Thursday, January 15, 2015

ASSE Comments on Proposed National Total Worker Health Agenda

In a letter to NIOSH Director John Howard, ASSE President Trish Ennis, CSP, ARM, applauds NIOSH for its efforts to advance the integration of safety and health with wellness through the proposed National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) National Total Worker Health Agenda, but also encourages the agency to go one step further. In her comments, Ennis, urges NIOSH to more adequacy address how to best implement total worker health organizationally as well as who should be responsible for this implementation.

According to Ennis, practical, easy to communicate strategies, resources and tools are a must to help convince the employers and workers of the importance of total worker health. “We assume NIOSH has every intention to fulfill its research to practice imperative in these goals," she writes, "but, as with many issues in occupational safety and health, if research cannot be successfully translated to the most basic training and tools available to a worker in a workplace setting, the research is ultimately ineffective.”

Organizations that want to implement new programs look for fairly clear deliverables from research that can tell them not only what programs work or do not work but also how to implement the programs. While the proposed plan is an excellent beginning, ASSE believes that these adjustments will help organizations achieve Total Worker Health.