Over the years, the role of wellness has been unknown or downplayed in most culture change approaches when addressing the causes of accidents, injuries, health issues and environmental incidents. Emphasis has been on observable practices and the reinforcement of positive or safe practices and/or the correction of negative or unsafe practices. Though this is essential for the prevention of accidents, injuries, health issues and environmental incidents, it is in no way the complete picture.
Today, the causes of injuries and incidents are far beyond what we normally observe. Health issues, illness, fatigue, stress, diet and nutrition, physical fitness and exercise are just some of the influencing factors that can cause people to be healthy and safe, as well as, cause incidents of all types. Genetics and family history play a major role as well.
More than ever, wellness plays a continuing and often increasing role in safety, health and environmental performance and incident prevention.
Attention to and the introduction of effective interventions are needed to provide a "Holistic, Integrated Approach" to counteract the negative effects of these factors on safety, health and environmental performance.
Short changing good health practices in your workplace can have a dramatic impact not only employees' health, but on their safety and productivity as well.
People watching is a favorite pastime of many, including myself and an associate I was talking to in the exhibit hall at a national safety conference. As we stood chatting about the latest in safety, health and environmental issues, we couldn't help but notice that so many of the attendees did not appear to be physically fit. And these were all safety related professionals and committee people, both in volunteer and salaried positions! Many people were overweight and out of shape. As we walked and talked, we observed quite a few people quickly exiting the building to have a cigarette or use another tobacco product. Attendees, huddled around tables at the food concessions, consumed large quantities of foods high in fats, sugar and artificial ingredients. Unfortunately as well, though some improvements have been made, 'healthy' selections to choose from were few and far between.