Planning - Healthy Workplaces
There are different ways of delivering workplace programs in your community. Your group may be active in linking workplaces to existing programs or supporting workplaces to develop new programs.
At times, a combination of existing and new programs may be required; workplaces may supplement existing programs with new initiatives in order to meet their specific needs.
The different ways of delivering workplace programs in your community include:
- Identifying workplaces and linking them to an existing or established workplace program
- Supporting workplaces to develop a new program, which may include accessing established programs as part of a larger body of work.
The approach that your LDAT takes should be determined in partnership with the workplaces that will be involved.
a. Existing workplace programs
LDATs may choose to link with existing workplace programs that have been shown to work.
There are a number of established workplace programs available in Australia. You may also find other activities through government
agencies responsible for regulating and enforcing workplace health and safety laws (listed in the following column), peak bodies, health services and by drawing on local knowledge and networks.
Existing workplace programs in Australia:
Safe Work Australia (SWA) is an Australian Government statutory body established in 2008 to develop national policy relating to workplace health and safety and workers’ compensation. SWA does not enforce or regulate WHS laws or workers’ compensation schemes.12 SWA provides a number of WHS resources including videos, seminars and podcasts.
A national campaign inspiring Australians to take a break from alcohol for the month of February.
A national campaign inspiring Australians to abstain from alcohol (‘go dry’) for the month of July.
The National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA) is an internationally recognised research centre that works as a catalyst for change in the alcohol and other drugs field.13 NCETA also offers a consultancy service called WorkLife, to assist workplaces to manage AOD related risk and develop workplace policies and responses.1
The Achievement Program supports Victorian workplaces, schools and early childhood care services to meet evidence-based benchmarks around health priority areas, including alcohol and other drug use.
Healthier Work is a free ACT Government service established to support employers to develop health and wellbeing initiatives within their workplace.2 Healthier Work provides a range of free resources, tools and templates that address a number of health topics, including alcohol use.
Australian Capital Territory (ACT) WorkSafe ACT
New South Wales (NSW) SafeWork NSW
Northern Territory (NT) NT WorkSafe
Queensland (QLD) Workplace Health and Safety Queensland
South Australia (SA) SafeWork SA
Tasmania (TAS) WorkSafe Tasmania
Victoria (VIC)WorkSafe Victoria
Western Australia (WA) WorkSafe WA
Each program will have its own requirements and processes. You may need to consider the following when assessing whether the program is the right fit:
- Is the program relevant to the industry and occupational group of your workplace partners?
- Does the program align with your workplace partner needs?
- Is there a cost to participate in the program? Can the program be accessed or provided to multiple and/or remote workplace sites?
- Does the program provide a certificate of completion to the workplace and/or individual participants?
- Does the program include a focus on the prevention of alcohol and other drugs harms (i.e. not focus exclusively on treatment or recovery)?
- Has the workplace program been shown to be effective at preventing alcohol and other drugs harms? What evidence is available to demonstrate this?
Due to the limited number of existing workplace programs that focus on preventing alcohol and other drugs harms, and the need for tailored approaches, many LDATs will work with workplaces to develop and deliver a targeted workplace program.
Set your objectives
Setting objectives for your Community Action Plan is an important part of the planning process.
Some example objectives for action on Healthy Workplaces are provided below. You can develop your own objectives by engaging with your community to determine needs, although you may find these a useful starting point:
- Work with (xx number) local community organisations and workplaces to identify at least two workplaces in need of action on Healthy Workplaces over the next (xx number) months.
- Support (xx number) workplaces to undertake a self-assessment to inform their action to reduce alcohol and drug-related harms over (xx number) months.
- Increase awareness of the harms of alcohol and other drugs use amongst (xx number) workplaces in (xx name) community over (xx number) months.
- Engage with (xx number) workplaces to promote the importance of having a formal workplace policy to address alcohol and other drug use and harms over (xx number) months.
- Increase (xx number) workplace participation in (xx number) actions (e.g. culture, physical working environment, personal health resources, community connections) to change attitudes and behaviour in regard to alcohol and other drugs use within (xx number) months.
- Work with (xx number) workplaces to create a workplace culture that promotes safe and responsible alcohol use and minimises alcohol- related harm over the next (xx number) months.
- Establish (xx number) new partnerships between (xx number) workplaces and (xx number) health care services in the community in the next (xx number) months.
Working with community partners
Strong partnerships are critical to your success in reducing alcohol and other drug-related harms in the community. LDATs can work with a variety of different community partners to take effective action on creating healthy workplaces.
LDAT partners can support Healthy Workplaces activities in many ways, including delivering staff education and training, promoting workplace achievements, providing counselling services
and Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), and much more.
Partners may include:
- Local employers, unions and workplaces Government agencies, including state and territory workplace health and safety regulators
- Education and training providers
- Counselling service providers
- Providers of Employee Assistance
- Programs (EAPs)
- Psychological and mental wellbeing services (e.g. psychologists, psychiatrists, councillors, etc.)
- Community alcohol and drug treatment service providers
- Local health programs and services
- Local media outlets.
Partners or relevant staff within workplaces may include:
- Workplace leaders - people such as owners, chief executive officers, board members, senior managers, union leaders, and informal leaders
- Occupational health and safety practitioners
- Human resource management personnel
- Health and wellbeing staff.
Determine resources required
All alcohol and other drug activities need to be adequately resourced. Below is a an indicative list of the types of resources required to take action on Healthy Workplaces. This is not an exhaustive list, and LDATs should be mindful that the resources required will be influenced by the Community Action Plan activity being undertaken by your group. Groups that are linking into existing workplace programs are encouraged to find out what resources are required for the specific program. These could include:
- Basic administrative tools including access to stationery and office supplies, printers, phones, and a workspace for administrative duties
- Venue/s for meetings. In-kind use of meeting rooms from a partner organisation or workplace, library, or local council may be possible. It is not appropriate for meetings to be held in people’s homes or private venues
- Funds to provide catering at events and meetings. Basic refreshments available before and/or after the event are often sufficient (e.g. tea, coffee, water, biscuits)
- Knowledge and resources, as well as possible funds to deliver training to staff
- Allocating time to liaise with community organisations (e.g. attend meetings, provide advice etc.)
- Insurance and liability coverage (where appropriate)
- Funds for additional activities (e.g. delivering an awareness campaign or running a networking event).
Consider measures of success
While you are planning your activity, it is important to consider measures of success for your activity. Determine how you will evaluate the success of your activity, linking your success measures to your objectives.