Online Program

Oregon healthy workforce center: The nexus of safety, health and wellness in total worker health: Marriage or just cohabitation?

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 9:30 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

Wyndham Kent Anger, PhD, Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
Leslie Hammer, PhD, Occupational Psychology, Portland State University, Portland, OR
Ryan Olson, PhD, Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
Kerry Kuehl, MD DrPH, Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
Diane Rohlman, PhD, Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
Diane Elliot, MD, Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
Background and Objectives: Worksite health protection and safety programs typically operate independently in the workplace. The NIOSH Total Worker Health (TWH) Centers of Excellence were funded to strategically integrate workplace health protection and promotion in systematic interventions. Our Center application brought interdisciplinary scientists together from sports medicine, health promotion, occupational and experimental psychology, ergonomics, and industrial hygiene. Combining health protection and health promotion was new to our investigators, most of whom had used one but not all elements of TWH in their research. The interdisciplinary team worked to combine elements of TWH in their projects across diverse settings and occupations, including construction, corrections, parks and recreation, and home care.

Methods: To address all topics in TWH, Center investigators committed to using common validated measurement instruments to evaluate longitudinal outcomes and common elements in their intervention methods.

Results: As investigators forged their field interventions, each faced challenges and borrowed methods used by other Center investigators. Some projects began as predominantly health promotion-focused, but engagement with safety professionals incorporated health protection; others were safety-focused but introduced wellness. Cross-project baseline findings and descriptions of collaborative efforts will provide insight into the challenges of achieving synergistic improvements in TWH outcomes in the workplace. Some interventions melded wellness and health and safety together better than others.

Conclusions: The use of common outcome measures, similar intervention methods and collaboration on logistics across diverse settings and occupations shed light on whether safety, health and wellness can be truly married, or are destined to just live together.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Identify methods, measures and procedures that can be used to integrate health, safety, and wellness into total work health programs.

Keyword(s): Occupational Health, Wellness

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal or co-principal of multiple federally funded grants focusing on occupational safety and health and am the NIOSH-funded Director of the Oregon Healthy WorkForce Center. My relevant research is focused on training interventions to improve occupational skills, work in a safer manner and to avoid health risks.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
Northwest Education Training and Assessment Occupational Health & safety Independent Contractor (contracted research and clinical trials) and President

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.