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SynergistNOW Series Explores
Total Worker Health Topics
For several months, the SynergistNOW blog has featured an ongoing series of posts focused on Total Worker Health (TWH), a NIOSH initiative that involves 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. The blog posts are adapted in part from presentations given at AIHce EXP 2020 and in part from conversations between the presenters and Synergist Editorial Assistant Abby Roberts, who has contributed to the series by both writing and editing. From new technologies such as bioergonomic surveillance to the future of work, the SynergistNOW series seeks to explore the role of the industrial hygienist in TWH.
Following are snippets from the TWH series:
“A Total Worker Health approach shifts the IH’s thinking so that, rather than focusing solely on occupational injury and illness prevention, the IH considers workers’ total well-being. A TWH approach addresses disorders influenced by combined workplace and other environment factors, as well as the traditional IH concerns relating to chemical, physical, and biological exposures.” – Jennifer Cavallari, in a post about getting started with TWH
“As work patterns and environments change, the lines drawn between the workplace, home, and community blur. This enables workplace organizations to offer programs and policies that influence worker exposures both in the traditional workplace and outside of it. Often, doing so requires data collection from workers outside of work hours, which brings up ethical and privacy concerns.” – Chris Laszcz-Davis, Kirk Phillips, Jenn Sahmel, and Deborah Nelson, in a post about the role of the next-generation IH
“Using sensor technology in the workplace can help IHs demonstrate to organizational leadership the benefit of investing in health and safety interventions. It allows IHs to use objective data when making their case to those not trained in industrial hygiene.” – Anthony Harris and Ryan Sims, in a post about bioergonomic surveillance
“Occupational Health Psychology (OHP) is the practice of applying psychological theories, principles, and evidence to manage worker health, safety, and well-being . . . While IHs tend to target environmental, ergonomic, and physical hazards, OHP focuses on prevention efforts to minimize the effects of workplace exposures, promoting both healthy personal beliefs and behaviors, and organizational policies that support health.” – Christopher J.L. Cunningham, in a post about the psychological and social determinants of health, safety, and well-being at work
The series is scheduled to continue at least through this month. Read SynergistNOW online and sign up to receive new blog posts via email.