To promote healthy workplace practices more broadly within the business and labour communities, the CLBC is hosting a series of regional seminars on workplace health and wellness1. The purpose of the seminars is to share the results of case studies on innovative workplace health practices, in order to demonstrate the value of these practices in enhancing employee health and workplace performance, and in reducing health-related costs. The overall goal is to encourage management, unions and employees to initiate and/or maintain workplace health practices.
The second regional seminar - Workplace Health Works! - was held in Halifax, Nova Scotia on November 18-19, 2003. The event drew a total of 49 participants from a variety of sectors and constituencies. About one third were representatives of business establishments, while 10% were representing labour groups, and a further 37% were from government organizations. The remaining participants were comprised of representatives from other organizations. CLBC staff were also in attendance.
The evening session of the Halifax seminar began with opening remarks from Christine Tanner, Deputy Minister of Labour, Saskatchewan and CLBC Board member. This was followed by a panel discussion involving Dr. Lydia Makrides, Director of the Atlantic Health and Wellness Institute, and Jane Farquharson, Executive Director of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Nova Scotia. In the first presentation, Dr. Makrides presented the results of studies on the business case for workplace health, and she provided an overview of the Institute’s current activities, including a study on the effects of employee wellness programs on cardiovascular risk factors. During her presentation, Ms. Farquharson discussed, among other topics, the HealthWorks project, which involves working with three local workplaces for implementing a workplace health strategy. The two presentations set the stage for the second day of the seminar by laying out some of the key principles and possible outcomes of workplace health programming.
The full-day session of the Halifax seminar was opened by Rick Clarke, President of the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour. The main part of the day’s agenda featured presentations by representatives of both management and unions/employees from three different workplaces, one of which had been documented among CLBC’s initial case studies. The featured presentations were from:
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1 Funding support for these seminars is provided through the Population Health Fund (Health Canada) and the Labour Market Partnerships Program (HRDC). Return