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Electrix – Fit to Succeed

Case Study

New Zealand Diversity Awards, 2013
Winner: Work & Life Category

Electrix – Fit to Succeed

Choosing the right people for the job and taking care of the health and fitness of existing staff has had a huge payoff for Electrix.
The Problem

Electrix was grappling with rising numbers of musculoskeletal injuries to their linesmen, caused by the awkward positions they adopt above and below ground as they fix power problems. The shoulders, knees and spinal areas were most commonly affected.

Each injury saw employees sent to a GP for assessment, and put on sick leave or light duties for three days while they recovered.

Another area of concern for the business was that while new hires had basic medical checks, nothing confirmed whether they were physically able to cope with the demands of being a linesman – something which international research has suggested is only physically possible for 1% of the population.

So the company decided to get proactive and to invest in its employee health and wellness and proper pre-employment physical assessments.

Proactive approach to health and wellness

Electrix teamed up with the company ‘Productive Biomechanics’ and shifted from reactive responses to proactive solutions:

Their success strategies
  • Identified correlation between poor aerobic fitness and work-related injuries
  • Began injury assessments and development of an injury severity matrix to guide rehabilitation decisions
  • Created 60sqm gym in the Electrix warehouse and a strength-conditioning programme to strengthen areas where linesmen are susceptible to injury
  • PEPA (pre-employment physical assessments) introduced, spinal x-rays and full musculoskeletal exam for all linesman candidates
  • Implemented LineFIT – a voluntary, a 12-week challenge of six to 12 people, supervised by a trainer that builds in intensity
The result?

Electrix saved more than 60 lost-time injury days in the first year, and saw massive improvements in how injuries were managed, with tailored treatment to help strengthen problem areas and develop core strength.

Aside from the productivity benefits and physical gains, the changes have also resulted in a culture shift.

“LineFIT started off as an exercise in injury prevention, but over time it’s become also a means of changing the culture in the organisation. There’s a whole change, a greater level of energy, positiveness and cooperation.”

More about Electrix

Electrix is a leading provider of electricity access to engineering, construction and maintenance services across a wide range of New Zealand’s sectors. The company has around 1700 employees across the board.

“Employees with a positive attitude and increased energy levels mean they work at a safer level and complete jobs with a higher level of quality.”

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