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NIOSH publishes National Total Worker Health Agenda


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Washington – NIOSH recently published the National Total Worker Health Agenda, intended to advance worker well-being by integrating occupational safety and health practices with promotion of injury and illness prevention efforts.

The introduction to the agenda states that new approaches are needed because “scientific evidence now supports what many safety and health professionals, as well as workers themselves, have long suspected – that risk factors in the workplace can contribute to common health problems previously considered unrelated to work.”

The agenda aims to define and prioritize worker safety and health programs and practices through the next decade. The Total Worker Health initiative “advocates for a holistic understanding of the factors that contribute to worker well-being,” NIOSH states on its website.

Included are four strategic goals: research, practice, policy and capacity building. Each of the four main goals has a subset of additional goals. The agenda also features an infographic listing issues that are relevant to worker well-being, including control of hazards and exposures; organization of work with attention paid to topics such as safe staffing, healthier shift work and flexible work arrangements; leadership; environmental support, such as good air quality and healthy food options; and community support.

NIOSH hopes the agenda will galvanize a wide range of stakeholders, including researchers, occupational safety and health practitioners, workers, and employers.

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