Positive Communication

Positive communication is the cornerstone of creating a mentally health workplace. This is communication that is based on respect and builds trust and collaboration. 

The Mental Health Foundation has created a range of Working Well resources that help your workplace prioritise mental health and ensure employees wellbeing is improved – resulting in a happier team and higher job satisfaction. 

Leaders, managers and teams can use the communication resources to help reflect on current approaches and to build a culture of positive communication.

The range of resources available includes: 
Avoiding a culture of silence
Reframing failures as opportunities 
Communicating so people feel safe to speak up.

Jump on over to the Mental Health Foundations website to download all these resources and start communicating positively with your teams today.

Workplace Bullying

Workplace bullying is repeated and unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or a group of workers that can lead to physical or psychological harm.

Repeated behaviour is persistent and can involve a range of actions over time. Unreasonable behaviour means actions that a reasonable person in the same circumstances would see as unreasonable. It includes victimising, humiliating, intimidating or threatening a person. Bullying may also include harassment, discrimination or violence.Creating a mentally healthy workplace is about creating a safe, supportive and strong workplace culture where bullying cannot thrive.

The business or undertaking must effectively deal with workplace bullying however everyone at work has a role to play. 

To help you identify if bullying is going on at your workplace WorkSafe has great information on their website here. If you do not have policies in place there is a great template available for you to work from to create one. 

The Mental Health Foundation has a great range of resources available as part of their Working Well suite or resources. This includes fact sheets on what bullying looks like, how to facilitate team discussions or how to get help. View these resources here

One of the components within our Psychological First Aid course is the topic of bullying. To learn more about our Psychological First Aid course, click here

Accelerated Silicosis

Last month we wrote about the dangers of silica dust and silicosis. Since then WorkSafe have issued a safety alert for stonemasons working in the bench top manufacturing industry. This is after a high number of silicosis cases have been confirmed in Australia – 99 confirmed cases in people working with engineered stone bench tops. Silicosis is an irreversible and progressive disease that causes fibrosis of the lungs from inhaling respirable crystalline silica (RCS). Many of the Australian cases have been consistent with accelerated silicosis – a form of the disease which develops over a short period of time, between 5 and 10 years. 

Why Bench Tops?
Engineered stone bench tops are an increasingly popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms. They are made by mixing finely crushed rock with a polymeric resin and then moulded into slaps and cured. The silica content of this engineered stone is approx 90% silica — much higher than natural stone. The exposure comes when someone cuts, grinds, sands or polishes the material during the manufacture and installation. 

Advice From WorkSafe
Before starting work using engineered stone, businesses must complete a risk assessment and review their controls. It is important to consider eliminating uncontrolled dry cutting, grinding or polishing of engineered stone. If this is not possible than exposure heeds to be minimised. Read their full advice here

To monitor the exposure we can help organise a visit from on Occupational Hygienist. You can also engage our nursing team to carry out health monitoring of your employees. To contact our team email enquiries@triex.co.nz or call 0800 487 439.

If you have concerns about accelerated silicosis WorkSafe have a contact form on their website here, as well as links all their guidance documentation. 

Healthy Winter Eating

The official “Junk Free June” cause may no longer be running but this does not mean you shouldn’t focus on healthier eating habits. Winter is an important time to focus on your healthy eating as this is the time that we could easily find ourselves reaching for the extra snacks rather than heading outside for some exercise. 

Some important things you can do this winter to keep health include:

Eat Plenty of Fruit & Vegetables — Ensure your immune system is topped up with your 5+ a day of antioxidant containing fruit and vegetables. Pick fruit and vegetables that are in season and also make the most of canned or frozen fruits. 

Enjoy Soups — Soups are great in winter and can be quite simple to make. Include lots of vegetables, beans or lentils and some meat if you choose. Soup is great for building your immune system. Here is some winter soup inspiration from 5+ A Day.

Watch Your Portion Sizes — On those cold winter nights in it can be tempting to over indulge on snacks or large portion sizes. Try to use smaller plates at dinner time and ensure half that plat is vegetables!

Drink Plenty — And no, alcohol does not count! It may not be warm out but it’s important to keep those fluids up during the day with 6-8 glasses of fluids, preferably water.

Get Some Vitamin D — Winter sun (or lack of) can lead to us not getting enough Vitamin D over the winter months and Vitamin D is good for our bones. This means it becomes important to ensure we are getting Vitamin D from somewhere else. Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines are a good source, as are milk, milk products and eggs. You can also find foods that are fortified with Vitamin D.

Move More — It is important to keep moving in winter. If you don’t want to brave the elements you could find an indoor sport or exercise class or swim (indoors!). Take the stairs instead of the lift and if you are feeling brave, rug up and go for walk outdoors. Check out the Heart Foundations ‘10 ways to stay active during winter‘.

The 5+ A Day website has a great guide on health lunch options for your work day. Download it here.

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

Auckland First Aid Courses

We are excited to announce that our public First Aid Courses are starting this month! After launching our private group courses into workplaces across Auckland we are now ready to start our first public courses, based. We are running both our 8 hour Workplace First Aid and our 6 hour Refresher First Aid. 

