Half of all Americans and more than two-thirds of all Canadians work in small businesses (<500 employees), many of which have yet to be reached by occupational health and safety interventions, let alone a Total Worker Health® (TWH) intervention.
TWH is defined by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health as policies, programs, and practices that integrate protection from work-related safety and health hazards with promotion of injury and illness prevention efforts to advance worker well-being. The Small+Safe+Well (SSWell) Study is a TWH Intervention study that aims to understand what small organizations are doing to support the health, safety, and well-being of their workforce, how employees perceive their workplace culture (climate), and ultimately the impact on health outcomes.
Take home messages:
- Small businesses should apply the Total Worker Health framework to facilitate workforce health, safety, and well-being
- Most businesses are small and lack resources to build a culture of safety and health
- Facilitating organizational change amongst small businesses requires attention to both transactional and transformational change work
- Small businesses need personalized assessments, advising, and training to develop a culture of safety and health
- Capture a comprehensive picture of small business Total Worker Health efforts through business and employee assessments