National Total Worker Health® Agenda
The National Total Worker Health® Agenda (Agenda) is a National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) intended to define and prioritize occupational safety and health research, practice, and prevention activities related to Total Worker Health (TWH) for 2016-2026. The Agenda articulates a variety of strategic goals, intermediate goals, and activity/output goals within the domains of Research, Practice, Policy, and Capacity-Building. NIOSH defines Total Worker Health (TWH) as policies, programs, and practices that integrate protection from work-related safety and health hazards with promotion of injury and illness prevention efforts to advance worker well-being.
By investing in research and transferring this research into practice, the long-term vision of Total Worker Health is to protect the safety and health of workers and to advance their well-being by creating safer and healthier work environments, and addressing employment-related issues. This vision will be achieved through knowledge generation, translation of that knowledge into practice, development of policy guidance, and building workforce capacity. Creation of a national Agenda is an important step toward making this vision a reality.
History of the Agenda and Stakeholder Involvement
The Agenda, representing the first time a TWH-specific NORA has been created, builds on an earlier draft (Proposed National TWH Agenda) released by NIOSH’s Office for Total Worker Health in September 2014. NIOSH invited stakeholders to provide comment on this draft agenda related to the top priority research, practice, and policy issues to help advance worker safety, health, and well-being. In 2015, in response to stakeholder input received, the TWH definition was expanded and the TWH approach was more finely focused in the final Agenda. The refined description now present in the published Agenda better reflects the priorities of the program and helps to overcome the equating of TWH with traditional workplace wellness programs that fail to integrate worker protection elements. TWH continues to place priority upon a hazard-free work environment that protects the safety and health of all workers. Summaries of all comments received on the Proposed National Total Worker Health Agenda, as well as changes reflected in the published 2016 Agenda, are available for download.
NIOSH is the federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries and illnesses. It was established under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. For further information, visit www.cdc.gov/niosh.