Getting fit the Big Rigs way

MINERS at Xstrata’s Oaky Creek operations are looking fit and fine, thanks to the company’s Big Rigs program, a health and fitness initiative tailored to suit their specific needs.
Getting fit the Big Rigs way Getting fit the Big Rigs way Getting fit the Big Rigs way Getting fit the Big Rigs way Getting fit the Big Rigs way


Christine Feary

Published in March 2008 Australian Longwall Magazine

The Big Rigs program ran for four months at the end of last year and offered miners the chance to take part in a fitness and nutrition program and develop a healthy lifestyle plan.

Miners took part in spin classes, weight training and cardio activities to help burn fat fast and get them on the right track.

Xstrata spokesman James Rickards said the general manager of operations at Oaky Creek was keen to address the issues of health and fitness among the workforce.

“He wanted to see that they were offered an appropriate health program which would … increase their longevity and their wellbeing,” he said.

Rickards said weight is a particular problem for older miners involved in shift work, as they may not have been taught about appropriate nutrition in the past; however, he said the problem is not limited to the mining industry.

“I think weight is an issue that has to be addressed in most industries … it’s just something that anyone in a physical or labour intensive job needs to be aware of, to ensure that they are looking after the longevity of their bones, their body, their muscles, to reduce the possibility of injury,” he said.

As well as health benefits, the Big Rigs program offered workers a chance to meet and mingle with people outside their own areas, with participants in the program ranging from apprentices to the general manager of the entire operation.

While Big Rigs was designed for the individual workers, Rickards said Xstrata hoped the program would also have an impact on the workforce as a whole at Oaky Creek.

“It’s really about healthy mind, healthy body, and ensuring that they can come to work healthy and happy,” he said.

“Ultimately a healthier workforce leads to a more productive workforce.

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