Total Worker Health®

What is it?

Total Worker Health Infographic

Traditional occupational health and safety programs focused primarily on keeping workers safe from workplace hazards such as injury risks and harmful exposures. We have since learned that other factors are important to consider as well—for example, wage, work environment, work load, work stress, co-worker and supervisor support, etc., have been shown to affect one's risk for sleep disorders, cardiovascular disease, depression, and a number of physiological and emotional health concerns, which in turn can affect one's work. Thus, through a combination of research and practice, we have come to understand that ensuring a healthy worker necessitates a holistic view that goes beyond a traditional work safety focus—one that would not only protect the worker from workplace hazards but also enhance his/her well-being at work and outside of work—one that would incorporate a "total worker health" approach.

Total Worker Health is defined by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) as "policies, programs, and practices that integrate protection from work-related safety and health hazards with promotion of injury and illness prevention efforts to advance worker well-being."

Here's a list of issues that NIOSH identifies as being relevant to achieving total worker health and well-being.

Learn more about the Total Worker Health® program at NIOSH.