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Employers: Encourage Work-Life Balance to Reduce Injury Risks

July 17, 2012
Maintaining a solid work-life balance is important not only for employees’ mental well-being, but it also may help reduce occupational injury risk.

Employers who encourage their employees to develop a strong work-life balance may enjoy reduced workplace injury risks, according to a NIOSH Total Work Health article.

Maintaining this work-life balance may be especially important during the summer months, when employees’ children are out of school and flexible work arrangements might be necessary.  

“The protection and improvement of the well-being of all people who work are goals shared by workers, their families and employers," said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. "There is increasing evidence that the work environment and the overall well-being of the workers within it are strongly connected, and many employers are offering family-friendly benefits and programs for their employees.”

5 Ways to Encourage a Stronger Work-Life Balance

Recent surveys have found that decreased work-family stress is related to reduced injury risk and increased safety compliance and safety participation among workers. This article, contributed by the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center (ORHWC), a NIOSH Center of Excellence, offers five tips employers can employ to help their teams achieve better work-family balance:

  1. Train managers and supervisors to be more supportive of work and family.
  2. Give workers more control over their work hours.
  3. Create a resource guide for employees and their families.
  4. Be a role model.
  5. Encourage and support flexible schedules.

To read about the tips at length, read the article, “Employer Support for Work and Family Balance Reduces Safety Health Risks,” which was published in the newsletter TWH in Action!

NIOSH’s Total Worker Health Program is a strategy integrating health protection with health promotion to prevent worker injury and illness and to enhance well-being. Diminished health and injury, whether caused by work or resulting from non-work activities, reduces quality of life, opportunity and income for workers and those dependent upon them. Conversely, workplaces with low risk of injury and enhanced opportunities for the total health of workers can lead to a vibrant, engaged and highly performing work force.

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