CATEGORIZED | Drilling It Safely, News

Saipem health program ‘intervenes through the kitchen’

Posted on 09 October 2013

By Linda Hsieh, managing editor

Safety often grabs the bulk of attention when this industry addresses HSE, but a growing number of companies also are enhancing efforts around the health of their employees. At Saipem, the company has created the H-factor program, which aims to help its rig employees establish healthier eating habits. Hippocrates once said, “Let food by thy medicine and medicine thy food.” “There’s no reason why we should not have the same principle nowadays,” Dr Frano Mika, overseas health manager for Saipem, said during a presentation at the 2013 IADC Drilling HSE Europe Conference on 25 September.

In many countries around the world – including countries from which the industry is recruiting its workers – non-communicable diseases have become a significant cause of premature deaths and disabilities. These include obesity, hypertension, diabetes and cardio-pulmonary diseases. Unfortunately, that trend is not limited to urban populations but has extended to drilling rigs, where Dr Mika said eating culture has become an issue.

“Eating is one of the few relaxing moments that crews have onboard the rigs. But do we really care how these relaxing moments are going on?” Dr Mika asked. Further, the impact of bad eating habits is not limited to individual health. “(Non-communicable diseases) strongly affect the economical growth of the community, of the country, of the company. They account for approximately 75% of national healthcare systems’ expenditures.”

With H-factor, Saipem decided to intervene “through the kitchen.” “We decided to start with primary prevention, eliminating the risk factors as much as we can,” he said. Menus created with input from nutritionists are based on the Mediterranean diet, and efforts are made to make and keep employees aware of their food’s characteristics, qualities, quantities and caloric intake. Each H-factor plate is served with a label carrying pertinent information about the food they’re eating.

One of the most important characteristics of H-factor food is that it’s balanced in quantity and quality. Caloric intake can vary from person to person, between job types and according to special needs, but composition of the food – in terms of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, salt, etc. – follow guidelines set by the World Health Organization. “We are trying to eliminate so-called junk food, which means fried foods, which means hamburgers, which means fatty foods, which means soft drinks,” Dr Mika said.

He emphasized however that these meals can’t just be healthy – they also must be cooked to be tasty or else nobody will eat it. Further, there are no portion limits, and employees are free to take as much as they want – as long as they eat what they take. “People usually take a little bit less,” Dr Mika said.

Employee participation is fully voluntary. “Everybody’s welcome, nobody’s obliged,” he said. “Health is a choice. We are trying to stimulate people to have this healthy choice.”

Leave a Reply

*

FEATURED MICROSITES


Recent Drilling News

  • 21 October 2014

    IADC Cybersecurity Task Group to provide industry guidance to assess risks

    The oil and gas industry is not immune to cybersecurity threats, from computer viruses and malware to targeted attacks. The IADC Advanced Rig Technology (ART) Committee…

  • 21 October 2014

    Check-6 launches RIGOR digital checklist and compliance system

    Check-6 has launched RIGOR, a checklist-based mobile app to help simplify complex procedures and mitigate human error on the rig. Taking lessons from the aviation industry…

  • 21 October 2014

    Video: Next IADC Land Contract update to start in 2016

    The latest version of the IADC Land Contract was released in November 2013. Various incidents, including Macondo, delayed the release. “It’s an industry contract…

  • 21 October 2014

    Moomjian: ‘Honesty is the best policy in doing business’

    With more than 35 years in industry, Cary Moomjian, President of CAM OilServ Advisors, has seen the industry come a long way in terms of compliance and business ethics...

  • 21 October 2014

    Video: Companies prepare for EU Offshore Safety Directive compliance

    Earlier this year, Sir Ian Wood released a report on maximizing recovery from the UK Continental Shelf and recommended a new independent regulator to focus more on licensing…

  • Read more news