Our workplace first aid training covers NZQA Unit Standards 6402 and 6401. This course will ensure that all participants feel confident that they have the necessary skills to provide vital and life saving first aid assistance in their workplace. Our 6 hour refresher first aid training is designed to refresh and demonstrate knowledge and management of first aid situations and conditions.

Course Prices:

  • Workplace First Aid — $154.00 incl GST 
  • Refresher First Aid — $128.00 incl GST

Upcoming Dates:

Our courses will run from the Auckland Netball Centre in St Johns — a great location with plenty of free parking. To book follow the links above and keep an eye on our booking site for further Auckland dates. 

Are you going Dry this July?

Dry July is a fundraiser that challenges you to go alcohol-free and raise funds for those affected by cancer. Dry July is supporting Look Good Feel Better this year. Look Good Feel Better provides free community based programmes for anyone who is facing any type of cancer. These programmes provide an opportunity for cancer patients to connect, feel more in control and to look more like their normal selves. 

As well as helping raise money for a good cause, there are health benefits for you which includes better sleep, more energy, weight loss, healthier skin and best of all — no hangovers! Dry July have also put together some health and fitness tips to help you through, check these out here

To learn more visit www.dryjuly.co.nz

June Newsletter

Our June Newsletter came out on Friday. This was focused on looking after yourself and your team in these winter months.

We have information on healthy heating and Dry July as well as information on workplace bullying, positive communication and tools for coping with depression.

We also have updates on the influenza vaccination shortage and important information on accelerated silicosis.

Read all the articles in the June newsletter here.

June, July & August Training Calendar

Our latest Training Calendar is out now for June, July & August.

We have now launched a 4 hour Basic First Aid Course, and this starts next week. This entry level course is perfect for those that require basic First Aid knowledge including office workers, community groups, or stay at home parents. There are also no assessments with this course.

We have more Saturday course dates over the next few months for both the basic and our workplace course, and our 12 hour comprehensive courses are also coming up on June 25/26, July 16/17 and August 19/20.

Download your copy of the calendar here.

Respirator Fit Testing

If anyone in your team wears Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) then as the PCBU you must provide information, training or instruction on how to correctly use, wear, store and maintain the RPE.

Fit testing is required by AS/NZS 1715 before a respirator is worn in the workplace to ensure that workers are wearing properly fitting RPE, with an effective seal to the face. A fit test should be conducted at issue of RPE and then at least annually and/or;

>> Whenever a different size, style, model or make of respirator is used.

>> When any facial changes occur that could affect fit, such as significant weight changes or significant dental work.

It is also a good idea to complete fit testing alongside annual health monitoring where our Occupational Health Nurses discuss respiratory history and exposure history as well as completing spirometry (lung function testing).

TriEx carry out Qualitative Fit Testing for half face respirators, used in environments where the hazard is less than 10 times the WES (workplace exposure standard).

A sensitivity test is completed without RPE under a hood. The RPE is then worn and either a bitter or sweet solution is introduced into the hood whilst the worker carries out a variety of activities for one minute each including:

>> Normal breathing

>> Deep breathing

>> Moving head side to side

>> Moving head up and down

>> Bending over (or jogging in place)

>> Talking

>> Normal breathing again

Education is given regarding care and maintenance of respiratory equipment and how to fit check RPE.

To learn more about this service contact our health team on 0800 487 439 or email enquiries@triex.co.nz.

Flu Already at Record Highs

The Flu season is peaking early this year, and already Australia has been hit harder by Flu this year than ever before. They have seen record numbers of cases in April, with 56,500 cases — 6 times the previous record high. Already 122 Australians have died, with the youngest being a 3 year old child.

The risks of flu are high. Flu is highly contagious and can have you off work for a week. Complications of the flu can include illnesses like pneumonia, sinus infection, or worsening of other illnesses like asthma or heart failure. Worsening of flu complications can lead to death.

The Influenza virus kills also more people in New Zealand than those kills on the roads, with estimates being 500 people die each year from flu. The elderly, those who are pregnant, those with chronic illness and babies and children are the most at risk.

Flu is already circulating in New Zealand however this Australian outbreak can easily spread to New Zealand considering the amount of travel between our countries — we cannot be complacent. The Immunisation Advisory Centre director Dr Nikki Turner has said “There’s only a bit of water between us and Australia, someone just needs to carry a respiratory
illness on a plane and it will spread around NZ.”

You need to have a flu vaccination every year and the protection from the flu vaccination will last for at least the flu season, and up to one year. Each year the flu virus is different so just because you had the vaccine last year doesn’t make you immune — they keep changing. The vaccines are made each year based on the most common flu circulating.

The great news is that the flu strains in this years vaccine are well matched to these outbreaks that are happening here and in Australia. With the worst of winter flu still to come it is very important that you vaccinate if you have not already.

TriEx nurses can still come to your workplace to vaccinate your team, or we have the option of vouchers for small teams or for teams spread out through the country (or a combination of both).

For more information or to book read more here.