New Manual to Improve Worker Safety, Health and Well-Being

Boston, MA – An integrated approach that employs “a sharp focus on using policies and practices to influence working conditions” can improve worker safety, health and well-being, is published in a new manual by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

According to an article in Safety and Health, the manual offers a real-world example in the nonprofit organization Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, which, after health care costs reached 10 percent of its budget, implemented a plan that included healthier food choices in its cafeteria while also tracking injury data, as well as training supervisors to better support their staff to prevent injuries.

The medical center’s results included fewer worker injuries and lower insurance costs. While the nation’s health care inflation rate rose 4.07 percent, Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s health-claim costs dropped 3 percent.

The manual includes online resources and tools to help organizations initiate integration.

The authors say integrated planning needs:

  • Leadership commitment;
  • Participation at every level;
  • Policies, programs, and practices focused on positive working conditions;
  • Comprehensive and collaborative strategies;
  • Adherence; and
  • Data-driven change.

The document adds that a comprehensive approach that’s collaboratively designed and implemented is the most effective path to improved safety, health, and well-being outcomes – positively impacting employer outcomes, as well.