Healthy Jobs Initiative
A healthy job is more than one without hazards that cause injury or illness. It must support a full, productive, and healthy life. Americans spend nearly half of their waking hours at work. The work environment affects workers and their communities in profound ways, impacting stress levels, health care options, emotional well-being, and family life.
Healthy Jobs is a new initiative that aims to “re-frame” occupational health and build new alliances. By creating a broader and more holistic platform for occupational safety and health (OSH) and providing relevant materials, it works to promote increased interest and action for OSH issues. For labor organizations and community organizations, we use this approach to adopt a proactive posture, emphasizing the importance of healthy jobs and the contributions these make to society. With this broader way of discussing OSH, we may be able to connect with a greater and more diversified community of allies.
Healthy jobs are those that do the following:
- Protect against workplace hazards
- Provide living wages and benefits
- Limit excessive stress and workload
- Respect human dignity on the job and are free of harassment and discrimination
- Offer job security
- Support healthy lifestyles
- Support family life
- Support communities by being environmentally responsible
The principle goal of Healthy Jobs is to introduce and promote a new comprehensive approach to occupational health examining the structure of jobs. Project elements include:
- Research and define the components of “healthy jobs”. By developing a Healthy Jobs Call to Action with input from community, labor, and OSH groups, this project defines the components of a “healthy job”. These are not limited to traditional, technical measures of health and safety, but rather present a more holistic concept.
- Develop materials that assist the community to promote healthy jobs. Materials are being developed that articulate the link between these job components and worker health.
- Collaborate with other organizations that are actively reaching workers. Work specifically with campaigns and facilitate the use of produced materials to promote healthy jobs.