Total Worker Health® is an organizational approach that prioritizes safety at the workplace, safe and healthy design of work, and positive work experiences as a way to achieve worker well-being.
NIOSH defines Total Worker Health 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. Visit NIOSH’s Total Worker Health page.
An important part of applying the Total Worker Health approach is focusing on work-related factors that have an impact on employee safety, health, and well-being. In particular, the emphasis is on promoting a hazard-free work environment that prioritizes eliminating, preventing, and reducing risk factors. NIOSH offers guidelines on doing so.
NIOSH funded the Centers of Excellence in the United States with the goal of examining the TWH approach and build evidence of its effectiveness in bringing about positive health and safety outcomes for workers across industries. In 2011, OHWC became the 4thTotal Worker Health Center and there are now ten centers across the country.
NIOSH's Total Worker Health Centers of Excellence (2021-2026)
- From NIOSH:
- About the TWH approach: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/twh/default.html
- Getting started: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/twh/letsgetstarted.html
- Training resources: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/twh/trainingresources.html
- Guidelines for applying TWH: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/twh/guidelines.html
- Download the Fundamentals of TWH guidebook: https://www.ohsu.edu/sites/default/files/2019-01/NIOSH-TWH-Fundamentals.pdf
- Make the business case for TWH approaches: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/twh/business.html
- Assess worker well-being in your organization: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/twh/wellbq/default.html
- OHWC and its home, the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences:
- OccHealthSci Resource Directory: We offer curated resources that provide educational information on a variety of worker safety and health topics.
- YourWorkpath: Visit our one-stop online repository where you can access and download all of the educational and evidence-based resources we have developed.
- TWH trainings for practitioners: Get trained to implement TWH strategies in your organization.
- Resources from other Total Worker Health Centers:
Other Centers around the country have developed some great tools and educational materials for specific worker populations and industries. With these Centers and new ones joining the fold in 2021, we recommend following their work and/or getting on their newsletter to learn about more resources. Here, we share a select few:
- Healthy Workplace Participatory Program (HWPP) Toolkit by CPH-NEW
- Videos and podcast by Healthier Workforce Center of the Midwest
- WISH Assessment and implementation guide by the Harvard Center for Work, Health, & Well-being
- Resources by UIC Center for Healthy Work
- Health Links by Colorado Center for Health, Work, & Environment
*Total Worker Health (TWH)