Worker Wellness Programs

Blog Post by Chris Neumann CRSP

The inclusion of worker wellness programs is integral to safety program success and sustainability.

Too often metrics focus on minimizing injury severity and hazard mitigation. What isn’t as much of a focus is worker suitability to the demands of the job, prior injuries or illnesses that could affect performance, or the physical and mental health of the worker.

It may be an old cliché, but the saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” couldn’t be more accurate. As important as it is to manage workplace hazards, so to goes the health of a company with the health of its workforce.

Introducing smoking cessation initiatives, providing an Employee Assistance Plan to help manage stressful events, and encouraging good nutrition and regular exercise can reduce sick days and lost productivity. Also, give thought to doing Preventative Medical Assessments (PME’s) to ensure that the workers you hire have the physical and mental aptitudes for the work under consideration. A third party provider can ensure privacy is maintained and preclude the appearance of favouritism.

Further, the company may set ‘bona fide occupational requirements’ to ensure that minimum standards are met and help prevent costly illness and injury claims from simply selecting unsuitable employees. Of course these programs have a cost, but much like insurance, the payoff comes later in the form of a healthy and engaged workforce, improved employee retention and increased productivity. If you want to know more, contact AllSafe HSE for more information on wellness programs.

Check out the attached links for more information:

Occupational Health Evaluation Standard

Establishing Safety Principles for the Future of Worker Wellness