The campaign drove greater awareness and acceptance by our employees to openly discuss these challenging topics.“To be a finalist again is a fantastic achievement and we are happy to be recognised two years running, this is a real credit to the Hunter Valley and Newcastle teams’ efforts.”WorkPac is proud to be finalists in what will be a hotly contended category.Regardless of the outcome, WorkPac congratulates all nominees for their contributions towards making workplaces in the Hunter Region safe. WorkPac will continue to explore video and social media amplification of messages using these platforms to further enhance safety education and communication.In its 20 years of operation, WorkPac has experienced no fatalities or prosecutions and has one of the lowest Lost Time Injury Frequency Rates in the contingent labour industry.

  • TAGGED:

Safety Message: Hay Fever

BY: Tracey Mesken22/12/2016

​It’s that time of year. Where the eyes hurt, the sneezes start and antihistamine medication use is on the rise. Our WorkPac Safety and Risk Management Team have put together some information on hay fever and how to manage it during the summer season.What is it?Allergic rhinitis, otherwise known as Hay Fever is an allergic reaction that affects large numbers of people every year. There are two main classifications. These are:Seasonal: experience symptoms during spring and summer with the most common allergen to be pollen.Perennial (all year round): experience symptoms all year around with the most common allergens to be dust mites, animals, moulds and dust.Allergies are common. Your genes and environment may make you more prone to allergies.Whether or not you are likely to develop allergies is often passed down through families. If both your parents have allergies, you are likely to have allergies. The chance is greater if your mother has allergies.How the allergy works?The nose has very fine hair that acts like a biological dust mask which catches and filters particles that enter, trapping them. These either exit through sneezing or becoming trapped to mucous and going down the back of the throat. When you suffer hay fever the fine hairs in the nose become inflamed from the particles that are entering the nose. As a result the body will create chemicals called histamines which give you the symptoms.SymptomsSymptoms can vary in severity and type. Symptoms often occur shortly after you come into contact with the substance you are allergic to and may include:Itchy or runny noseItchy mouth, eyes, throat, skinProblems with smellSneezingWatery (teary) eyesFor longer term reactions symptoms that may develop later include:Nasal congestionCoughingClogged earsDecreased sense of smellSore throatPuffy and dark circles under the eyesFatigue and irritabilityHeadache TreatmentBefore undertaking any treatment it’s best to consult your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment advice. Once confirmed that you have hay fever the best treatment is to avoid or reduce the exposure to the triggers. However where this is not possible, there are a number of treatment options that may be considered. Typically these can be either medication or desensitisation treatment. Examples include:AntihistaminesCorticosteroid nasal spraysDecongestantsDesensitisation injectionsMake sure you read the product information especially if you are driving or operating equipment and follow the advice of your pharmacist or doctor. Sources:www.allergy.org.auwww.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth

  • TAGGED:

WorkPac asks R U OK?

BY: Tracey Mesken05/09/2016

​Hey, R U OK? September 8 WorkPac Staff will be taking the time to ask friends family and work mates one simple question… R U OK?​For those of you who do not know, R U OK? is a suicide prevention charity in Australia, reminding people that having meaningful conversations with mates and loved ones could save livesSuicide prevention is a complex and sensitive issue, thankfully R U OK gives us some common language and a starting point. Quite simply the power of asking that one simple question may make a world of difference to that one person you ask. It may help them stay connected and show them they have support.For more information about R U OK? day or Queensland Mental health Week, please visit R U OK? and here.Our mental health and wellbeing is important to look after. Each one of us, lives a busy life and our everyday lives are exposed to and impacted by various pressures throughout each and every year.These pressures can have an effect on our mental health and potentially result in us feeling stressed.Click here to check out our video by, Rachel Pearse, WorkPac’s National Safety and Risk Manager, that addresses what mental health is and the various factors in our lives that can impact us and our capacity to cope with today’s busy environment.WorkPac offers an employee assistance program provided by Gryphon Psychology who offer professional counselling for all WorkPac employees. Alternatively, Lifeline provides 24/7 help and can be contacted on 13 11 14, or head to their website www.lifeline.org.au for further information.From all of us at WorkPac, remember to have fun, stay safe and continue to promote a healthy workplace.

