NIOSH Holds National Expert Colloquium on TWH

NIOSH convened the 3rd National Expert Colloquium on Total Worker Health (TWH) Thursday (September 19) in Washington, DC. Shown in the picture (from the right) are NIOSH TWH program managers Casey Chosewood and Anita Schill who convened the Collquium, and NIOSH Director John Howard (Dr. Howard has visited Oregon 2 times to speak at meetings sponsored/supported by CROET).  About 20 people attended the Colloquium in addition to members of the NIOSH TWH team, some also shown in the picture.

NIOSH has recently updated it’s list of issues relevant to TWH, which helps us recognize the breadth of this concept that is leading the nation to redefine health and safety in the workplace.  This is a dramatic expansion of the scope of workplace safety and health. The graphic is shown below.


NIOSH has expansive and important goals for the TWH program.  Selected NIOSH goals and the years they propose to accomplish them, are:

  • Develop a bibliography of TWH literature and reports (2013)
  • Publish a ‘Let’s Get Started’ brochure in TWH (2013)
  • Develop a national standard/statement of prevalent and promising practices through the National Academy of Sciences (2014)
  • Partner with large organizations (they are looking for large employers) to initiate collaborative TWH projects (in the organizations)
  • Establish certificate (2016) and graduate (2018) programs and a journal supported by a professional society (2023) in TWH
  • Establish mechanisms to promote corporate TWH responsibility (2019)

NIOSH has evolved it’s TWH website in 2013 where you can download the seminal articles on TWH.

People invited by NIOSH to discuss TWH came from private industry (e.g., Safeway, IBM, Sodexo), labor (e.g., SEIU, Farmworker Justice), government (e.g., Office of Personnel Management), Universities (e.g., OHSU, SUNY, University of Colorado, Dartmouth) and Health Management organizations (e.g., Viridian, US Healthiest). Kent Anger represented the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center (OHWC) at the meeting. He can be contacted for details.

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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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