The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recently celebrated the first anniversary of its Total Worker Health™ (TWH) program, and the agency says it has accomplished many things.
First announced in June 2011, the program was created based on evidence that safety in the work environment is strongly connected to overall health. Benefits of combining occupational safety efforts and promoting worker health leads to improved performance and reduces injury risks.
NIOSH director John Howard outlined the accomplishments of the program over the last year. One milestone, he said, was the recent publication of the program's Seminal Research Papers of 2012, which compile three papers from the 2004 Steps to a Healthier Workforce Symposium. The papers from the 2004 symposium establish the rationale for performing more research on integrated programs to improve worker health and safety.
"In the eight years since the Steps to a Healthier Workforce Symposium, interest in integrated approaches to worker health and safety has flourished," said Howard. "An increasing amount of evidence shows that the work environment and the overall health of the workers within it are inextricably linked. Disease and injury, whether caused or worsened by risk factors related to work, non-work activities, or lifestyle, reduce quality of life, opportunity, and income for workers and those dependent upon them."