Oregon Healthy Workforce Center speaks at Work Stress Health in LA

The Principal Investigators of the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center research and translation projects spoke at the Work Stress and Health conference in Los Angeles (CA) in a symposium devoted to their solutions intervention projects on Total Worker Health (TWH). The PIs are shown in the picture answering audience questions after describing their pilot research now largely completed.  They are now conducting their randomized controlled trial studies to evaluate the effectiveness of their solutions interventions.

Those interventions employ training/education to teach employees and managers about safe and healthy lifestyles and either team-based interactions to motivate change (and work restructuring) or the use of social media to enhance the motivation inherent in the training. The OHWC Director’s presentation reflected the Center’s report that there are only about 20 studies that have examined integrated safety, health and wellness interventions (ie, TWH), making the current research of the OHWC research (along with that of the 3 other NIOSH-supported healthy workforce centers) among the first to provide a true test of integrated programs.

These studies are on track to be completed in 2014 and they will be available for dissemination by the end of that year. Some of the audience for the Sunday morning when the presentations were made is also pictured below. The thrust of the research projects and populations studied is listed below the pictures.

Home Care Workers
• Develop a team-based intervention for self-employed HCWs to create a new organization of work structure – communities of practice – that meet regularly to
discuss ways to reduce hazards and engage in behaviors that prevent disease and injury
Water Bureau & Bureau of Transportation construction workers
•Team effectiveness training  (to replace low-value work with essential tasks)
•Training to improve family-supportive interactions and safety-related
communications between supervisors and employees
•Tracking (self-monitoring) technology for supervisors re interactions
Corrections Officers
• Team-based, peer-led health promotion intervention
Young (Parks & Recreation) Workers
• Web-based training and social media intervention
• NIOSH “Talking Safety-Youth at Work”
• Evidence-based health promotion training (ATLAS and ATHENA programs)
Construction
• Computer-based training to improve supervisor skills
People with a Disability
• Web-based  training that integrates basic Occ Safety & Health
with a physical activity health promotion model
For more information, link to the OHWC website.
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About the Author

W. Kent Anger, PhD, is a Senior Scientist and Associate Director for Applied Research at OHSU's Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology.

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