Sport in the workplace: Safran comes out a winner

Safran Nacelles’ objective in deploying physical preparation and training programs on its site in Colomiers is to help safeguard the health of the company’s employees. Ultimately, this means fewer musculoskeletal disorders, less absenteeism and greater well-being at work. Serge Rière, the Facility Manager, and Jérôme Rebière-Desveaux, the Human Resources Director, tell us about the program.

You have implemented a program that involves "physical preparation before and after clocking in" on the Colomiers site; can you tell us what the program entails exactly?

- Serge Rière: The "3P" program is one of the components of our well-being at work plan, which aims to safeguard our employees' health through sports activities. All the workers on our site, who so wish, can take part in a physical preparation program, during work hours; the program involves warm-up  and muscle toning  exercises that last 20 minutes at the start of the day and a stretching session just before they leave their work. The physical activities are supervised by a coach and designed according to the job carried out. The activities are also monitored by a chiropodist and an osteopath.

 

Why did you embark on this initiative?

- S. R.: In 2012 and 2013, we had a high rate of absenteeism. So, our goal was to reduce the number of absences by reducing the risk of injuries and accidents. The workers, particularly those in the painting workshop, have very physically-demanding jobs and their bodies are put under a lot of strain. We needed to take action to improve their health and well-being at work.

- Jérôme Rebière-Desveaux: A university professor, specialized in sport in the workplace, suggested implementing an interesting exercise program aimed at reducing muskuloskeletal disorders. The program was designed like a top-level training regime for an athlete. And just like athletes, our specialist workers need to be in top form to carry out their work movements efficiently.

 

préparation physique chez Safran Nacelles

Who is it aimed at exactly?

- S. R.: At all the 280 employees who work on the site! Having launched the first program for the painting workshop teams in 2014, we then decided to extend the initiative to all the staff. Today, there are three programs available: the "3P" program for workers, painters and mechanics; the "4G" (Good body, Good spirit, Good company, Good workplace) program, whose activities (walking, karate, yoga, etc.) are aimed at reducing the negative effects of sedentary work in offices. And finally there is a program to support people who want to stop smoking, called Propulsion 2: each time an employee decreases their cigarette consumption by one packet, they are offered an hour of sport during work time.

 

What kind of results have you had so far?

- J. R.-D.: The results have been really positive. As regards the hundred or so employees involved in one of the three programs, absenteeism has decreased by 50%. In terms of the Propulsion 2 program 60% of the participants have stopped smoking!

- S.R.: Above and beyond the pure figures, we have particularly noted greater cohesion between the teams and a more relaxed atmosphere. Sport obviously has positive effects on health, but it is has an impact of well-being at work. Although these program demanded a significant investment, we are certainly reaping the benefits today…