The age to kowtow for a livelihood has ended; employees now demand a ‘healthy workplace In April 2007, the Central Taiwan Workplace Health Promotion and Tobacco Control Center established under commission of the Bureau of Health Promotion conducted a random sample survey on healthy workplace recognition of 1,083 adults 20 years of age and above...

  • Resource: Department of Health
  • Release date: 10/11/2007 12:10:44 PM

In April 2007, the Central Taiwan Workplace Health Promotion and Tobacco Control Center established under commission of the Bureau of Health Promotion conducted a random sample survey on healthy workplace recognition of 1,083 adults 20 years of age and above. The results showed that 87% of the respondents agreed with banning secondhand smoking in workplaces and 83% considered healthy workplace important when choosing jobs. However, only 21% felt that their current workplace environment was very safe and healthy; and as high as 90% agreed to promoting health enhancement at workplace (see Appendix 1 for detailed survey results). This clearly indicates that the age to kowtow for a livelihood has fallen behind. How employees can be provided with the best workplace environment to achieve best performance has now become an issue which management must pay attention to.

Undoubtedly, a healthy workplace is a goal worthy of pursuit for businesses today. Healthy workplaces will earn official certification and encouragement. In order to encourage businesses to offer employees a healthy workplace environment, and to reinforce businesses’ sense of honor and accountability, the Bureau of Health Promotion of the Department of Health initiated the healthy workplace certification project this year (see Appendix 2 for an outline of the project). Following the Council of Labor Affairs’ initiation of friendly workplace certification, which was an effort to encourage businesses to treat their laborers well, the healthy workplace certification is another example of government-endorsed brand marketing for good enterprises. The first step to building a healthy workplace is to consolidate tobacco hazard prevention and control; then come the next step, which is to protect the health of employees.

Besides meeting the basic legal criteria, application for healthy workplace certification involves first getting certified for tobacco hazard prevention and control, and then further steps for pursuing workplace health promotion certificate can follow. If tobacco control cannot be effected properly to offer employees an environment free of second-hand smoking, then any further promotion of employees’ health is futile. In terms of creating a healthy workplace environment to improve employees’ health, the Phoenix Precision Technology Corporation and the HCT Transportation are indeed examples for businesses. The Phoenix Corporation has just entered its tenth year, but is already the world’s largest expert manufacturer of IC Substrate. Its revenue growth was ranked number two by the Common Wealth Magazine in May 2005 and it was listed as the top 1000 manufacturer by the Business Weekly in May 2001.
Phoenix’s key to success as the top 1000 businesses in just a short period of time lies in the company’s looking after the wellbeing of its employees. In 2000, the smoking room on each floor was changed to an employees’ tea room; only one independently air conditioned smoking room remained in the entire factory. In addition, the company’s factory-based doctor assisted with smoking-cessation counseling while the factory nurse held regular smoking-cessation partners’ tea meetings on a weekly basis. Colleagues on cigarettes were invited to the no-smoking tea meetings; and superiors who successfully ceased smoking were also invited to give encouragement and to promote smoking-cessation by replacing cigarettes with tea. As a result, the Phoenix Corporation was awarded the smoke-free workplace trophy by the Bureau of Health Promotion on two consecutive years in 2005-2006. In 2007, it was the only business awarded with the Council of Labor Affairs’ Friendly Workplace Certificate in Hsinchu County. The HCT Transportation has labored discreetly in Taiwan’s transportation industry for 67 years already. It is commendable that the management at the HCT Transportation believes in employees as the company’s best asset and has concretely implemented relevant measures to look after the employees. In recent years, it even proactively promotes a smoke-free workplace. In 2006, nine of its national operation centers were awarded the Best Action for Smoke-Free Workplaces by the Bureau of Health Promotion.

This year, the HCT Transportation has even gone to the extent of turning its total of 2,200 operation trucks into smoke-free trucks. The company engages employees in health exercises every day, and employee health management is carried out by appointing a consultant doctor to provide health education in person. The efficacy of the company’s active promotion of workplace health is continuing to grow. Any lawful public or private business or organization (institution), which is not a provider of health promotion knowledge and resource (for example, medical care institutions, schools, health and administrative units at various levels, etc.), abides by the Labor Safety and Health Regulations, and has not been involved in any major occupational hazard or industrial dispute for the past three years, is welcome to register (registration closes on 30th August, 2007. For information on registration, please visit the Workplace Health Promotion and Tobacco Hazard Prevention Information website http://health.cish.itri.org.tw/nosmoking). For inquiries, please call: Central Workplace Health Promotion and Tobacco Control Center on 03-5913854). Workplaces that have obtained certification will be awarded a stamped certificate and names will be announced on the website for public interest. They will also be authorized to receive a file of the certification logo to use on name cards, signage and website homepages, which serve as a positive corporate image for attracting potential investors or recruit fine talents. Such is indeed win-win for both employees and the capital providers.