ASSE Comments on NIOSH’s Proposed Total Worker Health Agenda

Total Worker Health_identity graphic_mod__smIn late 2014, ASSE sent its comments on NIOSH’s Total Worker Health (TWH) Agenda to NIOSH Director John Howard. In the letter, ASSE emphasizes the OSH profession’s need for practical, easily communicated strategies, resources and tools that practitioners can use to convince stakeholders of the need to better integrate occupational safety and employee wellness. The Society also urges NIOSH to encourage research to identify how best to implement TWH initiatives organizationally. “Organizations that want to implement new programs look for fairly clear deliverables from research that can tell them not only what programs work or do not work, but also how to implement the programs,” writes ASSE President Trish Ennis, CSP, ARM.

In its comments, the Society also applauds NIOSH for recognizing the need to build professional capacities in integrating safety and wellness strategies. “Who can and should appropriately do safety and health—and now wellness—may be the most unexamined question in OSH,” Ennis notes. “Other professional fields, most notably healthcare itself, have invested considerable resources in determining who is best able to provide professional services. The assumption those professions accept is that appropriate training and professional accreditation help drive outcomes. That NIOSH has recognized the importance of this issue in the context of integrating wellness into OSH is a significant step forward for the field and those who practice it.”

If you are working to implement wellness strategies in your organization, be sure to check out the tools and resources available from ASSE’s Health and Wellness Branch.