September 16, 2004
'STEPS' for Workplace Health, Productivity are Focus of October NIOSH Symposium
Contact: Fred Blosser (202) 401-3749
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) will convene a symposium with diverse partners on Oct. 26-28 in Washington, D.C., to examine new opportunities for advancing workplace health and productivity by better integrating occupational health and safety with worker health and healthy lifestyle promotion.
The symposium, which is co-sponsored by 22 industry groups, labor groups, corporations, professional organizations, and government organizations, will mark the official launch of NIOSH's "Steps to a Healthier U.S. Workforce" initiative. The new initiative will encourage workplace safety and health programs that focus on both the prevention of work-related illness, injury, and disability, and the promotion of healthy living and lifestyles to reduce and prevent chronic disease.
Although occupational health programs and health promotion programs have similar goals of promoting employee health and reducing the costs associated with illness and injury, they typically are conducted independently of each other, and traditionally are located in different parts of the business organization.
"By bridging the gaps that usually have separated occupational health from workplace-based health promotion, we can develop exciting new strategies for nurturing healthy people and healthy organizations," said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. "The symposium will provide a historic forum for bringing these disciplines together, examining efforts that have already produced successful interactions, and building on those successes to develop new partnerships."
In the symposium, working groups will address the science, policy and practice, and economics of integrating workplace health protection and promotion. Panel sessions will discuss stakeholder issues, and will highlight examples of excellence from existing integrated programs that have produced positive results. Opportunities for collaborations will be addressed in sessions focused on examples and lessons learned from pharmaceutical and health-care workplaces, office settings, schools, construction, and public safety.
Co-sponsors with NIOSH are Alabama Power, American Association of Occupational Health Nurses, American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, American Industrial Hygiene Association, American Psychological Association, American Society of Safety Engineers, Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics, Automotive Industry Advisory Group, Center to Protect Workers' Rights, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, IBM, International Commission on Occupational Health, Johnson & Johnson, Laborer's Health and Safety Fund of North America, National Safety Council, ORC Worldwide, Pan American Health Organization, Partnership for Prevention, Society for Public Health Education, UCLA Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, United Auto Workers-Delphi Corporation Partnership, and Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association.
Further information and on-line registration for the symposium can be found at www.cdc.gov/niosh/steps/2004/symposium.html. For further information about "Steps to a Healthier U.S. Workforce," visit NIOSH at www.cdc.gov/niosh/steps/.
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