How’s Your Hearing?

Did you know: 

  • More than 880,000 New Zealanders are living with hearing loss
  • 30% of all hearing loss is preventable
  • 16-37% of hearing loss globally is attributed to occupational noise or Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL).

Hearing Awareness Week runs from Sunday March 3rd to Saturday March 9th — a good time to consider the health of you and your teams hearing. Hearing tests are mandatory if your workplace has noise levels exceeding the equivalent of 85dB(A) for a period of 8 hours. The National Foundation for the Deaf is behind Silent March – a fundraising initiative that your workplace can get behind. Click here to learn more

Our occupational health team offer hearing tests to support you in meeting your legal obligations, as well as looking after the health of your team. It is recommended that hearing tests be carried out annually to comply with the Approved Code of Practice for the Management of Noise in the Workplace. 

What is involved?

Employees undergo a 15 minute hearing test usually at your premises (or TriEx premises by arrangement). TriEx will take care of all future test scheduling and ensure that consents are obtained for a full statistical and informative report on results to be released to management.

Hearing tests include:

  • Assessment of the employees past and present noise history (includes recreational)
  • A physical assessment of the ear to look for medical cause
  • Pure tone audiometry over eight frequencies in both ears
  • Explanation of the results to the employee
  • Education on responsibility to protect
  • Assessment of their hearing protection to comply with your annual audit of PPE

The noise output of your workplace should also be monitored every 5 years — or sooner if plant and equipment is purchased or modified. Our Occupational Hygienists can also assist you with carrying out a workplace noise assessment.

To learn more about our occupational health services you can contact our team on 0800 487 439 or email enquiries@triex.co.nz

Influenza is Risky Business

Influenza is risky for you and your business. Our 2019 flu vaccination season is beginning in late March, and our flu packs have been sent out. Our flu packs include a booking form, poster and brochure with pricing and flu facts. This year we have an online booking form for ease of booking, however we still have our traditional form available as well. If you do not receive our flu information and want to have this posted out to you, please email us here.

The Quadrivalent flu vaccine is now standard and has been updated for 2019. This vaccine offers protection against 4 strains of the flu virus including 2 new strains for this season. These strains are:

  • A/Michigan/45/2015-like virus
  • A/Switzerland/8060/2017-like virus (New)
  • B/Colorado/06/2017-like virus (New)
  • B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus

TriEx can also provide you with nationwide flu vaccination vouchers for ease and flexibility for those employees not available on vaccination day, for remote employees, or if you do not meet our minimum number for an on-site visit. These vouchers can be redeemed at vaccinating Unichem or Life Pharmacies throughout New Zealand.

To learn more about our flu vaccination programme, or to register your interest for 2019 visit our flu page here.

Heat in the Workplace

We are into the last month of what is officially summer, however the hot weather is still going strong and it is important to remain vigilant around the risks when working in heat.

The safe working temperature is not based on air temperature alone. Factors to consider in regards to heat also include humidity, radiant heat (the heat emitted from an object or surface), physical activity and clothing.

Minimising the risk of harm for extreme temperatures can include isolation and engineering controls including:

  • Ventilation and air conditioning
  • Shielding
  • Process modification
  • Heat reduction

If you are working outdoors it is always important to cover up, apply a high SPF sunblock, and to stay hydrated. 

Read more →

Workplace Exposure Standards

WorkSafe NZ released the updated Workplace Exposure Standards (WES) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEI) – Edition 10 November 2018 – late last year. These new standards are available for download here

After consultation and review earlier last year there have been changes to 15 Work Exposure Standards and 17 biological exposure indices and these are highlighted in the preface.

An in depth explanation of what these are and their importance is available on the WorkSafe website here.

For any enquiries about biological exposure monitoring of your employees or environmental monitoring of your workplace please contact our team on enquiries@triex.co.nz or phone 0800 487 439.

Managing Workplace Stress

Resources

The Mental Health Foundation is calling for 2019 to be the year that workplace stress is taken seriously. Results of a survey they carried out show that high workloads, poor work/life balance and stressful work are the top three causes of poor mental health at work. 

