Major employers are joining with Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to promote workplace wellness programs and motivate and reward employees for exhibiting healthier behaviors.
Recognizing that chronic illness accounts for 75 percent of healthcare spending, many employers are taking a hands-on approach to improving employee health and wellness by promoting programs that address smoking, obesity and disease prevention and management.
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) has released a new report, “Engaging Consumers @ Work” ([email protected]), that found workplace education and activation programs can increase worker participation in wellness programs by 21 percent or more – suggesting big dividends for employers who invest in these programs.
“Employers are drivers of innovation,” said Scott P. Serota, BCBSA president and CEO. “More than 160 million people get their health coverage through their job and Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies are collaborating with employers across the country to help them achieve their goal of a healthy workforce. Employers play a critical role in employee wellness and they have been aggressive in developing innovative ways to improve quality, reduce costs and keep employees healthy.”
“Decreasing illness and increasing productivity are integral to maintaining and attracting a skilled workforce,” said Pat Fulcher, vice president of associate services for Food Lion. “Food Lion is committed to offering a robust benefit package and being a resource for our employees. As an employer, we feel it is our responsibility to educate our associates on the many wellness resources available to them to encourage a healthier lifestyle.”
@SH:Smurfit-Stone Facilities Win Honors From the Pulp & Paper Safety Association
Five Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. facilities received top honors and a total of 30 were recognized for their outstanding safety achievements at the Pulp & Paper Safety Association's (PPSA) 65th annual Safety and Health Conference. Smurfit-Stone was recognized by Occupational Hazards in 2004 as one of America's Safest Companies.
“Smurfit-Stone is extremely proud of its safety record and of the employees at these facilities,” said President and COO Steven J. Klinger. “We take great pride in our safety processes and continue to work toward our ultimate goal of achieving an accident-free workplace.”
Smurfit-Stone's Hodge, La., mill and Williamsport, Pa., container plant earned the PPSA's 2007 Award of Safety Excellence by achieving the best safety records in their categories for three consecutive years. The industry safety association presents only three awards in this category each year.
The Hodge mill is the first mill in company history to achieve 3 million hours worked without an OSHA recordable incident. The hours worked covered 815 days, or nearly two and a quarter years