Understanding a Total Worker Health Approach

In an effort to shift from a compliance-focused to a risk-free approach in the workplace, Total Worker Health® (TWH) is a philosophy that outlines and encourages worker-related safety and protection from health hazards by integrating prevention efforts against injury and illness. In the U.S. alone, $198B was spent on nonfatal workplace injuries in 2007 (adjusted for 2010 inflation). Although the TWH’s goal is to minimize workplace risks, implementation indirectly has positive outcomes on company business operations. This article will outline the TWH philosophy, present how a TWH program at your organization can boost productivity and improve financial performance, and lastly, explain the essential role of bioergonomic technology as a standard component of any TWH approach.

The Need For Workplace Standard

As a response to the growing economic burden of occupational injuries and illnesses, fatal and nonfatal, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has been developing and advocating for standardized change that fosters worker well-being in the workplace. It wasn’t until 2011 that NIOSH’s ideas evolved into what is currently known as the Total Worker Health® program. TWH focuses on promoting worker well-being as an “integrative concept that characterizes quality of life with respect to an individual’s health and work-related environmental, organizational, and psychosocial factors.” Workload and stress levels, hours of sleep, interactions with coworkers, and access to paid or unpaid sick leave are just a few aspects of the workplace that can have an impact on the well-being of the individual, their family, and their community.

From a study published in 2014, depression is strongly correlated to high prevalence in industries where workers regularly interact with the public and clients which also include highly stressful responsibilities with low physical activity. Intuitively, industries with high physical activity might lead to more musculoskeletal injuries. Implementation of the TWH approach focuses on reforming the workplace environment and organizational policies in order to prioritize worker health and well-being, ultimately causing positive change in a business’s production and financial performance.

Connecting Company Success to Worker Health

It’s abundantly clear that the success and efficiency of an organization are dependent upon the health and well-being of its workforce. In fact, a focus group study reports that anxiety and depression are correlated to reduced job performance and safety, specifically citing accidents attributed to the side effects of medications. Those same employees were hesitant to disclose their condition for fear of the stigma around mental illness. Moreover, workplace stressors, such as low job control, effort-reward imbalance, low job security, etc. – can cause “chronic biological arousal” and promote unhealthy habits causing a variety of physical illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, and obesity.

Benefits Earned From a TWH Approach

A TWH approach recognizes that both occupational and non-occupational factors contribute to producing worker injury or illness. And by implementing the TWH philosophy businesses and organizations can reduce the cost of those injuries and illnesses through the elimination of unsafe working environments, regular full body assessments, and educating employees on proper biomechanical movements.

Beyond the financial aspect and injury or illness, companies see social benefits that ultimately influence productivity. From a study conducted in 2016, employers said that regardless of the financial burden of executing an organizational TWH approach, companies acquired competitive advantages through improved recruitment, retention, and employee satisfaction; positive community engagement and reputation; and creation of sustainable workforce culture. The TWH program integrates environmental, social, and biological factors into supporting worker health and well-being, offering holistic growth for any organization that implements it.

Addition of Bioergonomics

As modern technology improves, ergonomic assessments are attaining a biotechnological component (coined as bioergonomics) that offers higher accuracy and precision in promoting workplace efficiency and preventing worker injury or illness. Full body assessments are a fundamental role in any implementation of the TWH program. Regular ergonomic assessments typically involve an ergonomist that objectively studies the biomechanics and repetition of common movements in the workplace. Technology produced by HFit® called BioErgo utilizes surface electromyography (EMG) that records electrical impulses produced during movement.

BioErgos allows for real-time analysis of real-world circumstances compared to laboratory simulated environments. On the flip side, several years of education and training are required to become an ergonomist while data collection for BioErgo needs a trained supervisor required to complete a basic training course. Data from bioergonomic assessments are then analyzed by an algorithm and an industrial hygienist that work to develop and encourage appropriate action to prevent workplace injuries. BioErgo is advanced technology bringing accuracy and precision to the field of ergonomics, improving the ways organizations implement their TWH approach.


Total Worker Health® is a philosophy that achieves a variety of approaches in any organization that focuses on promoting worker health and well-being while seeing holistic benefits from boosted productivity and improved financial performance. By utilizing bioergonomic assessments, employers catch and prevent workplace injuries, ultimately reducing costs spent on compensation, paid or unpaid sick leave, and accounting for loss of work. Moreover, a strong organizational foundation that supports its workforce creates positive morale that leads to boosted productivity. The success of a company is directly tied to the health and well-being of its workers. Therefore, a TWH approach will have significant and insurmountable benefits on any organization that implements this philosophy.

