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Combined with the more traditional employer occupational safety and health protection activities are newer employment-based programs to promote better health through helping workers quit smoking, lose weight, reduce stress, or exercise more regularly. In support of these efforts, some employers have made changes in their policies and facilities to support physical activity and healthier eating, and some employers connect with community resources for health education, health fairs, and other services.
This diverse array of activities most typically has been planned, managed, and assessed - to the extent they exist in the workplace at all - by different, often uncoordinated departments within the business entity. Some employers have reconceptualized their safety, prevention, and promotion initiatives and attempted to bring them together into a coherent whole. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has supported this integration, defining Total Worker Health as "a strategy integrating occupational safety and health protection with health promotion to prevent worker injury and illness and to advance health and well-being."
In May 2014, with support from NIOSH, the Institute of Medicine organized a workshop on Total Worker Health. Rather than a review of published literature, this workshop sought input from a wide variety of on-the-ground stakeholders regarding their experiences with integrating occupational safety and health protection with health promotion in the workplace. Promising and Best Practices in Total Worker Health is the summary of the discussions and presentations of the event. This report identifies prevalent and best practices in programs that integrate occupational safety and health protection with health promotion in small, medium, and large workplaces; employer and employee associations; academia; government agencies; and other stakeholder groups.