Get Started with Total Worker Health

Total Worker Health®

Adopting a Total Worker Health® (TWH) approach in your organization means a continued commitment to improving workplace safety, health, and well-being in addition to reducing chronic illnesses, workplace stress, and the burden of occupational injury. To begin, we recommend reviewing NIOSH’s Fundamentals of Total Worker Health® Approaches: Essential Elements for Advancing Worker Safety, Health and Well-Being. Featuring five fundamental elements of TWH, this document provides the rationale behind a TWH approach while offering first steps, practical examples, and worksheets that will guide your effort.

NIOSH identifies five elements that are crucial to bring TWH to your workplace:

  1. Demonstrate leadership commitment to safety and health at all levels within your organization.
  2. Design work that is inherently geared toward preventing occupational hazards and promoting employee well-being. 
  3. Engage workers throughout the process of identifying, designing, and implementing a program to address occupational health, safety, and well-being needs. 
  4. Maintain confidentiality of workers to ensure utmost privacy and protection against discrimination.
  5. Integrate policy, environmental, organizational, and social concerns to tackle employee safety, health, and well-being (e.g., coordinate joint meetings of safety committees, occupational health staff, human resources, and wellness committees).

As a NIOSH Center of Excellence, the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center develops and tests interventions for Total Worker Health. Our 2011-2016 funding cycle culminated in four evidence-based toolkits, available through our new website, YourWorkpath. We have created a matrix, based on NIOSH’s List of Issues Relevant to Advancing TWH, to guide you in selecting the toolkit best suited to your needs: 

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For more information on TWH or resources to help bolster TWH efforts in your organization, visit our our tools and toolkit website at