Part V: Joining the BioErgo Revolution

Bioergonomics is an occupational assessment that upgrades regular ergonomic practices with biomechanical analyses. Its implementation is essential in a successful Total Worker Health (TWH) approach as it offers deep insight into the health and well-being of the workforce. Therefore, the role of Occupational Safety and Health professionals is necessary in running a successful TWH program at your organization. Furthermore, in order to best support your workforce, invest in HFit’s BioErgo suit as it frontiers the field of bioergonomics through wearable technology and individual assessments.

BioErgo Suit

The BioErgo suit adds biomechanical analysis by leveraging muscle-based assessments. The suit utilizes electromyography (EMG) to detect electrical signals sent through muscles activated during particular workplace tasks. The BioErgo suit has surface EMG sensors built into the garment located around the 9 major muscle groups. During analysis, data is transferred to the Core which processes the signals and sends the insights to a paired iOS. Consequently, HFit’s BioErgo suit allows for real-time analysis of a worker’s health compared to estimations from a photograph used during regular ergonomic assessments.

Muscle-Based Assessments

BioErgo assessments are designed to be evaluations offering specific data on individual workers. Therefore, data insights can reveal improper lifting techniques or movements for each worker instead of generalized outcomes. With a short training course, OSH professionals can become certified HFit Analysts ensuring they’re prepared to run a BioErgo assessments whenever the company desires. During the assessment, two iOS systems are used to 1) capture real-time data of muscle activity and 2) video record the worker completing workplace tasks.

With this technology, companies are not limited to particular assessments. For the health and safety of the workforce, HFit encourages Fitness for Duty (FFD) tests to ensure workers are healthy enough to return to work. Additionally, regular assessments can assist in identifying, preventing, and minimizing musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

Why BioErgo?

Utilizing HFit’s BioErgo suit advantages any company’s TWH approach. First, muscle-based assessments provide consistent results regardless of who analyzes the data. Second, BioErgo provides big data insights through clinical-based algorithms offering reliable risk of injury conclusions. Third, the BioErgo suit is a surveillance technology that requires simple certification to conduct allowing for bioergonomic assessments to become a regular practice. Fourth, with the overlap of data and video recording, BioErgo locates specific tasks to implement scalable solutions. Lastly, BioErgo captures objective measurements by recovering data once lost through regular ergonomic assessments. 


Pioneer the field of bioergonomics by investing in HFit’s BioErgo suit. Utilize Occupational Safety and Health Professionals to privilege a successful Total Worker Health approach. Prevent and eliminate overuse injuries through regular bioergonomic assessments. Join the BioErgo Revolution.

Part IV: Impact on Total Worker Health

A Total Worker Health (TWH) approach is an organizational philosophy that focuses on the health and well-being of its workforce by reducing the risk of injury and illness. Often with implementation, companies reap the benefits of increased productivity and improved workplace morale. Through the help of ergonomic assessments, employers can catch and prevent occupational injuries which ultimately reduces costs spent on compensation, sick lead, and loss of work. Furthermore, companies can improve their TWH approach with the addition of Bioergonomics which improves the accuracy of biomechanical surveillance, establishes an organizational commitment to worker well-being, and empowers workers through participatory engagement.

Accuracy of Biomechanical Surveillance

Typical ergonomic assessments, although utilize calculations, are estimations based on photographed images. Bioergonomic assessments take real-time data over the course of an organized test to offer accurate information. In fact, the results offer deep insights into the health and well-being of the workforce. Therefore, organizational leadership is given the confidence to take steps of intervention in order to prevent workplace injuries.

Organizational Commitment to Worker Well-Being

The use of biotechnology in ergonomic assessments improves the accuracy of results allowing for more robust solutions and individual worker analysis. Overall, bioergonomics demonstrates an organizational commitment to worker well-being. By preventing workplace injuries and mitigating risk factors, employers actively create spaces where workers can develop and grow in a safe environment. As a result, employees feel more supported by the company administration, leading to improved workplace morale and productivity.

Workers Empowered Through Participatory Engagement

Beyond improved assessment results, bioergonomic surveillance offers specific data on individual workers. Employees are encouraged to participate in bettering their health and well-being both inside and outside the workplace. By placing workers in the center of the intervention design process, organizations can gain enhanced learning while workers earn a sense of ownership, self-efficacy, and empowerment. Bioergonomics can have a greater impact on worker health and well-being than top-down initiatives by including and empowering employees.


