Developed by NIOSH as a result of their “Steps to a Healthier US Workforce” initiative, Total Worker Health® is a holistic approach to workforce safety and wellness that aims to incorporate all aspects of the employee’s experience into a comprehensive system of injury prevention tactics and other programs for improving worker wellbeing.
In practice, the Total Worker Health® approach to workplace health and safety looks like an integrated set of interventions and policies designed to improve work conditions and support employees even in areas that are not directly related to job tasks. These areas can include ensuring healthy sleep habits to mitigate fatigue and its effects, introducing ergonomic assessments and risk evaluations at work sites, improving overall work culture, and providing ongoing support for employee mental health, all of which are closely tied to work performance and safety outcomes.
Dr. Lee Newman, Director at the Center for Health, Work and Environment and Distinguished Professor at the Colorado School of Public Health, has devoted his career and studies to expanding Total Worker Health® concepts throughout the American workforce, providing education and training to help future safety professionals create healthier, more supportive workplaces. Thanks to educational specialization across occupational and environmental health, pulmonary medicine, public health, research, and management concepts, Dr. Newman is a respected thought leader in the world of workplace safety and wellness.
In the latest episode of the DORN Injury Prevention Academy Podcast, Dr. Newman joined the show to discuss his work and explore how the Total Worker Health® approach can support organizations with cutting-edge, holistic safety and wellness strategies, and empower their workers with greater control over their own wellness.
In this episode, we cover:
- How the Total Worker Health® approach has evolved since its conception in the early 2000s and through the COVID pandemic
- Dr. Newman’s analysis of the most pressing workplace safety concerns that employers face today
- How TWH® can protect multigenerational workforces as younger employees enter roles and older employees require more specialized safety support
- The value of a holistic approach to worker well-being, especially or smaller companies with tighter budgets for safety
- How employers can foster and sustain a positive safety and wellness culture for their workers
Make sure to subscribe to the DORN Companies channel on YouTube to watch more in-depth interviews with safety professionals and thought leaders.