Developing recommendations for an integrated approach to workplace health protection and health promotion
Reasons for the study
Workplace health promotion (WHP) programs that also emphasize hazard correction through occupational health and safety (OHS) activities have greater worker participation rates and higher injury reduction rates than those that focus on OHS or worker health behavioural changes alone. As well, the coordination of OHS and WHP efforts is good resource stewardship. Rather than competing for resources, resources are pooled to the benefit of the broader organization.
In 2011, various international agencies endorsed an integrated approach to OHS and workplace wellness programs; the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s Total Worker Health® approach is one example. Yet, little guidance is available to employers on how to implement an integrated strategy.
Objectives of the study
- To conduct a scoping review of existing peer-reviewed and non-academic literature, documenting existing approaches to the integration of OHS and WHP policies and practices
- To identify challenges, successes and outcomes of integrated approaches
- To integrate feedback and insight from researchers and partners to identify key processes and guiding principles that should be addressed by workplaces integrating OHS and WHP activities
Findings from this research will provide guidance to employers—especially those represented by the project's partner organizations, which make up a sizable proportion of the industry stakeholders important to Alberta's economic future—that can be implemented to enhance the safety and well-being of workers and sustain high levels of productivity through an integrated worker health approach. The findings may also inform future phases of this project, which could develop assessment tools, recommend strategies for low-performing workplaces to improve practices, and evaluate the impact of practices on worker health.
Related scientific publications
- Biswas A, Dobson KG, Gignac MA, de Oliveira C, Smith PM. Changes in work factors and concurrent changes in leisure time physical activity: a 12-year longitudinal analysis. Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2020 [epub ahead of print]. doi:10.1136/oemed-2019-106158.
Related research summaries
- Understanding the types of Ontario workplaces that offer both wellness and OHS programs. Research Highlights: Institute for Work & Health, June 2019.
Alberta Health Services
Energy Safety Canada
Graham Lowe Group
Alberta OHS Future