Bioergonomics strengthens a Total Worker Health approach by improving the accuracy of assessments, establishing an organization commitment to worker well-being, and empowering workers through inclusion in the intervention design process. Advance your TWH approach by investing in HFit’s BioErgo suit. Gain big data insights through muscle-based ergonomics. Join the BioErgo Revolution.

Part III: Types of Bioergonomic Assessments

Ergonomic assessments offer valuable insight into the health status of the workforce. Data from various tests help provide Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) professionals with key information that determines the need for corrective action. Whether it be used before employment or before returning to work after injury, what’s known as a Fitness For Duty (FFD) test can be completed to judge a worker’s ability to complete certain tasks. On top of that, annual or regular assessments can track changes in the health of the workforce or catch workplace injuries before they develop. This article will outline 4 key ergonomic assessment tools and evaluate the addition of force gauge measurements to any health examination.

NIOSH Lifting Equation

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Lifting Equation is a general function that computes the Recommended Weight Limit (RWL), which is an appropriate amount of weight that all healthy employees can lift or lower over the course of an 8-hour work shift without increasing the risk of a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) to the lower back. The Equation takes into account the location of the object, distance carrier, frequency of action, and any twisting involved. Any design of an experiment would require standardized movement as measurements must be accurate in order to offer an accurate RWL.

Snook Tables

Designed by Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, Snook Tables function similarly to the NIOSH Lifting Equation. Snook Tables are readily used to determine risk of MSDs in regard to pushing, pulling, and carrying objects when the actual weight of the object is greater than the recommended design limit from the Snook Table. Variables necessary to know are weight of the object, force required to move it, distances required to move, and frequency of action. Unique to Snook Tables, when a task requires a mixture of movements and frequencies, those frequencies can be combined to analyze the task as a whole.

Rapid Upper Limb Assessment

Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA) focuses on movements related to the upper body, such as torso, shoulders, and arms. The tool provides a score (1-7) where 1 is low and 7 is high in risk of developing an MSD. During an assessment, evaluators note angles of the body to determine risk. Most often, the larger the angle, the higher the risk. Overall, RULA identifies poor posture and indicates whether corrections need to be made.

Image courtesy of ErgoPlus

Rapid Entire Body Assessment

As an expansion to RULA, Rapid Entire Body Assessment (REBA) uses the same techniques to offer risk assessment on all body parts. Each evaluation looks at the posture of specific body groups in order to assign a risk value as well as whether corrective action should take place. A score of 1 indicates no issues while 15 indicates high risk and immediate need for change. REBA is a tool that has a short process allowing it to be repeated for multiple body parts. Analysis starts by identifying a job that should be tested, understanding specific tasks, and then evaluating those tasks.

Image courtesy of ErgoPlus

Addition of Force Gauges

Force gauges are measuring instruments that quantify force. Most often they are used in research, however, they have work environment applications. Specifically, in the work setting, digital force gauges are used to determine the force or pressure required to complete certain tasks. Digital force gauges can be coupled with electromyography, a diagnostic tool that graphs the electrical signals from muscle contractions.

Ergonomic assessments can predict risk of developing MSDs. However, most of the analysis is completed with measurements and calculations of a single photo that cannot be applied to the entire workforce. Moreover, these assessments don’t account for location of applied force on certain body systems. By introducing force gauge measurements to ergonomics, analysis can be refined creating more accurate results. Bioergonomic assessments get precise data on which muscle groups are utilized, potentially identifying a problem that otherwise would’ve been overlooked using REBA, RULA, NIOSH Lifting Equation, or Snook Tables.


Fitness for Duty (FFD) tests and regular ergonomic assessments allow OSH professionals to gain a deeper understanding of their workforce’s health and well-being. With the addition of force gauge measurements, evaluators gain more accurate and precise data often missed by typical assessments. HFit’s BioErgo suit utilizes electromyography to get big data insights on simple ergonomic assessments. Identify, manage, and minimize the risks of MSDs in the workplace. Join the BioErgo Revolution.

Part II: The Role of Occupational Safety and Health Professionals

Reports. Assessments. Policy. Training. Improving the health and well-being of a workforce requires a large amount of time, thought, and resources. Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) professionals work to coordinate efforts of an organizational commitment to worker health and well-being, ultimately leading to success. OSH professionals are essential in reducing the risk of and preventing workplace injuries by overseeing incidents and reporting, conducting assessments, developing procedures and policies, and managing training.

