I was at the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) conference last week and I have to say it is the best conference I have attended to date! I was very excited to see many sessions, as always, dedicated to worker safety and limiting worker exposure to various chemicals and agents but also focused on Total Worker Health.
What is Total Worker Health (TWH)?
Essentially it is a program, trademarked by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), that combines occupational health and safety (i.e. protect workers from asbestos exposure) with health and wellness programs (i.e. flexible work hours, healthy food options, etc.) to help workers be safe, healthy and look after their whole well-being.
What does this mean?
As you may or may not know, this is my passion! I have been a champion for workers, both as part of my career and also within the workplaces I have worked in; many times being the “canary in the mine” by providing my superior’s with information with respect to employee morale.
As you can imagine, seeing a group of Industrial Hygienists, who are already champions for worker health, look beyond our traditional definition of health and safety and include a more holistic approach is exciting!
Of course, we have a long way to go; as a group of experts we will need to prove to corporations, employers, supervisors and owners that creating a happy and healthy workplace is cost-effective and smart! In fact, it is not just cost-effective; it is a cost-savings! A study completed by a the State of California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation showed that for every dollar applied to a safety program, saves a company THREE dollars or more!
My wish and continued mission!
If you want more information on how to implement or learn what a TWH program looks like, please visit the CDC website and check out the plethora of information at your disposal! I hope that one day, we can look back at how our workplaces “used to be” in an age of a holistic health and wellness programs and happy workplaces!
Now to you:
I want to know how you feel about this. What would a happy workplace look like to you? Are you already at a happy workplace? How are your co-workers, are they positive, engaging and energized? If so, share why your company is so awesome and how they have taken TWH to heart!