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ASSE Launches Health & Wellness Branch

ASSE LogoWe recently published an article about the financial toll that physical pain costs Americans every year, citing that the grand total was in the range of $600 billion. Although this statistic was broad in scope and didn’t specifically outline the nature of the pains resulting in such a high dollar amount, it sheds light on the severity and hard costs of reactive healthcare.

As much as employees may wish to be proactive in addressing this issue, the decisions involving integration of workplace health and safety initiatives are left to those in leadership positions.

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) is taking what could be a significant leap forward in encouraging the development of these workplace health and safety programs. ASSE recently announced that they will be launching a Health & Wellness Branch aimed at raising awareness of the benefits that health and wellness programs can have on employees.

Already consisting of over 100 members, the Health & Wellness Branch has demonstrated a significant rate of acceptance and acknowledgment, and shows promising signs of impact in the near future.

Employee access to these health and wellness programs has increased dramatically in recent years, estimated at approximately a 35-54% growth in popularity from 1998-2008, according to the ASSE website. This trend can likely be attributed to the alarming obesity rate and other disease statistics among Americans, as well as hikes in healthcare costs.

Results of a recent study showed that workplaces integrating health promotion programs saw significant drops in the frequencies and costs of workplace injuries, as well as a 48% decrease in absenteeism as it relates to workplace injuries and illnesses. This correlation gives further support to the notion that investment in the health and wellbeing of employees results in a positive overall company culture.

According to a recent ASSE news release, “many companies are beginning to see a trend in the correlation between availability, and employee participation in, health and wellness programs and a decrease in the number of workplace injury and illness-related absences.”

The recently formed Health & Wellness Branch has a broad focus, and aims to promote the awareness of “health and wellness essentials,” specifically proper nutrition, healthy weight management, adequate exercise and minimizing sources of health risk.

The ASSE website states that the Health & Wellness Branch “will promote these attributes as those of productive, safe and attentive workers, and educate the general public about the benefits of health and wellness in and outside of work.”

For more information about ASSE, visit their website.

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