Integrating health promotion and occupational safety and health in manufacturing worksites: perspectives of leaders in small-to-medium sized businesses
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BACKGROUND: Accumulating evidence suggests that worksite interventions integrating worksite health promotion (WHP) and occupational safety and health (OSH) may be more efficacious and have higher participation rates than health promotion programs offered alone. However, dissemination of integrated programs is complicated by lack of tools for implementation - particularly for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study is to describe perceptions of acceptability and feasibility of implementing an integrated approach to worker health that coordinates WHP and OSH in SMBs. METHODS: In September to November 2012, decision-makers for employee health programming within SMBs (< 750 employees) in greater Minneapolis were identified. Fourteen semi-structured interviews were conducted and analyzed to develop an understanding of perceived benefits and barriers, awareness, and capacity for implementing an integrated approach. RESULTS: Worker health was widely valued by participants. They reported strong management support for improving employee health and safety. Most participants indicated that their company was open to making changes in their approach to worker health; however, cost and staffing considerations were frequently perceived as barriers. CONCLUSIONS: There are opportunities for implementing integrated worksite health programs in SMBs with existing resources and values. However, challenges to implementation exist, as these worksites may lack the appropriate resources.
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