Study: Wellness initiatives should not be separate from safety and health programs

New research done by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) suggests that in order for workplaces to fully take advantage of wellness programs, they must be properly integrated with existing safety and health initiatives.

The report states that employers have a tendency to approach safety and health protection programs and workplace wellness programs as two separate items, isolating them and allowing for zero interaction.

Authors with ACOEM argue that for either activity to be truly effective, each much be integrated into a single "workplace health protection and promotion" system.

ACOEM states that "health protection" includes the "activities that protect workers from occupational injury and illness," which includes wearing work gloves, hard hats, and other safety products, while "health promotion" refers more to "activities that maintain or improve the personal health of a workforce."

By combining these two aspects of workplace safety effectively, employers can "increase their impact on overall health and productivity. The whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts."

ACOEM is comprised of more than 5,000 occupational physicians and other health care professionals that provide leadership to promote optimal health and safety of workers, workplaces, and environments. 

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