Owner and director Nicky McMillan describes how they worked with LendLease to lead a wellbeing initiative to promote a health culture amongst workers and contractors – including offering free fruit and cooking classes, healthy canteen options, and providing opportunities for physical exercise.
Nicky points out that even small companies can influence bigger organisations to help build positive work health outcomes for everyone in the supply chain.
Who is this presentation for?
This presentation will be of interest to regulators, industry representatives, workers, worker representatives, CEOs and business leaders, work health safety advisers, designers, manufacturers, buyers, students and academics.
About the presenter
Nicky McMillan leads Regson Fabrication, a small business in the construction sector specialising in miscellaneous metalwork.
Work health. Influencing the supply chain through partnerships
Healthier. Happier. Workplaces
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I'm Nicky McMillan. I'm from Regson Fabrication and we specialise in miscellaneous metalwork. We employ eight people and we've basically got two people in the office and six hands-on workers. I think the construction industry has probably got a pretty bad reputation for bad health. We were probably like a small snapshot of exactly what the construction industry was like.
If I think back to the culture that we probably had here at Regson say 15 years ago it was probably like any other one in the construction industry – full of bad choices. I really wanted to make some positive changes in the construction industry.
What we've tried to do is really think about those decisions that we make and – and those decisions aren't just for the here and now. They are long term ones for us and our employees.
We started off pretty small. The budget was basically nil but we just put some posters around the place promoting healthy living and healthy food choices. When the feedback was really positive from the blokes we did a little cooking class which they really enjoyed and probably enjoyed eating it more. And then we just provide a little bit of fruit, you know. When it was hot we had some watermelon chopped up and things like that. Once we realised that the healthy approach worked here in our small business we thought it would be really easy then to up the ante and do it on a more broader scale. And the Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital was just a great platform to be able to do that.
I just approached the people we knew at Lend Lease and probably because they know our reputation and we build up that relationship they were happy to work with us. Right from the start it wasn't a hard sell at all.
I think it's great to see Regson Fabrication here on the project really lead this initiatve and really – I'm really glad that we've been able to empower them through their initiative engaged with over 25 subcontractors across the project and involved on a daily basis around 100 to 200 people in the workforce here on the site. Some of those initiatives included free fruit offerings, canteen healthy options and physical exercise like yoga exercise classes.
It's nice to see a familiar face with a smile and it's good to get free fruit out of it. It's beautiful. It's a real good thing. If they can do it at other sites that we go to it would be a great thing. It would be great for everyone. The health culture here on site has definitely improved since they've been here anyway.
Never – never really had it on any other site. So this is the first site we've had the health and wellbeing, yoga and fruit and all the healthy food. So yeah. Big difference.
I was involved in the healthy cooking class they had here. Yeah. We had healthy recipes. We learnt how to cook. We took a take home bag home, you know, and yeah it was great.
Lend Lease recognises the importance of health and wellbeing. As a constructor of the built environment we only know too well about how what we build and how we build that helps to influence the way people use that space and how people can be productive and have a healthy environment to work within.
We've got bike racks on site to promote riding to work, healthy ways to get to work and yeah, it's good.
I believe it is important to have healthy options in the construction industry. The free fruit definitely is a big help for people, you know. People usually make their decision based on what other people do as well. So the more people that get involved the more people that do it inside and outside of work.
Health and wellbeing has strengthened our business. Through helping to support team connectiveness, engaging with employees in the supply chain and the improved productivity and the health of our workforce.
It would be really nice to see a lot of other subcontractors take on these healthy initiatives so that they can really influence the next generation coming through so that we don't repeat the same mistakes that we've made previously. You don't have to be huge to be influential out there. Even such a small business as we are we've been able to go out there, influence a much larger community of people and I think just with a lot of passion and enthusiasm everything's possible.
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