Here is a case study on workplace health for Port Blyth. Port Blyth is on the East Coast of England handling 1.5 million tones of cargo each year, offering first class port handling, storage and distribution services.

The mainly male workforce working on erratic shifts have been identified as lacking in training by the business. So, the management introduced vocational training through the National Vocational Qualification (NVQS).

The dockers took part in the sessions to gauge their math and literacy skills, as well as their knowledge of healthy eating and exercises. It was found that they lacked basic skills and knowledge in all areas.

Most of the male workers survived on a daily diet of take-away food, washed down with cans of beer and smoke 40 cigarettes a day. Some, including their family members and young children, had a diet devoid of fruits and vegetables.

Health Training co-coordinator from the South East Northumberland Health Trust conducted half-day workshops on all aspects of healthy lifestyle. The monthly education program include:

  • Healthy eating
  • Effects of Alcohol
  • How to identify symptoms of cancer
  • Managing finance and debts

Healthy eating and lifestyle activities program include:

  • Blood pressure testing and weight measurement
  • Free fruit baskets in the amenity rooms
  • Encouraging cycling to work
  • Help in weight management and smoking behavior
  • Identify staffs with high blood pressure and diabetes and provided treatment.


  • Many staffs quit smoking, lost weight and improve in health behaviors.
  • Improvement in productivity
  • Reduction in staff turnover
  • Sickness hours dropped from 4% of total hours worked in 2009 to 1% in 2010.
  • Better morale  – healthier and happier workers

Port Blyth won the Health, Work & Well Being award for small business in last year’s National Business Award. It is now an advocate of workplace health and encourages other companies to get involved and promote healthier lifestyle.

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