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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 October 2007, 14:08 GMT 15:08 UK
Sex lessons for 'cranky' miners
Couple embracing, file pic
Managers say a healthy sex life leads to greater productivity
Australian coal miners are being given lessons in foreplay and the menopause in an attempt to boost productivity.

Managers at the Bulga pit, north of Sydney, say the so-called toolbox talks help workers to understand their wives, making them happier and healthier.

Mining firm Xstrata says the scheme has been so successful that it wants to extend it to other pits.

The briefings are on a different topic each month and have included advice on fatigue, nutrition and heart disease.

'Extremely attentive'

Company bosses say giving their predominantly male employees lessons on the menopause and foreplay gives them a healthy sex life, which in turn makes them happy, productive workers.

"We have to look at the lifestyles of our employees, making sure they are fit and healthy at work, but also fit, healthy and happy at home," Xstrata spokesman James Rickards told Reuters.

I told them that they needed to start exploring their wives like they did when they were 18
Tammy Farrell
Course co-ordinator

"Sex is an important part of any relationship, and it's important to address sex for an individual that is going through menopause."

Course co-ordinator Tammy Farrell, from Core Health Consulting, told the BBC that she was trying to promote communication and make the miners more aware of their health.

She added that the miners were taking the classes seriously and sharing their own experiences.

"If one man is game enough to put up their hand, you'll slowly notice three or four nods in the room," she said.

"If we can get two people out of all that who can change their lives, then that's fantastic."

Earlier, she told the Sydney Morning Herald that the miners had been "extremely attentive" when she advised them to "start exploring their wives like they did when they were 18".

"They snapped up all the flyers after the talk so we've obviously got some cranky men with cranky wives out there who want some help," she told the paper.

Other classes have covered nutrition, heart disease, prostate cancer and fatigue management.

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