  • TAGGED:

Managing workplace stress

BY: Tracey Mesken02/12/2015

​Emotions are contagious and workplace stress impacts your professional interactions, your family and your health. Managing work-related stress is critical to your wellbeing and to the people around you.​According to the Victorian State Government, workplace stress is the second most commonly compensated illness/injury in Australia, after musculoskeletal disorders.Share this Image On Your Site<p><a href="https://www.workpac.com/blog/managing-workplace-stress/"><img src="https://www.workpac.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/managing_workplace_stress_lg.jpg" alt="Managing Workplace Stress" width="540px" border="0" /></p><p></a>This infographic was provided by WorkPac: <a href="https://www.workpac.com/blog/managing-workplace-stress/">Managing Workplace Stress</a></p><br /><br />Quick stress relieving techniques you can do at your desk or onsiteTake a deep breath: Breathing counteracts stress by slowing your heart rate and lowering blood pressure. Sit up straight, close your eyes and focus on breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.Have an avo! High potassium foods fight fatigue and stress.Stretch. Sit up tall in your chair, or stand up. Stretch your arms overhead and interlock your fingers. It's a great way to release tension instantly.Crank up the tunes. Music has a powerful effect on our physiological functions. 

  • TAGGED:

National Safe Work Month - Mental Health & Wellbeing

BY: Tracey Mesken29/10/2015

​Mental Health can affect anyone regardless of their age, gender, ethnicity or social group. The most common forms of mental ill health are anxiety, depression, phobic anxiety disorders and obsessive compulsive disorders.  It is anticipated that by 2020 depression will rank second to heart disease as the leading cause of disability worldwide. Health and wellbeing at workConnection between health and work:The connection between physical hazards such as noise, dust and chemical hazards and health are well recognised amongst employers and employees alike. Less well understood is the relationship between mental and physical wellbeing and the jobs we do.Over two million people report suffering an illness they believe has been caused or made worse by their work.This can take the form of stress, anxiety, back pain, depression and increased risk of coronary heart disease.Possible signs of mental illness in the workplacePoor mental health increases the likelihood of sleep disturbance and anxiety, which can reduce the ability to concentrate on work tasks and production.  Fatigue and other outcomes of stress and poor mental health can increase the likelihood of an employee being hurt. Some key signs to look for are:Constantly feeling down or hopelessHaving little interest or pleasure in doing thingsAn employee maybe more irritable, restless, feeling tired all the time, or experience a loss of energyIncrease in sick daysExcessive use of alcohol or drugsRapid changes of emotional moodPoor performanceOverall, a person’s usual behaviour changes - they don’t seem their usual selves.StressStress can be defined as “the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them.”Employees have responsibilities to talk to their managers about any external influences which can turn otherwise normal pressures of work into excessive ones.Breaking the silence around mental illnessThe negative attitudes and behaviours that surround mental illness prevent many workplaces from understanding how to deal with mental health issues. Stigma can cause co-workers to isolate someone with a problem, and cause those living with mental illnesses to hide their condition.How do we create an accepting, non-discriminatory environment?In WorkPac it starts from the top down. Our management strive to ensure a good working culture where differences are valued, discrimination is not accepted, and cooperative and flexible approaches to working situations for everyone are the norm.This is achieved by fostering an environment that promotes:InclusionRespectListeningUnderstandingWhat can I do?There are things that you can do to help yourself be well and stay well. These are the simple, effective things that you know work for you. What's in your wellness toolbox? Some examples include:Talk to a friendEat three healthy meals per dayExercisePlay with your family or pet after workGo for a walkDo some stretching exercisesReadDo something nice for someone elseWatch a videoListen to musicSee a counsellorAsk for a medication checkGet outdoors regularlyMost importantly seek help, speak to someone and don’t struggle through alone!  Remember it’s not just a case of trying to be tough, if you don’t feel mentally well seek help.WorkPac has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provided by Gryphon Psychology; this company offers professional counselling for all employees, partners and dependent children to help resolve personal and work related problems.  EAP is a free service and is completely confidential.This month is National Safe Work Month and is a great opportunity for all of us to focus on promoting safety in the workplace to reduce death, injury and disease.  If assistance or information is required relating to WorkPac’s EAP provider Gryphon Psychology, please contact your assigned WorkPac Recruitment Coordinator.  The WorkPac Employee Assistance Number is 1800 056 076.

  • TAGGED: