Today's News / Health / Environmental and Occupational Health / Psychology

NIOSH renews call for total worker health

December 26, 2011
KEYWORDS health / NIOSH / occupational / risk
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+

dividedHealth experts writing on the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Science Blog strengthened the case for combining both work and personal factors when designing programs to maintain a well-functioning workforce -- an approach NIOSH recommends in its Total Worker Health program.

In a blog post entitled, "A Comprehensive Approach to Workforce Health," Paul Schulte, Ph.D. and Sudha P. Pandalai, M.D., Ph.D., point out that employers are burdened by rising healthcare costs that hinder their companies' productivity and profitibability and can limit growth.

Historically, work and personal factors relating to health have been considered separately. Legislation eventually arose that protected workers primarily from workplace hazards.

"However, most of the diseases and health conditions experienced by workers are influenced by multiple factors," write the authors, who call for more research into the interaction of occupational risk factors and personal risk factors as they relate to the causes of diseases. Such research is particularly crucial because the workforce is aging and increasingly burdened with chronic illnesses, some of which can be prevented or ameliorated.

One example cited in a paper published by Schulte and Pandalai recently in the American Journal of Public Health: age-related hearing loss that might be exacerbated by exposure to organic solvents.

They cite a growing body of evidence on the effectiveness of workplace interventions for occupational outcomes (e.g. musculoskeletal disorders, mental health) and personal factors (e.g. smoking and overweight). "Future models for interventions that consider both work and personal risk factors would provide a foundation for an integrated worklife approach that combines health protection from workplace hazards and health promotion. This approach is advocated by NIOSH through its Total Worker Health program. Ultimately, consideration of the totality of the health of the workforce is a prescription for better health and well-being of the nation."

Click here to read the complete blog post.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to ISHN.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Scenes from the World of Safety

Sights, signs & symbols from the National Safety Congress & Expo held in San Diego, CA, September 15-18

11/4/14 2:00 pm EST

Eye Injuries: You rarely see them coming. Practical Solutions for reducing injuries to the eye.

The 3M Eye Injury Reduction webinar will provide an examination of how to help solve eye injuries in the workplace. This issue continues to challenge virtually every industry, and the solution is often times multifaceted. 3M will share some new tools and approaches to help you in solving this issue.

ISHN Magazine


2015 January

Check out ISHN's first issue of 2015, which features articles about hearing protection as well as the State of the EHS Nation 2015 Survey.

Table Of Contents Subscribe


M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\ISHN\safetyfourth.jpg
Safety Engineering, 4th Edition

A practical, solutions-driven reference, Safety Engineering, 4th edition, has been completely revised and updated to reflect many of today’s issues in safety.

More Products

For Distributors Only - January 2015



For Distributors Only is ISHN's niche brand standard-sized magazine supplement aimed at an audience of 2,000 U.S. distributors that sell safety products. Circulation only goes to distributors. 



Facebook logo Twitter YouTubeLinkedIn Google + icon

ishn infographics

2012 US workplace deathsCheck out ISHN's new Infographic page! Learn more about worker safety through these interactive images. CLICK HERE to view the page.