Implementing Total Worker Health

The Oregon Total Worker Health Alliance (comprised of our Institute, Oregon Healthy Workforce Center, SAIF and Oregon OSHA) have been busy providing virtual Total Worker Health® practitioner education over the past 18 months. These courses have been taught by Liz Hill, SAIF and Dede Montgomery, OHWC/Institute. We were honored to have the recent professional education offerings addressed in NIOSH’s June 2021 issue of TWH in Action! within its Promising Practice section.

Currently the most active initiative involving the Alliance has been the TWH training curriculum, which aims to provide consistent, reproducible training that is evidence-based and supportive of organizational practices. The training is designed for occupational safety and health, worker compensation, risk management, wellness, and human resource practitioners and professionals. We encourage you to read the entire TWH in Action! article, but we share a section of the article below to acknowledge our regional partners who have sponsored and participated in our most recent virtual courses:

The Alliance adapted the 3-hour course “Total Worker Health 101: The Basics” into an online course and delivered it at OHWC’s Occupational Health Psychology Summer in July 2020. Since then, the Alliance has delivered online courses at regional chapter meetings and newly scheduled professional development courses of the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP). Cementing the success of the TWH practitioner trainings, the Alliance assisted ASSP chapter contacts to obtain ASSP continuing education credits for the 3-hour classes. Chapters sponsoring this class as a professional development course so far include Columbia-Willamette, Broken Top, and Southern Oregon (all in Oregon); Sacramento and Greater San Jose (California) (July 2021); and Lower Columbia Basin (Washington). Because the course is held virtually, individuals who may not have been able to travel even prior to the pandemic are able to attend.

Another popular offering is a 1-hour course, “What Occupational Safety and Health Professionals Need to Know About TWH,” geared toward occupational safety and health (OSH) professionals. Though originally intended for audiences within the region, this shorter course was presented to an ASSP chapter in Florida and at ASSP’s Safety FOCUS 2020. The 3-hour and 1-hour courses were also provided to members of the Association of Occupational Health Professionals in Healthcare (AOHP), American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), and American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN). (See entire article). Finally, a full-day course was provided at the 2021 AIHA Conference last month.

Graduates of Total Worker Health 101: The Basics are invited to quarterly TWH Meet Ups, an informal virtual discussion with a small group of individuals sharing tips and strategies about their own organization’s TWH implementation.

The NIOSH Fundamentals of Total Worker Health® Approaches continues to be a key primer for this training, along with specific workplace case studies. We appreciate the utility of discussing the five elements, broadly identified within this document, to capture needs and opportunities within organizations to implement policies, programs and practices supportive of Total Worker Health.

Let us know if we can be helpful to your organization on its Total Worker Health journey. We could never do our work without our partners! Thank you!