Reporting, Investigations, and Case Handling

Whether it be tendonitis, an object falling or anything else, when an injury occurs in the workplace, OSH professionals organize the intake of incident reports. More importantly, OSH professionals can create a system that improves the process of reporting to build rapport with employees. Once reported, each incident can be fully investigated to understand how it occurred. Results from the investigation direct OSH professionals to respond appropriately: eliminating work hazards, develop new procedures and policies, and implement training sessions.

Moreover, when an incident occurs, most often workers require time off to receive medical treatment, recover, and continue with physical therapy. OSH professionals can reduce case closure time by communicating with injured employees to ensure they are receiving adequate medical care. On top of that, regular communication can make employees feel supported as well as allowing the company to know the health status of its entire workforce.

Conduct Assessments

Physical and mental assessments are key aspects to preventing workplace injuries. OSH professionals organize, supervise, and possibly conduct workplace assessments. Additionally, there are a variety of assessments that offer valuable insight into specific aspects of the workforce’s health and well-being. Based on the results, OSH professionals take the appropriate steps to implement change or maintain positive outcomes.

Develop Procedures and Policies

When an incident occurs or employees are developing musculoskeletal disorders, OSH professionals are trained to identify and eliminate hazards from the workplace. Often the initial action is to identify and redesign organizational procedures and policies that might be causing workplace injuries.

First, OSH professionals become familiar with procedures and policies relevant to the incident or injury. Additionally, OSH professionals reference standards and requirements put forth from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to ensure accuracy and success. Second, OSH professionals research preventative methods or new equipment that might benefit the company and workforce. Third, through clear language and input from research, OSH professionals rewrite existing procedures and policies or create new ones in order to prevent workplace injuries from occurring.

Manage Training

After the redesign of company procedure and policy, OSH professionals assist in training all employees respective to the changes. Professionals develop presentations that easily convey and educate workers on a variety of topics, such as proper lifting techniques to learning how to use new equipment. Beyond new material, OSH professionals create a schedule for regular, often annual, training for all employees to guarantee a proficient workforce.


Reports. Assessments. Policy. Training. In order to improve worker health and well-being, each step must be coordinated in a dynamic process. From beginning to end, OSH professionals work to prevent and reduce the risk of workplace injuries. Start on the right foot by utilizing bioergonomics to assess the health of your workforce. Catch musculoskeletal disorders early. Ensure workers return to work at appropriate times. Join the BioErgo Revolution.

Part I: What is Bioergonomics?

A company’s success is deeply tied to the health and well-being of its workforce. Occupational safety and health have developed fields dedicated to maintaining a strong workforce and improving overall well-being. However, as industries change, musculoskeletal disorders continue to account for one out of three of all workplace-related injuries. In response, occupational safety and health have developed BioErgonomics that takes an enhanced approach to workplace health and well-being. By incorporating ergonomic and biomechanical perspectives, BioErgonomics works to assess worker health and implement corrective solutions in order to prevent work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

What is Ergonomics?

The field of ergonomics is the study of interactions between people, machines, and the workplace. More specifically, it is the study of designing equipment and protocols that fit the human body. With the help of a variety of disciplines, ergonomics works to foster human well-being and optimize organizational performance.

Ergonomists work to shape the perfect work environment by identifying and eliminating risk factors. Typical assessments involve analyzing the relationship between the worker and the equipment. This includes the demands required of the worker, specifications of the equipment, whether the equipment is appropriate for use, and other pertinent information.

Adding a Biomechanical Understanding

Biomechanics is the physical science of how muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones work together to create movement in a living body. Biomechanics focuses on forces, torques (rotational force), momentum, center of gravity, and balance of the body. In application, biomechanics often is utilized in sports to perfect and enhance body movements for elite competition.

Integrating biomechanical methods to ergonomics specifically focuses on the motion of and specific force sustained by different body systems. Through a variety of mechanisms, a bioergonomic approach analyzes common movements in the work environment to identify any inappropriate techniques that might lead to MSDs. Overall, bioergonomics focuses more on the physical fitness of workers compared to the equipment being used.

Implementing Corrective Solutions

When a bioergonomic assessment reveals high risk of developing MSDs, companies can take several steps to prevent the workplace injury. Most often, assessments are preliminary to gain insight into the overall health of each worker. When interventions are needed, adjustments can be made both on the worker and the equipment.

