Workplace Wellness at Esker Camp

By Veikko Wennstrom, Camp Foreman

Brandyn, Veikko and Barb standing in front of the new facility

It’s an accepted fact that a healthy workforce is a safer workforce. Noront has worked hard to improve its health & safety efforts and saw a 74% drop in TRIFR (Total Recordable Incident Frequency Rate) as a result.

In 2018, a Noront worker was almost 4 times less likely to have a recordable injury thanks to the hard work and enthusiastic engagement by the team at Esker Camp.  In 2019, we’re focusing on the health part of the equation with the rollout of a new Wellness Program.

The program had an informal start in November 2018, when the Fitness Centre at Esker Camp was moved from a small Weatherhaven tent to a larger wooden structure. Getting this done between general daily duties at camp was a lot of work, but it was well worth it. Over the course of two shifts, we excavated and levelled the new site, removed a wall and rewired the new building, built a walkway, installed a stove and painted the floor. Only then could we move in the treadmill, bikes and elliptical from the old space.

We now have a great new place for recreation, and we’re expecting to add a Bowflex resistance trainer, free weights, yoga mats, an incline bench, rubber flooring and a TV.  This will follow an improved nutrition rollout in January, and we’ll also have a sleep & rest focus rollout in March.

I recently started a gym membership in Thunder Bay, and it’s great that I can now continue doing a proper workout while at camp. In the 6 years I have been with Noront, I have witnessed huge improvements in safety throughout the company. It’s great to see diet, health and well being added to the corporate agenda. As Wayne Fields correctly said:

The best six doctors anywhere

And no one can deny it

Are sunshine, water, rest and air

Exercise and diet…

I believe we are currently covering all of these in Esker Camp.