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New Survey Instrument Available to Help Assess Worker Well-Being

April 9, 2021
NIOSH Update:

MEDIA CONTACT: Stephanie Stevens,, 202.245.0641

New Survey Instrument Available from NIOSH to Help Assess Worker Well-Being

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) announces a new resource designed to measure worker well-being. The NIOSH Worker Well-Being Questionnaire (WellBQ) is a freely available survey instrument intended to help researchers, employers, workers, practitioners, and policymakers understand workers’ well-being and target interventions to improve worker well-being.

“Worker well-being is an unifying concept that characterizes quality of life with respect to a person’s working conditions, circumstances outside of work, and physical and mental health status,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “NIOSH is excited to offer this new tool that anyone can use to evaluate worker well-being in order to help identify opportunities to advance worker well-being through workplace policies, programs, and practices.”

Who should use the NIOSH WellBQ?

Anyone interested in measuring the well-being of workers can use the NIOSH WellBQ. For example:

  • Employers, worker health and well-being professionals, and decision-makers can use the NIOSH WellBQ to inform decisions to advance worker well-being in the workforce as a whole or within various worker subpopulations such as industry and occupational sectors or demographic groups.
  • Occupational safety & health and public health experts and policymakers can use the NIOSH WellBQ to monitor changes in worker well-being in relation to economic conditions, societal trends, or changing governmental or organizational policies.
  • Researchers and organizational consultants can use the NIOSH WellBQ to assess the well-being of a working population before, during, and after an intervention.

About the Questionnaire

The NIOSH WellBQ is guided by the worker well-being framework designed by NIOSH and the RAND Corporation. This framework identifies five domains of worker well-being:

  1. Work Evaluation and Experience
  2. Workplace Policies and Culture
  3. Workplace Physical Environment and Safety Climate
  4. Health Status
  5. Home, Community, and Society

The questionnaire comprises 68 questions representative of the five domains of worker well-being. Complementing these are 15 optional items about employment and demographic information, which may be edited as needed to meet user needs.

The draft NIOSH WellBQ was pilot tested in a nationwide sample of 975 working people. Based on pilot testing, the questionnaire was finalized and takes about 15 minutes to complete.

Visit the NIOSH website for more information, including:

  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  • Resources for action
  • NIOSH WellBQ document, including the Codebook and Item Source Table
  • Stand-alone NIOSH WellBQ instrument

NIOSH is the federal institute that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths. For more information about NIOSH visit