Does Your Employer Promote Workplace Health and Safety?

Source: mattz90 - 123RF

A recent study from the University of North Carolina shows that nearly half of U.S. employers offer workplace health promotion programs.

Is your company one of those?

Safety+Health reports that researchers sampled more than 2,800 employers with at least 10 workers for the 2017 Workplace Health in America Survey – the most recent national survey of workplace health promotion programs in 13 years.

They assessed employer-based health promotion programs – focused on nutrition, stress, physical activity, alcohol and substance abuse, and sleep.

Other topics include:

  • Health screenings;
  • Disease management;
  • The use of incentives to encourage participation and health changes,
  • Work-life policies;
  • Implementation barriers; and
  • Occupational safety and health.

Results showed that 46.1% of the employers had some type of workplace health promotion program, up from 44.7% in 2004.

Additionally, employers with a comprehensive program – defined as one that includes supportive social and physical environments, linkages to related programs, health education, health screenings with appropriate follow-up and education, and integration of the programs into an organization’s structure – jumped to 17.1% from 6.9% among organizations with 50 or more employees.

The employers most likely to have a comprehensive program had at least one person responsible for the program (72.2%), a budget (64.4%) and several years’ experience with a health promotion program (89.9% had a program for at least one year).

The survey also found, among others, that:

  • Almost 30% of employers offered some type of program to address physical activity, fitness or sedentary behavior; and
  • About 17% offered a program addressing obesity or weight management.