The Perils of Integrating Wellness and Safety and Health and the Possibility of a Worker-Oriented Alternative

Source: John Howard, L. Casey Chosewood, Heidi L. Hudson, New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy, Vol. 26 no. 3, November 2016
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
In response to the article by Michael B. Lax, MD entitled “The perils of integrating wellness and safety and health and the possibility of a worker-oriented alternative,” the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) provides updated information on the current focus and priorities and addresses concerns raised regarding the Total Worker Health® initiative. Many of the concerns and criticisms in the report echo those NIOSH publicly shares on a regular basis. The theory and practice of Total Worker Health (TWH) continues to evolve in response to valuable stakeholder input like that provided by Dr. Lax. In 2015, NIOSH updated the TWH concept to emphasize the main focus of TWH is the primacy of traditional health protection which prioritizes employer responsibilities for the organization of work over individual worker health behaviors. NIOSH acknowledges the past lack of “fit” between theory and practice in some publications of TWH-funded grantees as Dr. Lax points out. NIOSH is hopeful that the solicitation of new research, which is now underway, will clarify the work-centered priorities for TWH-funded research. Based on input from Dr. Lax and other stakeholders, NIOSH looks forward to contributing more effectively to protecting and promoting worker safety and health in the new twenty-first century world of work.