QAL had over 48 employees raise their hand to become trained volunteers upon launching the onsite peer support program.
QAL had over 48 employees raise their hand to become trained volunteers upon launching the onsite peer support program.

Industry giant asks workers ‘R U OK?’

A GLADSTONE industry giant has taken “R U OK?” Day to the next level, with the launch of its onsite peer support program.

The Queensland Alumina Limited program allows QAL team members to become trained onsite support volunteers who can help colleagues experiencing stress by providing a listening ear, practical assistance, or connecting them to professional help when needed.

QAL general manger Pine Pienaar said the average person spent one third of their life in the workplace.

“It is no surprise that, more often than not, it is our colleagues we turn to in times of need or who are the first to recognise the signs that a team member may be struggling,” he said.

In the first round of peer supporter recruitment, QAL had over 48 employees raise their hand to become trained volunteers.

Today marks the launch of the program, where volunteers will be speaking with teams across site as part of QAL’s “R U OK” Day event.

QAL Crane Base team member, Ross Impiccini, was among the applicants who stepped up to become a peer supporter.

“I know what it is like to feel overwhelmed and I understand the importance of mindset and being able to work through situations with a glass-half-full attitude,” he said.

The peer support initiative has already proven successful at both Boyne Smelters Limited and Rio Tinto Yarwun operations, with a range of employees receiving the support, conversation and assistance to help them journey through tough times.

The program is a key step within QAL’s business-wide wellbeing strategy to ensure everyone goes home safely every day.