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Local transport company accelerates its mission to support a healthy workplace



Local transport company accelerates its mission to support a healthy workplace

If you visit the Wodonga depot of Ron Finemore Transport on a Tuesday or Thursday you’re likely to see physiotherapist Nick Guiney wandering around and offering his services to any staff member who needs them.

For the past 18 months, Mr Guiney – from Albury business Align Work Health – has been on site at the depot for three hours, twice a week, caring for the 350 staff there, from those in admin or logistics, to the workshop, or the drivers of the trucks coming and going through the gates.

Mr Guiney’s services are a part of Ron Finemore Transport’s mission to do as much as it can to support the health and wellbeing of the valuable staff that keep the business moving, and to create the kind of workplace they enjoy coming to each day.

As well as the free physiotherapy support, the staff have access to services including twice weekly health and wellbeing sessions, regular health monitoring checks, and flu and COVID vaccinations.

The company is also a champion of mental health initiatives like RUOK day, and is one of the founding members of the transport industry’s Health Heads in Trucks and Sheds program focused on improving the mental health and wellbeing of people in the transport and logistics industry.

Ron Finemore Transport managing director Mark Parry said the family-owned company had long believed in the value and importance of creating a workplace that was highly supportive of its staff.

“And a big part of that for us is doing what we can to remove any of the barriers our staff face in looking after their health and wellbeing, physical and mental, and being a workplace that really encourages them in that,” he said.

“Safety and people are two of our core values and if you’re serious about those things it’s not just about looking after people if they are injured on the job or reducing risks associated with the job, it’s all of the factors that can impact on their health and wellbeing, their quality of life, and ability to come to work and do their job safely.”

So successful has the onsite physiotherapy offering been that Ron Finemore Transport is planning to also launch it at its other major depot, at Orange, in July. The two sites employ around 70 per cent of the transport business’s 1000 staff.

Mr Guiney said that by providing healthcare and advice on site in their workplaces, Ron Finemore Transport was overcoming the challenges that often prevented people from getting important regular health checks and accessing services such as physiotherapy.

“By having these services available at work it makes it easier for people to see somebody about their health and wellbeing and get critical checks like blood pressure done,” he said.

“Usually going to a GP or a physio means having to get an appointment and then taking time off work to go, and then there’s also the cost, and that means people will often put off going to see someone.”

Wodonga truck driver Kulwinder Brar, who has been working with Ron Finemore Transport for more than two years, is one of the staff members who has used the physiotherapy service.

After straining his back two months ago while moving some pallets while he was out on a job, he was quickly able to receive treatment from Mr Guiney.

“When I felt my back was not right I called the office and they straight away booked me in with the physio,” he said, from the cab of the B-Double he was driving to Shepparton.

“I went to him for some treatments and he also gave me some exercises to do. I went on light duties for a while but now I’m back at my old job. They are very supportive.”

Ultimately, innovative companies like Ron Finemore Transport understand that creating a healthy and happy workplace, where people feel supported and respected, is also good for business.

Mr Parry said continuing to build its reputation as a good place to work was important in overcoming big challenges such as staff recruitment and retention.

“Ultimately with everything we do to engage and support our staff, the high standard of conditions we’re proud to offer, and the investment we put into our fleet of trucks and technology, we hope that people will see us as the best company to work for,” he said.

“And for those already working with us it will mean people will say, well, why would you go and work anywhere else?”

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