Is Your Organization a Healthy Workplace?

This October is the 15th Healthy Workplace Month in Canada, which is aimed at increasing awareness of the need for a comprehensive approach to workplace health that’s influenced by the four elements of a healthy workplace:

  1. Healthy Lifestyles
  2. Workplace Culture and Mental Health
  3. Physical Environment
  4. Corporate Social Responsibility.

To get a certificate from Excellence Canada, an organization must meet the 10 requirements of the Healthy Workplace® Essentials program. To see how well you think your organization is doing, rate it against each requirement with a score from 1 to 7, where 1 is “Strongly Disagree” and 7 is “Strongly Agree.”

  1. There is a Vision, Mission or Values statement that acknowledges the well-being of employees and which has been communicated to all stakeholders.

Strongly Disagree                              Strongly Agree                       

1             2           3             4            5              6                7

  1. A health and safety policy (or separate policies) has been developed with input from employees that includes reference to the reinforcement and promotion of both physical and psychological health and safety, as well as spiritual and social well-being in the workplace.

Strongly Disagree                              Strongly Agree                       

1             2           3             4            5              6                7

  1. Education about healthy lifestyle practices (i.e., personal hygiene, infection control, healthy lifestyle programs, mental health programs, nutritional health, safety, etc.) is made available, and is accessible and ongoing.

Strongly Disagree                              Strongly Agree                       

1             2           3             4            5              6                7

  1. Healthy workplace planning, programs and services reflect the personal health and wellness needs, concerns and interests of all employees, including employees on disability leave.

Strongly Disagree                              Strongly Agree                       

1             2           3             4            5              6                7

  1. Key health and wellness priorities with measurable indicators and goals have been developed and are aligned to the strategic business plan and Human Resource plan.

Strongly Disagree                              Strongly Agree                       

1             2           3             4            5              6                7

  1. The organization plans and carries out communication strategies to improve awareness and promote physical and psychological health and well-being.

Strongly Disagree                              Strongly Agree                       

1             2           3             4            5              6                7

  1. Employees are empowered to provide input on work-related matters, such as supervision, productivity goals, work schedules, equipment, training, and the safety and cleanliness of their work environment.

Strongly Disagree                              Strongly Agree                       

1             2           3             4            5              6                7

  1. The workplace environment is supportive and employees can participate in health and wellness programs and seek assistance whenever they’re having health- or safety-related problems at work.

Strongly Disagree                              Strongly Agree                       

1             2           3             4            5              6                7

  1. A method to review and ensure compliance with OHS laws and relevant employment rights and responsibilities legislation is in place.

Strongly Disagree                              Strongly Agree                       

1             2           3             4            5              6                7

  1. Work issues and processes are regularly assessed for their impact on employee health and, where needed, improvements are discussed and implemented.

Strongly Disagree                              Strongly Agree                       

1             2           3             4            5              6                7

Add up the selections for each statement and if the total is 50 or more, your workplace may already be a healthy one. If it’s less than 50, it likely needs to improve in one or more areas to become healthy.

The Healthy Workplace Month website has many resources you can use to make your workplace healthier. The OHS Insider also has resources on making workplaces and workers more healthy, including: