Larger workplaces, people-oriented culture, and specific industry sectors are associated with co-occurring health protection and wellness activities

Publication type
Journal article
Biswas A, Severin C, Smith PM, Steenstra I, Robson LS, Amick B
Date published
2018 Dec 01
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Open Access?

Employers are increasingly interested in offering workplace wellness programs in addition to occupational health and safety (OHS) activities to promote worker health, wellbeing, and productivity. Yet, there is a dearth of research on workplace factors that enable the implementation of OHS and wellness to inform the future integration of these activities in Canadian workplaces. This study explored workplace demographic factors associated with the co-implementation of OHS and wellness activities in a heterogenous sample of Canadian workplaces. Using a cross-sectional survey of 1285 workplaces from 2011 to 2014, latent profiles of co-occurrent OHS and wellness activities were identified, and multinomial logistic regression was used to assess associations between workplace demographic factors and the profiles. Most workplaces (84%) demonstrated little co-occurrence of OHS and wellness activities. Highest co-occurrence was associated with large workplaces (odds ratio (OR) = 3.22, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.15–5.89), in the electrical and utilities sector (OR = 5.57, 95% CI = 2.24–8.35), and a high people-oriented culture (OR = 4.70, 95% CI = 1.59–5.26). Promoting integrated OHS and wellness approaches in medium to large workplaces, in select industries, and emphasizing a people-oriented culture were found to be important factors for implementing OHS and wellness in Canadian organizations. Informed by these findings, future studies should understand the mechanisms to facilitate the integration of OHS and wellness in workplaces