Friday 22 September 2017

CIE to get staff on track with new fitness programme

Treacy Hogan

TRANSPORT chiefs are putting the 'train' into training for up to 8,000 rail and bus workers.

While its services are sometimes criticised for being behind schedule, CIE wants to make sure its staff run like clockwork.

A new health and fitness programme is being rolled out for Irish Rail, Bus Eireann and Dublin Bus employees.

In one of the first initiatives of its kind in the semi-state sector, all staff will be offered a tailored physical activity plan for the workplace.

"The proposed programme will involve individual assessment, coaching, monitoring," says the tender for the service just placed on the government e-tenders website.

Irish Rail spokesman Barry Kenny said yesterday the scheme, due to start in July, was not an 'Operation Transformation' for staff.

The idea is to help people improve their general health and fitness, and in the process lower absenteeism and improve productivity.

Mr Kenny also pointed out that many staff working in the bus and rail sector were in safety-critical roles, where good health was important.

Positive

"It's not Operation Transformation, it is for everyone, and it will be a very broad-based programme, aimed at improving general health," he added.

A pilot programme carried out several years ago proved very positive and it was decided to roll it out to the general workforce.

Staff who want to take part will have to pay a subsidised fee, which has yet to be decided, but the scheme involves a potential 50pc reimbursement.

All of the training courses will take place at the workplace at times suitable for staff, such as lunchtime or just before or after work.

The initial target is for a 10pc uptake among about 800 employees at 12 different locations in Dublin and seven nationally at Athlone, Sligo, Galway, Waterford, Cork, Killarney and Limerick.

Irish Independent

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