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Weaving Health, Safety, and Well-being into the Fabric of Your Organization

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Work impacts the health, safety, and well-being of employees, and employee health and safety may impact their work. For instance, shift work is associated with increased cancer risk, injuries, and sleep deprivation. If shift workers are sleep deprived, it impacts their health, productivity and injury risks. Healthy and safe workplaces and workforces improve organizational performance. Organizations recognize this and want to address these factors.

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The Harvard Chan School Center for Work, Health, and Well-being (CWHW) conducts research to implement effective strategies to improve employee and employer safety, health, and well-being. We have learned the best approach is to focus on working conditions. But strategies for how to do this are not abundant.  CWHW recently published implementation guidelines to address this gap.

Take-home messages:

  • Organizations may struggle to improve employee and employer outcomes unless they use an upstream systems approach to focus on improving the working conditions that influence safety, health, and well-being.
  • Working conditions are often at the root cause of poor health, safety, and well-being outcomes. Improving them optimizes employee and employer outcomes.
  • Best practice examples & resources exist that can help you improve outcomes

Learning Outcomes

How to use organizational policies and practices to improve employee and employer outcomes
How to weave an integrated approach focused on working conditions into organizational improvement processes
Where to find case examples and resources to implement integrated approaches to safety, health, and well-being


Deborah McLellan
Dr. McLellan is Senior Scientist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Center for Work, Health, and Well-being. She leads research teams in testing and disseminating worksite interventions using integrated approaches to health, safety, and well-being.Deborah is the lead author of recently developed Implementation Guidelines. The Guidelines provide processes and tools for weaving health, safety, and well-being into the fabric of organizations, and focus on fostering positive working conditions to achieve better outcomes for both employees and organizations. She conducts trainings on this approach at Harvard, and in worksites nationally and internationally.This program is pre-approved by VRA Canada for a 1 hour training session.

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