Build a Foundation with IHSA COR™ 2020

The most successful occupational health and safety management systems are built using a systematic approach. Programs such as COR™ and the Health and Safety Excellence Program (HSEp) utilize proven concepts for the development of occupational health and safety management systems that are uniquely tailored to the work being performed, learn more about using these programs to support an occupational health and safety program that reduces mental harm to workers, and includes employee mental health and well-being supports.


Enhance Psychosocial Hazard Management

Eliminating or reducing recognized hazards in the workplace is the most effective means of prevention and is the foundation of any good occupational health and safety management program. Psychological health and safety management is no different. While it is possible to remove some hazards from the work environment, others, such as shift work, are more difficult or even impossible to eliminate. Hazards must be controlled through engineering, administrative, or, as a last resort, individual-level interventions.

Modern workplaces now include psychosocial hazard management as part of their OHS management approach. They are also adding worker mental well-being to the OHS mandate through Total Worker Well-Being (TWW) frameworks and strategies.

According to the Canadian Standards Association, a psychologically healthy and safe workplace is one that promotes employees’ psychological well-being and actively works to prevent harm to their mental health—no matter if those harms are caused by negligence, recklessness, or intentional acts.

By extension, psychological health and safety in the workplace is the set of policies, processes, practices and programs put in place to manage psychosocial risk factors. At minimum, workplaces must prevent mental harm/injury to workers. They should also promote the psychological well-being of employees.

Check out the Assembling the Pieces Toolkit, a free online training program about psychological health and safety in the workplace, offered by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. It is designed to help employers understand the 13 psychosocial workplace factors outlined in the National Standard of Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace, and how to implement the core elements of the Standard.


Support Total Worker Well-Being

A Total Worker Well-Being approach promotes a hazard-free work environment for all workers. The “Hierarchy of Controls” provides a conceptual model for prioritizing efforts to advance the safety, health, and well-being of all workers. The model below is a companion to the traditional Hierarchy of Controls used in occupational safety and health, but expands on it to include strategies that improve worker well-being. The hierarchy lists controls and strategies in order of expected effectiveness, from top to bottom.

Workplace programs using a Total Worker Well-Being approach, such as the U.S. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health’s Total Worker Health® model, should make it their primary goal to eliminate or control workplace safety and health hazards. Addressing environmental determinants of health rather than focusing on individual-level factors is a crucial concept of TWW programs.

Hierarchy of Controls Applied to NIOSH Total Worker Health

Sometimes, it can also be helpful to have a model to guide your overall strategic planning. The World Health Organization’s Healthy Workplace Framework and Model, is a great place to start as an umbrella framework, and aligns very well with COR™ 2020. It is also a model for a Comprehensive Occupational Health Program.

WHO healthy workplace model