The NIOSH-developed strategy integrating occupational safety and health protection with health promotion to prevent worker injury and illness and to advance worker health and well-being was rolled out last June.
NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. says milestones of the past year include:
The recent publication of The NIOSH Total Worker Health™ Program: Seminal Research Papers 2012. This document is a compilation and update of three papers from the 2004 NIOSH-sponsored, Steps to a Healthier Workforce Symposium. The papers established the rationale for expanding research on the benefits of integrated programs to improve worker health and workplace safety. These papers are widely cited and are considered seminal writings on the science and practice of integrating health protection and health promotion. (Lead authors Glorian Sorensen, Seth Seabury, and Ron Goetzel write about it on the NIOSH Science Blog.)
In September 2011, a Healthier Federal Workers Symposium, led and co-sponsored by NIOSH, featured federal workplaces’ most influential thought leaders and policy makers.
In December 2011, the first National Expert Colloquium on TWH™ was held to gain further insight from leading health promotion and health protection experts from private industry, government, and labor.
In March 2012, we launched the quarterly eNewsletter, TWH™ in Action!, to share new research, Promising Practices for Total Worker Health™, and resources from us and our partners.
In May 2012, Dr. Anita Schill, manager of the NIOSH Total Worker Health Program, participated in a podcast with Safety Breakthrough Radio highlighting the Program.
“In the eight years since the Steps to a Healthier Workforce Symposium, interest in integrated approaches to worker health and safety has flourished,” said Howard. An increasing amount of evidence shows that the work environment and the overall health of the workers within it are inextricably linked. Disease and injury, whether caused or worsened by risk factors related to work, non-work activities, or lifestyle, reduce quality of life, opportunity, and income for workers and those dependent upon them. For employers, the collective burden of diminished workforce health and ability adversely impacts recruitment, retention, productivity, and, ultimately, economic viability.”
Upcoming TWH events include:
The second National Expert Colloquium on Total Worker Health™ will be held this month to continue dialogue with leading health promotion and health protection experts from private industry, government, and labor.
In September 2012, the second Healthier Federal Workers Symposium will be held.
In May 2013, the conference Work Stress and Health: Protecting and Promoting Total Worker Health™ will be co-sponsored by NIOSH, the American Psychological Association, and the Society for Occupational Health Psychology.