The Expanded Focus for OSH
The world of work is undergoing major changes in the nature of work and employment arrangements, in workforce demographics, and in the types of workplaces. Together with individual health, lifestyle, economic and social factors, these changes can affect both worker well-being and business productivity. Worker well-being is being operationalized by NIOSH through its Total Worker Health® (TWH) initiative. However, focusing on worker well-being as an outcome requires a paradigm shift beyond the prevention of workplace injury and illness or health promotion, involving collaborative organizational leadership, proactive company policies, accountability, training, better engagement of management and employees, following benchmarks over time and identifying opportunities for early corrective or enhancing interventions.
Embracing this paradigm shift requires a more expansive, systems-thinking approach to better integrate traditional OSH, personal and socioeconomic risk factors, both horizontally (broadening the range of factors to examine their impact on health) and vertically (from a short-term perspective to a work life continuum perspective).
This paradigm shift will also change how we conduct OSH research, train the future OSH workforce, and design forward-thinking policies to maximize worker health and well-being. Our conference will bring together an international, interprofessional audience of employers, workers, health and safety professionals, researchers, policymakers, and academic community to address the need for an expanded focus for OSH. Read more on the Expanded Focus for OSH, and two preparatory workshops (1,2) held in 2020 that informed the agenda of this conference. Most recently, a detailed look at the changing world of work was published in November 2022: "Expanding the Focus of Occupational Safety and Health: Lessons from a Series of Linked Scientific Meetings".
About the Conference
Together, the Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (SWCOEH) Education and Research Center at UTHealth School of Public Health, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Conference Planning and Scientific Committee bring you Ex4OSH 2021!
John Howard, MD, MPH, JD, LLM, MBA
Director, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health,
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Martin J. Walsh, BA
Secretary of Labor, U.S. Department of Labor
Manal Azzi, PhD
Senior Occupational Safety and Health Specialist
International Labour Organization