Promising Practices for Total Worker Health™
Quarterly, we feature new Promising Practices for Total Worker Health™, which are examples of how employers from across the country and from a wide range of industries are taking steps to effectively integrate both health promotion and health protection in their workplaces. If your employer is proactively integrating health protection and health promotion to prevent injury and illness, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your employer’s practices could be featured as a Promising Practice for Total Worker Health™!
Disclaimer: The mention of organizations and commercial entities and products in this article is for illustrative purposes only and does not represent an endorsement by NIOSH, CDC or the US Department of Health and Human Services
Health, Safety, and Well-Being: Corporate Strategy at Dartmouth-Hitchcock
In 2009, Dartmouth-Hitchcock, an academic medical center in New Hampshire with over 8,000 employees, needed to make a change. Covering over 16,000 in its health plans, health care costs were almost 10% of the medical center’s budget and rising faster than health care inflation rates each year. While collaborative, the employee health and safety departments were in different silos and recognized there were opportunities to create synergies with each other’s initiatives. Another challenge was that the medical center had different locations and clinic sites. The leadership of Dartmouth-Hitchcock decided that it could do better and would aim to have the healthiest workforce possible—a goal which the medical center adopted as the corporate vision to ensure sustainability and engagement at every level. As a result, the strategic priority, Live Well/Work Well (LWWW), was created with a mission to create a culture of health, safety, and well-being. read more
Totally Engaged in Hearing Loss Prevention
Domtar and 3M were specifically recognized with a Safe-in-Sound Excellence Award™ for the comprehensive integration of their hearing loss prevention program beyond the traditional occupational work environment into recreational and community activities enjoyed by their workers, their families and their neighbors. These plants are leading examples of the effort toward “total worker hearing health” and each is investing in the hearing health of future employees. Both employers recognized the specific non-occupational noise exposures encountered by their workforce and took steps to provide training and hearing protection devices specific to the local sound hazards. read more
State Workers’ Compensation Program Taking a Lead on Workplace Wellness
In 2010, 25 to 29 percent of Ohio’s adult population was considered obese (body mass index equal to or greater than 30) and the largest percent of Ohio’s workforce was between the ages of 45 to 54. While these statistics are comparable to what is occurring nationwide, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (OBWC) is leading the way for Total Worker Health™. Helping employers improve the health and wellness of their workers, as well as save money, OBWC established a Workers’ Compensation Workplace Wellness Grant Program in 2012. The program’s goal is to limit and control the escalating cost of workers’ compensation claims by helping employers develop health promotion programs for their employees. read more
A Culture of Health: A Key Driver for Lincoln Industries – A Successful High-Performance Manufacturing Organization
Lincoln Industries (http://lincolnindustries.com/) is a metal finishing plant in Lincoln, Nebraska. Out of their 550 employees – who they prefer to call their “people” – about 2/3 of them spend their days involved in physically demanding tasks on the factory floor, requiring effort and repetitive motion. This is an environment which is typically prone to worker injuries. However, with some innovative new approaches to the total health of their people, Lincoln Industries has been able to have an impressive impact on their injury rates, their wellness statistics, and their bottom line…. Read more
Erickson Living Extends Care to Employees and Integrates Employee Health and Wellness
Erickson Living is a full spectrum retirement community with 16 campuses in 9 states. These communities offer everything from independent apartment living to complete nursing facility care – and provide special features such as wellness classes, exercise facilities, healthy dining options and access to a personal trainer for their residents. While Erickson Living community had long been known for helping residents reach their wellness potential, they recently figured out how to provide this same opportunity to their dedicated employees. Read more
BJC HealthCare, Help for Your Health
BJC HealthCare is a nonprofit health care organization that serves residents in the greater St. Louis, southern Illinois and mid-Missouri regions. Long known for providing excellent healthcare services to their patients, BJC’s leadership recognized a need to commit the same level of attention and care to their own employees’ health and wellbeing. In 2003, the company launched their “Help for Your Health” program to encourage employees to learn about and improve their health by reducing lifestyle-related risk factors. At the same time their occupational health and safety team refocused their efforts and took a proactive stance to prioritize the prevention and control of work related injuries and illness. Read more
The following papers provide characteristics of programs that aim to integrate health protection and health promotion. These publications describe program design, frameworks, and implementation and serve as a useful resource for understanding components of effective TWHTM programs.
A Conceptual Framework for Integrating Workplace Health Promotion and Occupational Ergonomics Programs
Public Health Reports 2009;124(Suppl 1):16-25.
Integrating Employee Health: A Model Program for NASA
Institute of Medicine; 2005
A growing body of scientific evidence indicates that the quality of one’s work environment is a predictor of health behaviors. In support of this notion, the federal government is providing opportunities for advanced health and well-being in its own workforce. The purpose of this section is to spotlight ways in which the federal community is improving the health and safety of federal employees.
Improving the Health, Safety, and Productivity of Our Federal Employees: Federal Occupational Health
At a time when most federal agencies are being asked to “do more with less,” Federal Occupational Health (FOH) helps by providing services designed to improve the health, safety and productivity of federal employees. A part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), FOH works in partnership with federal agencies and organizations across government to design and deliver solutions that meet their occupational health needs. Read more
How NASA is Living Total Worker Health
National Aeronautical Space Agency (NASA), an executive Federal Agency dedicated to Space flight, highly values exploration. The Agency’s exploration success depends on employees’ detailed attention to the safety and health of the astronauts and their fellow Earth-bound employees. For decades NASA’s occupational health programs have maximized the opportunities of national health initiatives as well as internal resources. And, they have led the way to improve internal programs for the maintenance of a workforce that operates at its highest level of physical and mental well-being. Read more
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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