Dofasco receives Healthy Workplace Award

Sept. 18, 2002
Dofasco Inc. has received a 2002 Healthy Workplace Award from the National Quality Institute (NQI) in recognition of the Hamilton, Ontario-based company's commitment to continuous improvement in employee health, safety and well-being.

The award recognizes Canadian organizations that make employee health and well-being an integral and strategic part of the way they do business.

"From the top down and the bottom up, the health, safety and well-being of people is a deeply ingrained aspect of our corporate culture," said Don Pether, president and COO of Dofasco. "We are proud to receive this recognition."

Organizations considered for a Healthy Workplace Award are judged against the Canadian Healthy Workplace Criteria developed by the National Quality Institute in partnership with Health Canada and health and wellness professionals. The criteria brings together environmental, physical, mental, safety and social issues into a strategic model that helps organizations set goals and manage their wellness programs.

"Employees are the most valuable asset a company can possess, and that is certainly the case at Dofasco," said Pether. "In addition to our shared responsibility for health, safety and well-being, it is a business advantage to have employees healthy and at work. Our responsibility as an employer is to create conditions where all Dofasco people can achieve and contribute to their full potential, work safely and remain in good physical and mental health."

Actions Dofasco has taken to create a healthy workplace for employees include:

  • $15 million invested annually in employee training and development.
  • Health and Safety performance is one of the factors that determines compensation, through a Variable Compensation payout component of all employees' compensation.
  • An Open Door Policy allows every employee to effectively raise and resolve any workplace concerns and complaints.
  • An award-winning Essential Skills Program helps employees improve their basic reading, writing and computer skills.
  • Play to Win team-building retreats that also reinforce Dofasco's core values.
  • Confidential access to a wide range of supportive Employee Assistance Programs for employees and families for issues related to: family, marital, financial, bereavement, substance abuse, anger management, eating disorders, smoking cessation, elder/child care and stress management.
  • The Dofasco Health and Safety Committee is comprised of 11 employees with formal responsibility for promoting and recommending ways to maintain a safe and healthy workplace.
  • Dofasco's Health and Safety Department has a multi-disciplinary team who have expertise in safety systems, ergonomics and industrial hygiene and who provide technical support to the entire company.
  • A full-time Health and Safety facilitator is assigned to every Dofasco Manufacturing business unit to work with managers and employees in continually improving health and safety performance.
  • A proactive, grassroots and volunteer-driven lifestyle and wellness program that is fully supported by senior leadership.
  • A comprehensive range of preventative and educational programs that include: noon hour aerobics, yoga and tai-chi, nutrition counseling, stress management, smoking cessation, plant walk and stretch, foot care and back strengthening.
  • A company-wide Health and Safety Fair that is held every spring. The 6th annual Fair in 2002 attracted more than 3,400 employees and featured 85 displays and interactive exhibits.
  • Free and confidential health screening for all employees through Dofascos Medical Services Department. Tests include cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure testing.
  • A company-subsidized Weight Watchers @ Work program. To date, Dofasco employees have lost more than 22,300 pounds.
  • Dozens of recreational leagues and activities for employees, retirees and families at Dofasco's F.H. Sherman Learning and Recreation Centre in Stoney Creek, Ontario. The 100-acre center includes a twin-pad arena, baseball diamonds, soccer fields, driving range, tennis courts and double gymnasium.
  • Two on-site fitness facilities that are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for all employees. A third facility is planned in 2003. All employees using the facilities also receive a free initial fitness assessment.

Dofasco product lines include hot rolled, cold rolled, galvanized, Extragal, Galvalume and tinplate flat rolled steels, as well as tubular products and laser welded blanks.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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