NIOSH publishes workbook on Total Worker Health

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Photo: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Washington – NIOSH has released a workbook it calls “a practical starting point for employers, workers, labor representatives, and other professionals interested in implementing workplace safety and health programs aligned with the Total Worker Health approach.”

The Total Worker Health concept emphasizes a work environment that is free of hazards and uses “a modern prevention approach” that acknowledges that occupational factors can affect the well-being of employees, their families and their communities.

The new workbook, Fundamentals of Total Worker Health Approaches: Essential Elements for Advancing Worker Safety, Health, and Well-being, outlines five “defining elements” of Total Worker Health:

  • Show leadership commitment to worker safety and health at all of the organization’s levels.
  • Plan work to mitigate or eliminate hazards and advance worker well-being.
  • Promote and encourage worker engagement during program design and implementation.
  • Keep worker information confidential and private.
  • Organize systems to improve worker well-being.

Guidance, examples and links to other resources are included for each element.

NIOSH states that the workbook can help employers determine if their current efforts reflect a Total Worker Health approach, identify steps for improvement and track their progress.

New NIOSH Sound Level Meter App.

Imagine if workers around the world could collect and share workplace (or task-based) noise exposure data using their smartphones. Scientists and occupational safety and health professionals could rely on such shared data to build job exposure databases and promote better hearing health and prevention efforts.  In addition, the ability to acquire and display real-time noise exposure data could raises workers’ awareness about their work environment and help them make informed decisions about potential hazards to their hearing.

The idea was so intriguing that in 2014, the NIOSH hearing loss team evaluated 192 sound measurement applications (apps) for the iOS and Android platforms to examine their suitability and accuracy in relation to professional sound measurement instruments (Kardous and Shaw, 2014). Of the 192 apps the team examined, 10 iOS apps met the outlined criteria for functionality, features, and calibration capability, and of those, 4 iOS apps met our testing criteria.  Read more about that study in the blog So How Accurate Are These Smartphone Sound Measurement Apps?

Click Here for more info on the NIOSH App.