Gildan provides frontline healthcare to all of its employees in Central America, the Dominican Republic and Bangladesh through fully equipped medical clinics at each of our manufacturing facilities. The medical clinics operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. While focusing on workplace-related health issues, our medical team, composed of 42 doctors and 67 nurses worldwide are also often called upon to provide such services as pre-natal care and vaccinations.
Employees visit the medical center in the event of a minor injury or accident. Medical staff also provides medical advice and general treatment for medical issues such as sudden headache, fever, diarrhea, respiratory and gastric symptoms or diseases, and general health awareness.
In 2015, 99,505 visits were recorded at our on-site medical clinics in Central America and in the Dominican Republic and more than 43,200 medical visits were recorded in Bangladesh.
- Over 2,200 employees from Honduras were vaccinated free of charge against influenza and over 200 against hepatitis B.
- Over 4,500 employees from Honduras and the Dominican Republic were vaccinated free of charge against tetanus.
- More than 6,600 employees from Honduras received vitamins and dewormers.
In addition to basic health care services, all pregnant employees are also eligible to receive medical advice related to their pregnancy through maternity workshops from Gildan’s on-site medical staff in the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Honduras. At the majority of our facilities in Central America and the Dominican Republic, when employees register for this program, they are given training on various topics such as:
- Special care for pregnant women;
- Exercise techniques to facilitate birth;
- Care for the newborn (hygiene and preparing the home environment); and
- Breastfeeding techniques.
Presently, 9 doctors and 9 nurses were certified as Occupational Hearing Conservationists (OHCs) in Honduras by the Occupational Hearing Conservation Accreditation Council (CAOHC). The CAOHC is an organization dedicated to providing consumer safety and protection by training and accrediting those working to prevent noise-induced hearing loss. During the course of 2015, 9,477 audiometric tests were performed and 3,426 audiometric annual tests were conducted as part of the Hearing Conservation Program.
Health & Wellness
The health and wellness of employees is an important pillar at Gildan. We have many programs and initiatives in place across our entire organization to help manage employee health and wellness. Training and work-related stress management measures are available to all of our employees in our North America and Barbados operations through the EAP (Employee Assistance Program).
The EAP is an additional benefit provided to employees and is available on a voluntary and confidential basis. This service provides guidance to employees and their families, and gives them the opportunity to talk to professionals for free when dealing with workplace challenges or personal issues (e.g. bullying and harassment, work-life balance, marital problems, eldercare issues, family stress, and legal counseling).
Similar to the EAP, in our Central America locations, family counseling is available to employees.
At each of our operating locations we also provide localized initiatives to promote health and wellness. Some examples include:
Corporate Head Office:
- Seminars that deal with the issue of sleep deprivation, fatigue and stress;
- A Health and Wellness Fair during Health Month that includes topics such as ergonomy at the workplace, assessment of health cardiovascular risk, analysis of body composition and meditation sessions;
- Walking club and subsidized yoga classes offered on-site; and
- Discounted gym memberships are provided to all employees.
- On-site influenza vaccinations are provided at every US facility and office location;
- Discounted gym memberships are offered in Charleston, Eden, and Salisbury ;
- In Eden, employees participate in the “Get Fit Eden” program whose goal is to increase physical activity and improve the overall health of employees and residents who suffer from obesity and diabetes. Employees also participate in a company-sponsored community basketball league;
- In Cedartown and Charleston, health fairs are held where employees are invited to participate in biometric screenings and have their blood pressure checked, as well as speak with local service providers that include medical, vision, dental and chiropractic care; and
- In Eden, employees participated in weight loss contests to improve overall health.
- Healthy lifestyle initiatives are promoted by a Wellness Committee;
- Fitness and team challenges are carried out throughout the year in order to motivate employees to lead heathy lifestyles such as an annual run/walk event;
- Periodic health checks (weight, Body Mass Index (BMI), blood pressure, cholesterol, breast cancer checks etc.) are offered;
- An on-site gym is available for all employees;
- Dietary checks and consultations with certified dieticians; and
- Lectures on different aliments affecting health which are presented by a health care professional.
Honduras and Nicaragua:
- Health campaigns, that include topics such as breast cancer and cervical cancer awareness, HIV awareness, blood donation, ergonomics, etc. are offered throughout the year; and
- Subsidized vaccinations are made available for all employees.
- A Gildan Soccer Tournament is sponsored;
- Organized basketball and softball teams; and
- Subsidized vaccinations are made available for all employees.
- More than 180 employees have been vaccinated free of charge against tetanus and Hepatitis B.
- 180 employees receive vitamins and calcium supplements on a monthly basis.
- A health campaign was organized where 219 employees received an orthopedic consultation.
