Work, Stress and Health 2013: Protecting and Promoting Total Worker Health™
Work, Stress and Health 2013: Protecting and Promoting Total Worker Health™ was convened by the American Psychological Association, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Society for Occupational Health Psychology (SOHP).
The Work, Stress and Health Conference series addresses the changing nature of work and the implications of these changes for the health, safety and well-being of workers. The conference covers numerous topics of interest to labor, management, practitioners and researchers, such as work and family issues; new forms of work organization; changing worker demographics; and best practices for preventing stress and improving the health of workers and their organizations (see complete list of conference topics). Expert presentations and informal meetings with leading scientists and practitioners will provide an exciting forum for learning about the latest developments in occupational health psychology.
In 2013, the conference gave special attention to the concept of Total Worker Health. Total Worker Health is an expression, coined by NIOSH, that describes a new approach to safeguarding the health and safety of workers. This novel approach acknowledges that a) both work-related factors and factors beyond the workplace contribute jointly to many health and safety problems confronting today's workers, and b) control of these problems is best achieved by comprehensive workplace health and safety programs that address both sets of factors in a coordinated fashion. Traditionally, workplace programs to address worker health and safety have been compartmentalized into health promotion programs that deal mainly with lifestyle factors that place workers at risk, and health protection activities to reduce worker exposures to risk factors arising in the work environment. However, there is growing appreciation and evidence that workplace interventions that integrate health protection and health promotion programs are more effective than traditional, fragmented programs.
To learn more about the concept of Total Worker Health, refer to the following sources:
Researchers, business and organizational representatives, labor leaders and medical and social science professionals with interests in occupational safety and health were invited to attend poster presentations, papers, roundtable discussions and symposia that addressed the conference topics. The following subjects were highlighted:
The effects of integrated health protection and health promotion interventions, including both health/safety and organizational (e.g., economic, productivity) outcomes
The joint contribution of occupational and non-occupational factors to health and safety problems facing workers today (e.g., stress and mental health, obesity)
Strategies and best practices for implementing and evaluating integrated or holistic prevention programs
Merits, challenges, future directions, etc., relating to integrated prevention strategies
Training needs to advance research and practice relating to Total Worker Health