For many years a driving force in American industry has been the desire for ever-increasing productivity. This attitude can lead to increased short-term profits, but a person's workday activities and stresses often spill over into home life, and vice versa. This can lead to substantial long-term personal costs associated with stress, poor health and reduced safety. Nowadays, it is becoming more and more recognized that a healthy workforce contributes to a happier, safer and more productive workforce, and with the added benefit of reduced absenteeism, reduced workers' compensation claims and reduced health care costs. It is clear that there are opportunities to benefit employees and employers by focusing on combined healthy and safe practices at work. Thus, at the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences, our activities are directed towards the goal of not only avoiding disease and accidents but to actually improve the health of the workforce.
The Institute's faculty and staff are a devoted and nationally recognized team of scientists, whose work stretches from molecular-level research, to clinical studies, to programs in the workplace, training health and safety professionals, and offering the public information on all of these programs. Currently, our main endeavors are aligned into five main thematic areas including:
- Total worker health;
- Sleep and shiftwork;
- Exposure: consequences and prevention;
- Injury, treatment, recovery and prevention; and
- Outreach and education.
Details of these programs are provided on our Research Directions webpage. By applying research discoveries and integrating these with workplace interventions we strive to make a significant contribution to human safety, health and wellbeing. Together with our network of partners, we are setting the stage for a thriving workforce and better health in Oregon and beyond.
Steven A Shea, Ph.D.