In a variety of scenarios, bioergonomics encourages modifications to physical movements. Workers can be educated on proper lifting techniques to limit strain and overexertion on inappropriate body systems. Particular tasks with repetitive movements can be reduced by exchanging them with other responsibilities. Finally, when changes to biomechanical patterns fail, equipment and work environments that put workers in improper positions can be removed or calibrated.


Bioergonomics takes on a physiologically focused approach to worker health and well-being in order to prevent workplace-related MSDs. HFit’s BioErgo suit utilizes muscle-based ergonomics to get accurate and precise results on the status of your workforce. Take the step and join the BioErgo Revolution to have confidence that your company is working at peak performance.

Introducing the Bioergonomic Series

In an effort to shape and redesign workplace environments that support worker health and well-being, the field of ergonomics will be ever-present. As the workplace, product development, and industries themselves change over time, there will be a growing need for the field of ergonomics to evolve with it. In fact, in its practice, some ergonomists are incorporating biomechanics, creating a new focus called BioErgonomics. This series will dive into understanding what BioErgonomics is, the need for occupational health professionals, types of assessments, and its impact on a Total Worker Health approach.

What is BioErgonomics?

By its basic definition, BioErgonomics utilizes skills from both an ergonomic and biomechanical perspective. Movements involving repetitive motion or overexertion put workers at higher risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders. Bioergonomics, therefore, analyzes poor biomechanical patterns and corrects them either by physiological adjustments, equipment improvements, or procedural modifications.

Occupational Safety and Health Professionals

A commitment to workplace safety requires consistent thought, procedure, and practice best coordinated by a single individual or team. Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) is a comprehensive discipline that recognizes the connections between workers and the physical, chemical, biological, and psychological effects that can have a negative impact on their well-being. OSH professionals are trained to identify and recognize workplace hazards as well as causes of common injuries.

Types of Assessments

BioErgonomic assessments offer an extensive understanding of worker health and safety. Regular rapid entire body assessments (REBA) allow organizations to catch, prevent, and improve worker injuries before they lead to more serious impairments. Moreover, Fitness for Duty (FFD) tests assist in determining when a worker is physically prepared to return to work. And with the use of force gauge measurements or electromyography, assessment results can be greatly refined.

Impact on Total Worker Health Approach

Total Worker Health (TWH) is an organizational approach to promoting the health and well-being of the entire workforce. With implementation, companies see boosts in productivity and improvements in financial performance. Therefore, integration of BioErgonomic assessments creates a larger perspective on the relative state of each individual worker further improving positive outcomes already connected to the TWH approach.

Joining the BioErgo Revolution

BioErgonomics can maintain the stability necessary for supporting worker health and well-being in an ever-changing workplace. HFit’s BioErgo Suit is a practical tool that utilizes muscle-based BioErgonomics. The wearable technology allows companies to conduct assessments on their own at their own pace ensuring accurate and precise results for preventing workplace injuries.

Top 4 Common Causes of Workplace Injuries and their Solutions

Exposure to unsafe working environments and poor biomechanical movements can put the workforce at higher risk of injury or illness. Companies can be impacted by higher insurance rates, reduced productivity, worker’s compensation, and declining workforce morale. Although the potential for workplace environments is ever-present, it’s important to minimize risk factors. In order to identify and vastly prevent workplace injuries, this article will outline the top 4 common causes and how to correct them.

Overexertion, Strain, and Exhaustion

Overexertion (or straining) is identified as when someone often pushes themselves past their limits. Straining can cause fractures, sprains, and other musculoskeletal injuries. Mental exhaustion can also cause a variety of disorders, such as anxiety and depression, burnout, insomnia, and more. 

Straining most often occurs when a worker is required to lift or pull heavy objects, move in small or confined spaces, or labor for long periods of time. To minimize overexertion in the workplace, companies can modify policies, such as prohibiting solo lifting of heavy objects, teaching workers proper lifting techniques, and scheduling break times.

Image courtesy of www.truspinesf.com

Repetitive Stress Movements

Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSIs) occur when someone uses the same repeated movement overtime on small level tasks leading to cumulative trauma disorders. RSIs can cause swelling, throbbing, tingling, and moderate to severe pain in overused joints. The most common RSIs are carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis, tendonitis, and trigger finger.

Computer and office work, stocking and packing, and assembly lines are common tasks that cause RSIs as workers often use the same muscle group, repetitive movement, carry heavy loads and/or maintain improper posture for long periods of time.

