|Power to Perform – an industrial athlete approach to reducing workplace injuries.
Gulf Power is an electric utility company located in the panhandle of Florida and part of the Southern Company. Due to the nature of electric utility work, power delivery and generation employees have physically demanding jobs which require them to be at peak performance. In response to rising injuries from strains and sprains, we created a customized pre-work stretching program, specifically tailored for the employees in these high-risk jobs. The initiative was implemented as an Industrial Athlete program which aided employee buy-in along with the customized approach of matching the stretching exercises to the job tasks for each workgroup. Not only was the program successful in decreasing injuries from strains and sprains by 42% but we also noted significant increases in flexibility. The Power to Perform program was expanded to include a strengthening component to help with muscular strength and endurance and was added to the Job Safety Plan (JSP). The Power to Perform component of the JSP, requires employees to review the muscle groups which will be used to perform the task at hand and to utilize appropriate stretches to prepare the body before beginning that task). Due to employee request, customized programs have been developed for additional workgroups (power generation plant, meter readers and office employees). Power to Perform is just one program that ties wellness and safety together and supports our initiatives for a healthy and safe environment.
Outline of Seminar
Why pre-work stretching
* How the Power to Perform program was created
* Creatively marketing the Industrial Athlete approach
* Stages of implementation – how the program was rolled out and who was responsible
* Program evolution – addition of strengthening component, new programs for additional workgroups, addition of Power to Perform to the Job Safety Plan process, functional fitness
* Outcomes – injury rates, flexibility, participation
* Learn the importance of stretching programs in the workplace & how a partnership with wellness and safety can reduce workplace injuries.
* How to help employees connect the dots and understand the “what’s in it for me” in their consistent participation
* How to creatively market a hard to sell program and get employee buy-in, participation and desired outcomes.
Deborah Napier, MS, CHES
Deborah is currently the Health Promotion Manager for Gulf Power Company, located in Pensacola, Florida. Deborah is responsible for designing and implementing a results-oriented and benefits-integrated employee wellness program. The wellness program consists of many components including health risk appraisals, lifestyle and disease management, job specific stretching programs, onsite fitness centers as well as other company-wide health and safety initiatives.
Prior to Gulf Power, she worked for the Xerox Corporation in Rochester, NY, where she managed a comprehensive health promotion program for 68,000 employees in over 200 locations nationwide. She has extensive experience in clinical behavioral medicine and biofeedback application in the areas of headache, hypertension, stress and anxiety.
Since 1995 she has partnered with the University of Michigan Health Management Research Center to assess the relationship between health risks and productivity measures, including the impact of lifestyle and risk change on cost-savings and reduced injury rates. Some of this work has been published in professional journals.
Her current efforts have been structured around building cultures and environments supportive of healthy lifestyles.
She received Master’s degrees in Psychology and Health Education from the University of West Florida and is also a certified Health Education Specialist.