February 6, 2020

NIOSH Expands Focus of TWH to Address Emerging Issues

NIOSH has expanded the focus of its Total Worker Health initiative to include work-related issues such as innovative technologies, working conditions, and emerging forms of employment that the agency says present new risks for the current and future workforce. According to NIOSH, this wider focus also acknowledges connections between health conditions that may not arise from work but can be adversely affected by work. TWH involves 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.

NIOSH’s updated list of issues relevant to advancing worker well-being using TWH approaches includes technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and sensors. The agency also draws attention to work-arrangement issues like contracting and subcontracting, organizational restructuring, and temporary and virtual work. Other items covered in NIOSH’s list include the prevention and control of hazards and exposures, compensation and benefits, policies, and workforce demographics.

A PDF of NIOSH’s updated list can be downloaded from the agency’s website. Further information about NIOSH’s priority areas related to TWH is also available.