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Off-the-Job Safety Programs
Healthier Workforce Bulletin

Off-the-Job Safety Programs
Safety is a 24-hour attitude, not a switch that is turned on when employees are at work and turned off when they go home.  According to the National Safety Council’s 2011 Injury Facts, nearly three times as many workers suffer a nonfatal injury when they are off the job.  Fewer accidents and injuries occur on the job because safety becomes part of a company’s value system, worksite culture and lifestyle of the worker.  When on and off the job safety programs are integrated or when off-the-job safety topics are included in wellness programs, safety becomes part of the lifestyle of the employee not only at work, but at home and in the community as well. It can also extend to the worker’s families and friends. These types of interventions support a culture of Total Worker Health™ and can lead to a safer and healthier workforce.

For the Employer
Off the job injuries to employees and their families can be a burden to their employers.  They can lead to on the job injuries, increased healthcare costs, increased absenteeism, and decreased productivity.  They can also be especially critical for smaller employers, where an employee’s absence from work can significantly impact daily operations.  By extending an on the job safety culture and/or wellness program to incorporate off-the-job safety topics, employers demonstrate they truly care about the well-being of their employees and their families at work, at home and in the community.  They can also help build trust and increase employee engagement in other workplace health and wellness programs. Learn more and get tips for implementing an off-the-job safety program with recommended safety topics and resources here.

Model Program Focuses Off-the-Job Efforts on Employee Interests
Duncan Aviation, a family-run aircraft service company from Lincoln, NE, started an Off-the-Job Safety Program because they understood their workers get hurt at home and then bring those injuries into the workplace.  Quarterly child safety seat inspections are offered along with discounted bicycles helmets and fire safety equipment.  They also offer a variety of classes on driving safety as part of safety and wellness sessions.  Their program has been most successful because they focus on the things their employees and their families are interested in.  Read more here.

Policy Update
Healthcare.gov recently launched an updated website to help small business owners with under 50 employees understand the Small Business Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace. By answering a few questions; employers are provided a list of federal coverage options, a personalized checklist to help prepare, and answers that will help make good decisions.  The Department of Health and Human Services has also set-up a 24/7 call center to help answer questions about the SHOP Marketplace at 1-800-318-2596.

Share Your Story!
The HWCE is seeking model programs and activities to share with you and other employers.  Whether it is off-the-job safety, physical activity/fitness, nutrition/healthy eating, stress management, mental health, smoking cessation, or other wellness or safety initiative, we want to hear from you. Email jennifer-l-hall@uiowa.edu and share your story today!

For the Researcher
Data from the NHIS on injury cause and work relatedness was analyzed to find that both work and non-work related injuries have similar etiologies, regardless of where they occur.  Even though the relative importance may vary, solutions may often be similar. Occupational injuries have traditionally been considered a separate entity from non-work injuries with limited integration among the two in terms of prevention programs. More studies are needed to examine the similarities between on and off the job injury prevention programs and strategies.  The controlled environment of the workplace provides an opportunity to implement and evaluate an integrated or Total Worker Health™ approach to on and off-the-job safety and injury prevention.
 
Source: Smith, G.S., Sorock, G.s., Wellman, H.M., Courtney, T.K., & Pranksy, G.S. Blurring the distinctions between on and off the job injuries: Similarities and differences in circumstances. Injury Prevention, 2006; 12:-236-241. Access this article here.

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Upcoming Webinars & Events
A more detailed listing with registration links is available through our online calendar of events.

* June is National Safety Month
                 -Information available here  
* June is Men's Health Month
                  -Promotional materials available here  
* Program Evaluation Webinar by the CDC National Healthy Worksite Program
               -July 15, 2013; 1:00-2:30pm EDT; Register here
*The ABCs of Wellness Incentives: Making Good Use of Carrots and Sticks
                -July 17, 2013; 11:30am-12:30pm CT
* The Next Step LiveHealthyIowa Challenge 
               -Sept 9 to Oct 18, 2013; More information here 

       
Contact
Please send questions, comments or ideas for future newsletters to hwce@uiowa.edu  

Disclaimer
Please note that the “links” to other informational sources are provided for your professional development.  The HWCE does not take responsibility for information contained beyond the files administered by the Center and does not represent the endorsement of commercial products.

 
  The Healthier Workforce Center for Excellence (HWCE) is one of four TWH™ Centers of Excellence funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

Our mission is to improve the health of workers in Iowa and nationally through integrated health promotion and health protection research, collaboration with peer institutions, and dissemination of successful interventions.

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