Total Worker Health® and Organizational Behavior Management: Emerging Opportunities for Improving Worker Well-being

Ryan Olson, Thomas R. Cunningham, Jeannie A.S. Nigam, W. Kent Anger, Anjali Rameshbabu, Courtney Donovan

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review


We draw artificial boundaries between our lives at work, at home, and in the community. Each person is living an integrated life where all of their environments (resources, physical environment, psychosocial environment, responsibilities/demands) interact to impact their safety, health, and well-being. Total Worker Health® is an approach developed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to address such interactions, and to advance science and practice for protecting workers’ safety, health, and well-being. The Total Worker Health (TWH) approach represents an expansion of traditional occupational safety and health research and practice, with strong safety protections for workers as its foundation. The current paper provides an introduction to TWH, including: (1) Significance, (2) Historical Background, (3) Hierarchy of Controls, (4) Review of TWH Interventions, and (5) Future Opportunities. The reciprocal and interactive perspective of TWH is consistent with Skinnerian and other approaches to behavioral science, as well as organizational systems analysis approaches. With its behavioral and systems analysis roots, and associated historical emphasis on environmental conditions and interventions, the Organizational Behavior Management community can make great and important contributions in the TWH domain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior Management
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Health
  • Occupational Safety and Health
  • Safety
  • Total Worker Health
  • Well-Being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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