- The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has released a free Worker Well-Being Questionnaire to help employers, workers, researchers, practitioners and policymakers better understand and target interventions to improve workers’ welfare.
- The questionnaire measures well-being at the company, industry and workforce levels and looks at factors ranging from workplace culture to safety climate.
- In addition to individual firms employing it within their own ranks, occupational safety professionals, public health experts and policymakers can use the questionnaire to monitor changes in worker well-being in relation to economic conditions, societal trends or changing governmental or organizational policies. Researchers and organizational consultants can also use it to assess the state of a working population before, during and after an intervention.
The release of the questionnaire comes as many contractors prepare to bring employees back to work who were remote during the pandemic. Large companies such as Turner Construction have also increased their emphasis on worker wellness in an industry where mental health challenges such as suicide and substance abuse have long been a concern.
The NIOSH WellBQ is guided by the worker well-being framework designed by NIOSH and the RAND Corp., a nonprofit think tank. The framework identifies five domains of worker well-being:
- Work evaluation and experience.
- Workplace policies and culture.
- Workplace physical environment and safety climate.
- Health status.
- Home, community and society.
The draft NIOSH WellBQ was pilot tested in a nationwide sample of 975 working people. Based on pilot testing, the questionnaire was finalized and takes about 15 minutes to complete.
“Worker well-being is an unifying concept that characterizes quality of life with respect to a person’s working conditions, circumstances outside of work and physical and mental health status,” said John Howard, director of NIOSH, a research agency within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a statement. “NIOSH is excited to offer this new tool that anyone can use to evaluate worker well-being in order to help identify opportunities to advance worker well-being through workplace policies, programs, and practices.”