ASSE Announces New Health, Wellness Branch

The importance of work-life balance, as well as health and wellness are not generally addressed when it comes to the safety professional, an issue that the Health and Wellness Branch seeks to address, ASSE said.

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) recently announced the formation of a new Health and Wellness Branch, sponsored by the Healthcare Practice Specialty (HPS), in an effort to raise awareness about the benefits of integrating occupational safety and health with company health promotion programs.

The Health and Wellness Branch will provide professional networking and development opportunities, as well as a forum for discussion and action on health and wellness topics. The importance of work-life balance, as well as health and wellness are not generally addressed when it comes to the safety professional, an issue that the Health and Wellness Branch seeks to address, ASSE said.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in recent years there has been a considerable increase in employee access to wellness programs and employee assistance programs, both in the private and public sector. From 1998-2008, access to wellness and assistance programs increased from 35 percent to 54 percent for public sector workers, indicating a clear increase in availability to employees. Today, many companies are beginning to focus on how health and wellness affect employees’ job performance and safety. Effective health and wellness programs are valuable, ASSE officials note, because they assist employees in achieving lifestyle improvements that can yield improved safety performance and increased productivity.

Health and wellness essentials include good nutrition, proper weight control, exercise, and avoiding risk sources such as smoking, alcohol, and drug abuse. The new Health and Wellness Branch will promote these attributes as those of productive, safe, and attentive workers, and educate the general public about the benefits of health and wellness in and outside of work.

For more information about ASSE’s Practice Specialties, Branches and Common Interest Groups, please visit www.asse.org/ps.

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