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Engaging workers in health promotion and health protection efforts: a participatory approach for innovation and sustainability at two worksites.

Henning R; Nobrega S; Flum M; Punnett L; CPH-NEW Research Team
Different perspectives on work changes: papers from the Second International Workshop on Work and Intervention Practices, August 27-29, 2008, Québec, Canada. Pelletier J, Vaudreuil F, Morel S, Lapointe P-A, eds. Quebec, Que: Universite Laval, Faculte des Sciences sociales, Departement des Relations Industrielles, 2011 Jan; :199-208
An evidence-based approach to achieve more sustainable and effective workplace health promotion and protection programs is currently being tested by the Center for Promotion of Health in the New England Workplace (CPH-NEW; <a href=""target="_blank"></a>). Modeled after participatory ergonomics programs, small "design teams" of employees engage in iterative design of interventions to address their prioritized health concerns. An opportunity for employees to become stakeholders in these interventions is considered a key design factor for program success and sustainability. Program start-up depends on gaining both administrative and union support, assessing organizational readiness for participatory efforts, and creating meaningful support roles for supervisors. A multi-level steering committee with union and management representation is charged with supporting design team activities. Design teams initially focus on the health priorities revealed in survey responses to open-ended questions about work and non-work factors affecting health, and revealed in employee focus groups. Design team members receive training on teamwork skills and on basic principles of ergonomics and health promotion tailored to employee-selected health priorities. Ergonomic and health promotion professionals provide assistance as needed, such as helping make the business case for an intervention. The proposed integrated approach is expected to complement existing programs in ergonomics, health promotion, safety, and total quality management (TQM), and to support organizational change and innovation.
Workers; Work-environment; Health-programs; Protective-measures; Models; Worker-health; Ergonomics; Questionnaires; Humans; Men; Safety-measures; Safety-programs; Total-Worker-Health
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Priority Area
Healthcare and Social Assistance
Source Name
Engaging workers in health promotion and health protection efforts: a participatory approach for innovation and sustainability at two worksites
Performing Organization
University of Massachusetts, Lowell
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division