Mental Health Foundation chief Executive Shaun Robinson says “How we feel at work impacts not just our ability to work well, but our relationships with our colleagues, whānau, friends and communities. When our mental health is impacted by stress at work, the effects ripple out into our home and whānau lives and prevent us from flourishing.”

They have developed a free resource Minimising and managing work place stress which is designed to help workplaces tackle stress head-on and forms part of their Working Well resources. It is designed to support understanding around workplace stress, including how work impacts stress, how stress impacts individuals and what works to minimise and manage stress.

Good mental health leads to better engagement, reduced absenteeism and higher productivity, while also improving wellbeing, morale and job satisfaction. 

The resources are all available for free from the Mental Health Foundation here. 

How Healthy Is Your Heart?

February is Heart Health Month. A time to take a look at your health and the health of your heart.

Did you know: 

  • 186,000 people are living with heart disease – that’s 1 in 20 adults!
  • 33% of deaths annually are caused by cardiovascular disease
  • Every 90 minutes a New Zealander dies from heart disease.

The Heart Foundation has heaps of great information on healthy living over on their website including healthy recipes, how to choose healthy food options and great exercise tips – just follow this link.

Keep your eyes peeled for their collectors on Friday 22 and Saturday 23 February, or donate today on their website

TriEx can carry out Wellness assessments for your team. These assessments are a screening guide that enables you to adopt a targeted approach in identifying your health and wellness needs. These one on one assessments provide cardiovascular risk assessments of factors including blood pressure checks, cholesterol and glucose and the nurses providing advice on healthy living.

To learn more about our wellness services you can contact our team on 0800 487 439 or email enquiries@triex.co.nz

January 2019 Health, Safety and Wellness Update

Our latest Newsletter is out today. We have information on our 2019 Flu campaign, keeping your heart healthy, and managing stress.

We also have information on heat in the workplace, our comprehensive first aid and asbestos project management.

Read the full stories here.

Asbestos Health Monitoring Changes

WorkSafe have reviewed the components of health monitoring and when health monitoring should be completed for those that work with asbestos.

Health monitoring now no longer requires a chest X-ray to be taken either as baseline or for monitoring purposes. The emphasis for these medicals unless a Medical Practitioner recommends otherwise, must include demographic, medical and occupational history as well as spirometry measurements. Personal exposure including any relevant risk assessments and air monitoring carried out by the PCBU will be part of the full asbestos medical.

The frequency of these assessments has now changed to 2 yearly from work starting with asbestos, regardless of when an individual starts working for a PCBU.

Clients complete an asbestos respiratory questionnaire which investigates their previous and current potential exposure to asbestos and any relevant medical history. Spirometry is completed. Education is then given regarding respiratory protection.

A spirometry, or lung function test, looks at the following:

> Interprets how well the lungs are performing.
> Measures FEV1 – forced expiratory volume – the amount of air you can blow (huff) out in 1 second
> Measures FVC – forced vital capacity – the largest amount of air you can blow (huff) out after a large inhalation of air
> Identify employees at risk from hazardous air contaminants in the workplace

What’s involved?

Employees undergo a 30 minute appointment at our TriEx Health Clinics.

The Appointments include:

> Assessment of the employees past and present air contaminant history (includes recreational)
> Full Spirometry test
> Asbestos exposure and history questionnaire
> Chest X-Ray if recommended by Occupational Health Physician – referral is organised by TriEx
> Explanation of the results to the employee
> Education on responsibility to protect
> All test results are reviewed by an Occupational Health Physician
> Individual Reports are sent to the Company
> All documents including test results with information on asbestos are sent to the individual

To find out more please contact our health team on 0800 487 439 or email enquiries@triex.co.nz 

Breathe Better September 2018

Breathe Better September is a national campaign to raise awareness of respiratory conditions in New Zealand. The campaign encourages all Kiwis to show their support for better breathing and healthy lungs and to start thinking about how they can improve their respiratory health.

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World Suicide Prevention Day 2018

September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day. Suicide prevention remains a universal challenge across the globe. It takes work to prevent suicide, which is why this year’s theme is “Working Together to Prevent Suicide”.

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