2015 Wellness Initiatives
Our 2015 goal is to extend our wellness initiatives to all Gildan locations. Our goal includes carrying out different events that include health fairs, on-site seminars addressing nutrition and the importance of reducing stress, as well as weight loss challenges. We want to educate our employees on the importance of leading healthy lives and how these efforts will affect their overall health in the future.
On-site health clinics are available in our manufacturing hubs, where employees are cared for by certified healthcare professionals. In addition, the on-site clinics provide training for employees on safe working conditions.
Gildan’s approach to providing safe working conditions is two-pronged: raising employee awareness/involvement and having managerial commitments that support our efforts. In Gildan’s manufacturing plants, over 4,300 hours of health and safety training were provided in 2015. Active safety committees, with heavy employee involvement, are present at all Gildan locations. Safety committees audit plants, discuss accidents and provide suggestions for improving safety equipment and operating procedures. Managerial commitment is illustrated through the use of the Global Health and Safety Policy that is in place in all Gildan locations.
Since 2010, in partnership with the Instituto Hondureño de Seguridad Social (IHSS), Gildan opened a drugstore adjacent to our Rio Nance complex clinics in Honduras benefitting all employees working at the complex. The registration process for all prescriptions provided by doctors at the complex’s medical clinics was subsequently automated, improving the service.
In 2015 alone, the drugstore provided the medicine needed to fill more than 67,725 prescriptions issued by our doctors at the Rio Nance complex. This represents over U.S. $490,000 worth of medicine, offered at no cost through our clinics.
In 2015, more than $310,700 worth of medicine was provided to our Bangladesh employees free of cost.
Focus on Health & Wellness in the United States
2015 was a successful continuation of our efforts to promote wellness in all US locations. We not only offered onsite flu shots at all locations, but we increased the number of participants, over our 2014 numbers at most of our facilities.
For 2015, our Cedartown, Georgia yarn-spinning facility expanded its focus from a traditional health fair to a Health Week. The entire week consisted of activities focused on personal health and wellness, as well as community impact. Activities included: two classes on nutrition and healthy eating habits, on-site biometric screenings, blood pressure checks, glucose monitoring, and a blood drive. Employees also voluntarily participated in various health challenges during their breaks. The participant volume, as well as positive feedback, assured employees that this would continue to be a part of the continued wellness initiatives in Cedartown, GA. We look to expand this type of activity to other US locations in 2016.
For the second year in a row, the Charleston, South Carolina facility organized a very successful health fair. Employees were once again able to engage with local providers who were, on-site to discuss personal wellness goals and how the services offered by providers in the area, could aid in successfully reaching those goals.
In Eden, North Carolina, employees were engaged in a number of wellness activities including a March of Dimes walk, a Get Fit Eden wellness campaign and a Weight Loss contest.
The US wellness medical discount program once again had a very successful year. Over 94% of employees and included spouses (those participating in our group health insurance plan), voluntarily agreed to receive an annual/routine physical prior to the deadline and provide documentation of this visit. Employees who provided valid proof of their visit were able to save $20/bi-weekly on their coverage while those employees whose insurance plan covers their spouses were eligible for a $40 bi-weekly savings. Our goal for 2016 is to achieve 97% participation.
In 2016, we will begin offering two enhancements to our benefits program that will encourage compliance with our wellness program, which is focused on our diabetic population. For the benefit plan year beginning May 1, 2016, Gildan will introduce a comprehensive wellness compliance program that will focus on diabetic health care. Participants in the program that achieve 100% compliance, will receive all diabetic medications and supplies free of charge. This program is designed to target those employees, and/or dependents, that incur claims due to non-complacency with recommended diabetic check-ups and will encourage the proper use of medications by eliminating the financial burden associated with obtaining prescriptions. If the program is found to be successful, we will consider expanding this type of compliance program to other target areas that represent the largest area of high cost claims. We will continue to provide on-site flu clinics at all US locations, offering employees free flu vaccinations, and the added convenience of having this service offered at their workplace. Those unable to receive the flu shot onsite, will be able to receive the vaccination at their provider’s office, or approved minute clinic, free of charge.
Employees at our Mebane, North Carolina distribution center have access to the services of an on-site nurse practitioner. For eight hours each week, employees can consult the nurse to address their personal health concerns, or receive a written prescription, without leaving the facility. This program has not only reduced absenteeism but has also positively impacted the Company’s self-funded group health plan, as the cost of treating minor illnesses on-site is far less than a normal doctor’s office visit. These services have also allowed us to reduce overall year over year claims cost. All current and newly hired employees are encouraged to participate in a voluntary, confidential, health assessment conducted by the nurse practitioner as an alternative way to identify and treat any potential health risks that may have gone undetected.