New services to support healthy workplaces
Western Australian workplaces will soon have access to a range of free services to help them implement healthy lifestyle practices in the workplace.
The services are part of a Healthy Workers Initiative, which forms part of a National Partnership Agreement on Preventive Health.
Under the agreement, WA Health will receive $15.55 million between July 2011 and June 2015 from the Australian Government to develop and implement a Healthy Workers Initiative.
WA Health Director Chronic Disease Prevention, Denise Sullivan said the initiative comprised two components – a Healthy Workplace Support Service (HWSS), and a suite of specialist programs available to workplaces and their employees.
"The Healthy Workplace Support Service will be delivered by the National Heart Foundation of Australia (Western Australian Division) following an open and competitive tender process," Ms Sullivan said.
"The Foundation will deliver free services to help workplaces develop and implement programs that will lead to improved health for their employees."
Through the HWSS, a range of tools and resources will be available to assist workplaces to introduce healthy lifestyle policies and practices in their workplace. A 'one-stop-shop' website will enable workplaces to access these resources and information on other HWSS initiatives.
To help workplaces deliver their own healthy lifestyle interventions, a workplace grants scheme will be delivered through the HWSS. An awards program will also recognise workplaces that encourage healthy lifestyle practices and behaviours in their workplace.
Expert services provided by the Western Australian School Canteens Association, Cancer Council WA, Diabetes WA and the Department of Transport will be accessible to workplaces seeking specific assistance with policies and programs that address smoking, physical activity, healthy eating and uptake of active transport.
"Chronic disease remains a serious issue in our community but many diseases can be prevented," Ms Sullivan said.
"The Healthy Workers Initiative provides WA employees with an opportunity to make positive, lifestyle choices that will help improve their health and wellbeing.quot;
Heart Foundation Western Australia Chief Executive Maurice Swanson said the Initiative would allow targeted approaches to meet the needs of different groups of employees, especially those at high risk of chronic disease.
The Healthy Workers Initiative is a joint Australian, State and Territory Government initiative under the National Partnership Agreement on Preventive Health.
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