Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498
Date: April 2, 2013
NATIONAL PUBLIC HEALTH WEEK, CREATE A HEATHIER WORKPLACE
Since many adults work outside the home, having a healthy workplace can support personal health goals, and boost attendance and
productivity while decreasing costs associated with ill health. During National Public Health Week (April 1-7, 2013), consider
these suggestions to improve your worksite's health:
- Provide health promotion or wellness programs and chronic disease management programs for employees as part of their health
- Two-thirds of all Delawareans are overweight or obese. Promote healthy food and beverage choices in worksite vending machines.
Stock vending machines with water, juice and diet sodas; and baked, low-salt and high fiber snacks.
- Determine if a weight management program can provide lunchtime classes. Or, advertise brown-bag lunch classes to inspire
employees how to reduce stress, become more physically active, and prepare heart-healthy meals.
- Promoting healthy walks is an easy way to encourage physical fitness and weight control. Organize lunchtime walks or encourage
walkers to find a walking buddy.
- Limit exposure to secondhand smoke outside. Don't allow smoking near entrances, exits or walkways. Consider making your grounds
- Offer incentives to employees to adopt documentable healthy behaviors (such as miles walked or weight-loss classes attended),
obtaining recommended screenings or completing a medically supervised smoking cessation treatment program)
- Create workplace wellness by conducting a flu vaccination campaign or a Blood Bank or designated organ donor sign-up drive.
Post hand-washing reminders. The Delaware Division of Public Health posts flu resources on its website: www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph.
- Is your worksite fire-safe? Walkways should be clear and evacuation maps posted. Smoke detectors should be inspected annually
and smoke alarms and fire extinguishers should be in working order. Regular fire and safety drills should be conducted and one
outside safe meeting zone should be publicized.
- Address the potential for workplace violence, and put into place mechanisms that instruct employees accordingly. Safety
presentations and materials should be available in multiple languages.
- Provide personal protective equipment for employees. Train employees about workplace safety regulations, and share Occupational
Safety and Health Administration standards with the workforce. Visit www.osha.gov.
- Is there something harmful in your workplace? According the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health, toxin
exposures at work cause an estimated 40,000 new cases of cancer and 20,000 cancer deaths each year. In addition, exposure to toxic
and irritant chemicals at work can cause a variety of illnesses, including respiratory tract symptoms (asthma, reactive airway
disease, pulmonary fibrosis), kidney failure, liver damage, cardiovascular effects, nervous system symptoms, gastrointestinal
illness, and metabolic effects. Delaware Division of Public Health's Occupational Health Program can recommend procedures necessary
to reduce your risk and even provide free training resources for your company to help ensure that everyone uses equipment properly
and practices safe procedures. Visit www.DelawareHealthyWorkplaces.org.
- Actively partner with community and other local entities/stakeholders to develop and implement community health promotion and
disease prevention initiatives.
- Examine the cost and benefits of worksite health promotion and disease prevention efforts.
For more ideas on how to improve health and safety at work, visit www.nphw.org.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health
and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.