Minnesota Department of Transportation Research Services Section
The primary cause of injury to field workers who perform laborious tasks is over-exertion. Due to changing
environmental and situational conditions for field workers, it is difficult to apply engineering controls to reduce
exposure to over-exertion or strain that contributes to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Workplace health
promotion and wellness programs are meant to provide employees with opportunities to learn about lifestyle
changes to improve their overall health and wellness status. The goal of this project was to create a reference guide
for the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) that addresses the different components of a workplace
health and wellness promotion program. Results indicate that to be successful, health promotion and wellness
should be considered a process instead of a program or initiative. First, management commitment and leadership
must be established along with involvement of key stakeholders (such as healthcare providers, workers
compensation, etc.). Second, a joint management-worker committee needs to be formed to define how health
promotion and wellness can be aligned with organizational goals, policies, and measures, and to assess the needs of
workers. The committee needs guidance from a health promotion and wellness expert. Before implementation,
baseline measures of health conditions, worker perceptions, and injury/illness and workers compensation data need
to be established and periodically monitored to ensure progress. Establishing health promotion and wellness into
the culture of the organization, careful planning by a well-represented committee, and evaluation on the
performance of the program using a variety of measures, are keys to success.
Minnesota Department of Transportation
Research Services Section
Loushine, Todd William; Trepanier, Myriam; Feyen, Robert.
Review of Workplace Wellness Program Options to Reduce Musculoskeletal Disorders in Laborious Work.
Minnesota Department of Transportation Research Services Section.
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