Your FIFO staff work hard – it makes good business sense to offer them healthier mine site catering so they can keep in tiptop shape and be more productive.
The FIFO lifestyle comes with specific challenges for those who want to stay healthy. There's no doubt about tha fact that the long hours, stress, fatigue, the sedentary nature of operating machinery and a canteen that serves up less than nutritious foods can all lead to workers developing health issues that can severely curtail their productivity.
However, making a conscious choice to help workers pursue healthy eating habits can have immediate and long-term effects for both individuals and businesses. Eating healthy on a regular basis promotes improved energy, concentration and sleep quality, which means more engaged, more industrious workers with fewer work accidents.
Remote catering that supports greater nutrition can mean sedentary workers are less likely to gain weight, reducing their risk of developing chronic heart disease and type 2 diabetes. A study by Edith Cowan University showed that FIFO workers diets were poor, and one of the causes of the health issues that these Western Australian workers faced. Having a caterer that makes smart meal choices is key to ensuring your staff health.
Emerging evidence shows that food choices are linked to mental health, with fried, sugary and fatty foods leading more often to depression and anxiety. Eating a well balanced diet full of vegtable and nutrients with supplementation to suit your dietary restrictions are key to improving your mood. Your catering company can facilitate good staff heath as they understand that in a high-stress mining environment that these issues can play havoc with staff engagement. For mine owners and managers, paying closer attention to mine site catering that focuses on healthier options means happier staff, fewer sick days, less presenteeism and compensation payouts and more profits.
While workers need to be responsible for their healthy living, activity and diet choices, the right mines catering can help make it easier for them to stick to their goals. Strategies can include:
- Offering more appealing healthy choices and fewer self-serve options for portion control can reduce the likelihood hungry, fatigued staff will gravitate to fried food, sugar-rich dishes and soft-drinks to refuel.
- Adding dressings and sauces on the side to help control a meal’s fat and salt ratio.
- Ensuring healthy dishes are full of flavour to suit to a broader audience.
- Clearly identify healthy options, so workers don't have to think twice about their choices.
- Serving healthy versions of favourite unhealthy options and controlling portion sizes.
- Paying particular attention to night shift meals when we're more likely to crave high-calorie snacks and energy drinks.
- Making sure breakfasts are both healthy and substantial with lots of whole food options for sustained energy throughout the day or night. Night shift workers particularly should be offered a main meal before starting work.
- Offering healthy snacks workers can take with them, such as fruit and health bars, yoghurt and cheese.
- Providing clear, practical information on making healthy eating choices that are engaging and relevant to mine workers and displaying in prominent positions in the canteen.
- Filling plates with 50 per cent vegetables or salads, combined with lean protein like skin-free chicken, tuna or salmon, lean red meat and eggs).
- Adding more whole grains and pulses to the menu for improved fibre and sustained, slow-release energy throughout the shift. These will help avoid the sharp drops in blood sugar that leads workers to reach for food choices that offer a quick but ultimately unsatisfying refuel.
Healthier, happier and safer workers require proper nutrition. Mining sites that exhibit genuine concern for their staff’s health and wellbeing can reap the rewards of more a committed, loyal workforce with higher productivity and boosted morale that results in a better bottom line.