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Nuflow Technologies

Category eleven – Best demonstrated leadership in rehabilitation and return to work

Nuflow inspects, cleans, clears, repairs and relines residential and commercial pipes as well as researching and manufacturing customised and innovative solutions to fix pies.

A Nuflow staff member, Marty, suffered a stroke at work and was later placed into an induced coma. Marty’s stroke affected his ability to speak, walk and the functionality of his right arm and leg. Marty went through an intense rehabilitation that included learning to walk, communicate and use his right arm while overcoming the challenge of not being able to drive or return to his job as a chemical mixologist driving forklifts.

Nuflow’s strong comradery played a crucial role in Marty’s return to work. Throughout his rehabilitation he was visited by his colleagues and manager and invited to a staff BBQ. Nuflow continued to pay Marty his full wage, had a sign (Marty’s Shed) made and put in place at the shed that Marty used to mix chemicals.

Nuflow worked with Marty, his rehabilitation coordinator and physio to get Marty back into the workplace in a new role operating the laminating machine. Nuflow management and health and safety officers wrote a new risk assessment and standard operating procedure for the role to make sure it was suitable for Marty’s physical limitations and included teammates working with him to complete tasks.

Not only has Marty benefited physically and mentally by being able to return to work, Nuflow has also found:

  • it was able to keep a valued employee
  • production has increased
  • young workers see the value of looking after staff
  • an increase in morale
  • it contributed to Marty’s sense of purpose.

Download a copy of this film (ZIP/MP4, 74MB)

Steven Murphy, Safety Officer

My name is Steve Murphy and here at Nuflow I'm the Safety Officer. My role as Safety Officer is the day-to-day safety and the wellbeing of the employees. Nuflow, as a company, we repair underground pipes. So it's, it's a no dig repair. Marty suffered a massive stroke while he was out in one of the company vehicles with me at the time, actually. I was driving and we got him back to work fairly quickly and called the ambulance. I stayed with him while at time. After Marty was in hospital for three months and parts of his rehabilitation, it’s just started at that time, after three months. And, and we decided to just have a, a barbecue here for Marty.

After the barbecue, we decided that we would try and get Marty back to work, at one of our machines, a laminator. So, we called out his occupational therapist. They assessed it with me, and it was all agreed within four months of Marty having a stroke, he was back to work. So that was the first return to work case that we've ever had. But I think what that's done now, it's given us some guidelines, how we can help any injured employees in the future. Marty is come on leaps and bounds. One instance of that was when he has to write with his left hand, because he was right-handed, we couldn't read his writing whatsoever. Now, if you go and look at it, every single person can read it. So, it's helped him, in his physical parts of that. And also, it get him back to work, his mental health parts is fantastic as well.

To get the management buy-in was quite easy, very easy, in fact. They were supportive in any ideas we had and very responsive to action what was proposed. There's so many outcomes that is, that it shows that our company actually cares about its employees and their families, and getting them back to work. My advice for any other return to coordinators, keep looking. Don't just look at the small picture, try and adapt things that you've already got in place, adapt it to the person who needs it and always keep looking. The rewarding parts of, of the role is the end result. So it might be a little bit harder at the beginning to get the ball rolling, but definitely the rewards is looking at the guy we've got working up there, Marty, and seeing the end results.