Workforce Wellness

Our Beliefs

We must do our part to improve the health and well-being of working Americans in Massachusetts. We believe:

  • Healthcare costs are an issue of significant concern.
  • A healthy workforce is essential to our continued growth and prosperity.
  • Much of the illness in the U.S. is directly preventable.
  • The workplace is an ideal setting to address health and well-being.
  • That workplace wellness programs can transform corporate culture and change lives.

 

Wellness Workforce

Our Mission

To offer resources for workplace wellness, to serve business leaders, workplace wellness practitioners, public health professionals:

  • Promoting corporate awareness;
  • Promoting leading-edge worksite wellness publications and health information;
  • Offering training opportunities that help worksite wellness practitioners create and sustain results-oriented wellness programs;
  • Showcase resources that promote healthier lifestyles for all working Americans in Massachusetts.

wellness workforceWe know that preventing disease before it starts is critical to helping people live longer, healthier lives and keeping health care costs down. Poor diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use, and alcohol misuse are just some of the challenges we face.

We also know that many of the strongest predictors of health and well-being fall outside of the health care setting. Our housing, transportation, education, workplaces, and environment are major elements that impact the physical and mental health of Americans.

This is why the Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce has taken the initiative to promote the 10 Strategies laid out in the June 2011 National Prevention Strategy published by the Surgeon General.  We have also aligned ourselves with the Wellness Council of America so we can provide you with the best and most effective tools to make your workplace “A Well Workplace”

We will promote “Well Workplaces” that help businesses throughout the Commonwealth initiate wellness programs that meet the needs of their workforce and help them prepare for the wellness mandates that will take place as a result of the national health care reform act.

We look forward to continued dialogue with all stakeholders as we strive to ensure that programs and policies effectively help us accomplish our vision of a healthy and fit workforce.

Thought out the next year, we will distribute articles, case studies, incentive campaigns, expert interviews, and white papers to our members and offer a  wide variety of useful information that can assist all businesses in their quest to build a results-oriented wellness program.

Here is How Businesses can Work Together

workforce wellness1. Health and Safety

Businesses and Employers can

• Ensure that homes and workplaces are healthy, including eliminating safety hazards (e.g., trip hazards, unsafe stairs), ensuring that buildings are free of water intrusion, indoor environmental pollutants (e.g., radon, mold, tobacco smoke), and pests, and performing regular maintenance of heating and cooling systems.

• Adopt practices to increase physical activity and reduce pollution (e.g., workplace flexibility, rideshare and vanpool programs, park-and-ride incentives, travel demand management initiatives, and telecommuting options).

• Identify and implement green building siting, design, construction, operations, and maintenance solutions that over time will improve the environment and health.

• Adhere to best practices to promote safety and health, including participatory approaches to hazard identification and remediation as well as supervisory and worker training.

workforce wellness

2. Clinical and Community Preventive Services

Businesses and Employers can

• Offer health coverage that provides employees and their families with access to a range of clinical preventive services with no or reduced out-of-pocket costs.

• Provide incentives for employees and their families to access clinical preventive services, consistent with existing law.

• Give employees time off to access clinical preventive services.

• Provide employees with on-site clinical preventive services and comprehensive wellness programs, consistent with existing law.

• Provide easy-to-use employee information about clinical preventive services covered under the Affordable Care Act.

workforce wellness

3. Empower People

Businesses and Employers can

• Implement work-site health initiatives in combination with illness and injury prevention policies and programs that empower employees to act on health and safety concerns.

• Use media (e.g., television, Internet, social networking) to promote health.

workforce wellness

4. Elimination of Health Discrepancies

Businesses and Employers can

• Provide opportunities for workplace prevention activities, including preventive screenings.

• Partner with local resources such as libraries and literacy programs to enhance employees’ ability to identify and use reliable health information.

workforce wellness

5. Tobacco free living

Businesses and Employers can

• Provide employees and their dependents with access to free or reduced-cost cessation supports and encourage utilization of these services.

• Provide evidence-based incentives to increase tobacco cessation, consistent with existing law.

• Comply with restrictions on the sale, distribution, advertising, and promotion of tobacco products, including those set forth in the Tobacco Control Act.

• Make work sites (including conferences and meetings) tobacco free and support smoke free policies in their communities.

• Provide smoke free commercial or residential property.

workforce wellness

6. Preventing drug abuse and excessive alcohol use

Businesses and Employers can

• Implement policies that facilitate the provision of SBIRT or offer alcohol and substance abuse counseling through employee assistance programs.

• Include substance use disorder benefits in health coverage and encourage employees to use these services as needed.

• Implement training programs for owners, managers, and staff that build knowledge and skills related to responsible beverage service.

workforce wellness

7. Eating Healthy

Businesses and Employers can

• Increase the availability of healthy food (e.g., through procurement policies, healthy meeting policies, farm-to-work programs, farmers markets).

• Adopt lactation policies that provide space and break time for breastfeeding employees (in accordance with the Affordable Care Act) and offer lactation management services and support (e.g., breastfeeding peer support programs).

• Provide nutrition information to customers (e.g., on menus), make healthy options and appropriate portion sizes the default, and limit marketing of unhealthy food to children and youth.

• Reduce sodium, saturated fats, and added sugars and eliminate artificial trans fats from products.

• Implement proper handling, preparation, and storage practices to increase food safety.

workforce wellness

8. Active Living

Businesses and Employers can

• Adopt policies and programs that promote walking, bicycling, and use of public transportation (e.g., provide access to fitness equipment and facilities, bicycle racks, walking paths, and changing facilities with showers).

• Design or redesign communities to promote opportunities for active transportation (e.g., include places for physical activity in building and development plans).

• Sponsor a new or existing park, playground, or trail, recreation or scholastic program, or beautification or maintenance project

workforce wellness

8. Injury and violence free living

Businesses and Employers can

• Implement and enforce safety policies for all drivers (e.g., seat belts or restraint use, zero tolerance for distracted driving).

• Implement comprehensive workplace injury prevention programs that include management commitment, employee participation, hazard identification and remediation, worker training, and evaluation.

• Expand and improve occupational injury and illness reporting systems.

workforce wellness

9. Reproductive and sexual health

Businesses and Employers can

• Provide health coverage and employee assistance programs that include family planning and reproductive health services.

• Provide time off for pregnant employees to access prenatal care.

• Implement and enforce policies that address sexual harassment.

workforce wellness

10. Mental and Emotional Well-Being

Businesses and Employers can

• Implement organizational changes to reduce employee stress (e.g., develop clearly defined roles and responsibilities) and provide reasonable accommodations (e.g., flexible work schedules, assistive technology, adapted work stations).

• Ensure that mental health services are included as a benefit on health plans and encourage employees to use these services as needed.

• Provide education, outreach, and training to address mental health parity in employment-based health insurance coverage and group health plans.