RSIs are difficult to prevent and even harder to stop from worsening. Employers should implement policies that allow workers to take breaks and move around. Moreover, innovative gadgets can be used to maintain good posture, relieve strain from certain joints, and stretch unused muscle groups.

Image courtesy of www.pinterest.com

Slips and Trips

Objects in high-traffic locations, liquid spills, and poorly lit hallways and stairways are all examples of unsafe working environments that can cause employees to slip or trip. Such accidents can result in sprains or fractures, concussions or other head trauma, and potentially internal bleeding.

By becoming aware of common workplace hazards, slips and trips can be easily prevented. Mats and grates can be placed to cover slippery surfaces. Cords and cables should be taped down to be easily bypassed. Boxes, carts, and other large objects should be moved aside for a clear walkway. Lastly, hallways and stairways should be well-lit for peak visibility. 

Toppling and Falling Objects

Similar to slips and trips, falling objects and toppling from large heights can cause severe injuries such as sprains or fractures, traumatic head injuries, and internal bleeding. Moreover, some events might even be fatal. Common hazards are tall pieces of furniture that aren’t anchored to the ground, working from large heights, and improperly stacked items.

The most common solution to falling objects and toppling is personal protective equipment (PPE). However, PPE doesn’t reduce the risk of such events, just minimizes injury. True solutions would be regular analysis of large structures for stability and security, standardized organization of products on shelves, and frequent communication among team members.


Although the risk for workplace injuries is always present, their likelihood can easily be minimized by taking preemptive measures. Identify common causes of injuries in your workplace and actively work to prevent their occurrence. Furthermore, through muscular-based ergonomics, HFit’s BioErgo suit can assist in preventing some workplace injuries while prohibiting current injuries from worsening. Follow the Total Worker Health approach in order to protect your workforce from preventable injuries.

5 Tactics to Implementing a Total Worker Health Program

The success of any business is closely tied to the health and well-being of its workforce. Therefore, the Total Worker Health (TWH) approach is an asset to any company looking to expand its boundaries and advance its product. TWH prioritizes efforts towards worker health, safety, and well-being. This article will take abstract commitments to direct actions by offering 5 tactics of implementing Total Worker Health at your organization.


It’s crucial for company administration to express an organizational commitment to TWH, reflected in both words and actions. This commitment should be on all levels of the company where accountability and respect cascade from higher levels of leadership and where all workers are encouraged to participate.

With strong leadership and when all levels of an organization are on the same page, it allows for the free exchange of ideas and initiatives and efficient communication between leadership and the workforce.


The best way to support and advocate for worker health and well-being is by direct elimination or reduction of workplace hazards. By identifying common causes of workplace injuries, administration can begin implementing changes that prevent injuries from occurring. The Hierarchy of Controls offers clear steps into how hazards should be handled with elimination being the most effective.

Image courtesy of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)


Company commitment to worker health and well-being should be represented in the design of programs and policies throughout the workplace with the involvement of all workers. Programs should be designed with a long-term outlook that reflects the core values of the company in order to see long-term results.

Moreover, a participatory approach helps in identifying the issues most pertinent to frontline workers, uncovers potential barriers between leadership and workforce, and increases employee buy-in and participation. All of which contribute to the sustainability of TWH initiatives.


Alongside creating a hazard-free environment, companies must also commit to protecting the privacy of all workers. In implementing the TWH approach, redesign and open communication require workers to share sensitive safety and health information. Consider de-identifying worker data by using encrypted systems with strong, secured passwords. Disclosure of a worker’s private information can lead to stigma, discrimination, and financial repercussions. 

Discrimination and penalization against workers based on their individual health conditions go directly against the TWH approach. In fact, TWH promotes innovative solutions that support all workers regardless of their differences.


Implementing a TWH approach at any organization is a large feat, costing large amounts of time in communication, analysis, and design. However, by integrating approaches from all areas of the company can help save time and resources while ultimately increasing effectiveness.

Start by conducting a preliminary assessment of existing policies related to worker safety, health, and well-being. Next, identify the effectiveness of those policies and any overlap between those areas while noting opportunities for improvement. Lastly, be intentional about meetings that bring together leadership and workers that have overlapping responsibilities. 


Leadership. Elimination. Redesign. Protection. Integration. By following the steps laid out in this article, Total Worker Health will become an achievable, regular practice that develops alongside the company. On top of that, TWH fosters a work environment of improved morale and worker trust by valuing their health and well-being. Continue following HFit for articles regarding TWH and role of ergonomics in creating a hazard-free work environment.