OWHC's Approach to Workplace Health


Download the Comprehensive Workplace Health Model
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Comprehensive Workplace Health Promotion can be defined as "an approach to protecting and enhancing the health of employees that relies and builds upon the efforts of employers to create a supportive management under and upon the efforts of employees to care for their own well-being" (Shain, M., Suurvali, H. 2001). The OWHC's vision is that all Ontario workplaces will recognize that employee mental, physical, and psychosocial health is fundamental to organizational success, and will therefore adopt and implement a comprehensive approach to healthy workplace as an integral part of their business strategy and operations.

The Comprehensive Workplace Health (CWH) Model

  • Has four elements occupational health & safety, health & lifestyle practices, organizational culture, and organizational social responsibility
  • CWH approach includes awareness, skill building, and creating supportive environments

The Implementation Process

  • Plan – an ongoing and recurring process
  • Do – implementing the steps of your program
  • Check – evaluating and reporting on the effectiveness and impact of action taken
  • Act – periodic review of the CWH program by management

Occupational Health & Safety: Reducing work-related injury, illness and disability by identifying and controlling hazards in the physical environment and in work processes, such as:

  • Air quality
  • Injury & illness prevention
  • Emergency response & pandemic preparedness
  • Physical, ergonomic, chemical & biological hazards
  • Disability management
  • Workplace accommodation
  • Ergonomics program
  • Violence & harassment
  • Personal protective equipment use
  • Noise control

Health & Lifestyle Practices: Creating an environment that is supportive of and encourages healthenhancing personal lifestyle practices, such as:

  • Physical activity
  • Healthy eating
  • Healthy weight
  • Tobacco cessation
  • Stress management
  • Reduced drug & alcohol use
  • Adequate sleep
  • Immunization
  • Reproductive health
  • Sun safety

Organizational Culture: Focusing on the psychosocial issues in the workplace that affect the interaction between people, their work and their organization, such as:

  • Values, beliefs & practices
  • Psychological & social support
  • Clear leadership & expectations
  • Civility & respect
  • Psychological demands
  • Growth & development
  • Recognition & reward
  • Involvement & influence
  • Workload management
  • Engagement
  • Balance
  • Psychological protection
  • Protection of physical safety

Organizational Social Responsibility: Participating in the community to improve the health of workers, their families and other members of the community, such as:

  • Reducing the carbon footprint of business activities
  • Forest stewardship & using less paper
  • Fundraising for local charities
  • Control of pollutants in community air & water
  • Opportunities to volunteer during work hours

For more information, contact the OWHC:

Download the Comprehensive Workplace Health Model [ PDF, 324Kb ]



OWHC is supported by    Workplace Safety & Prevention Services - A Health & Safety Ontario Partner    and    CCOHS - Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety