Workplace health promotion and well-being

The big picture

Health promotion in the workplace complements occupational safety and health measures as part of the combined efforts of employers, workers and national authorities to improve the health and well-being of men and women at work. Health promotion and well-being at work programmes focus on the promotion of health among all workers and their families through preventive and assistance programmes in the areas of workplace stress, violence at work drug and alcohol abuse and the promotion of tobacco-free workplaces.

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A call centre in New Delhi which runs customer care services for companies
In all these areas, the ILO's comparative advantage lies in its experience of using the social dialogue approach, which resulted in the implementation of successful workplace and community initiatives, with the involvement of employers, workers, governments, public services and NGOs, addressing these problems. Time spent in developing partnerships to improve workplace health and well-being is an investment in the most important asset of any enterprise or organization, its workers. It is also an investment in the social context within which a company or organization operates, and therefore in its future and the future of the community and the country as a whole.
Read more: Improving health in the workplace: ILO’s framework for action

Integrating health promotion into workplace OSH policies
The ILO designed the SOLVE training package with the aim of integrating workplace health promotion into OSH policies. SOLVE focuses on the prevention of psychosocial risks and the promotion of health and well-being at work through policy design and action.

Work-related stress, alcohol and drugs abuse, violence (both physical and psychological) all lead to health-related problems for the worker and lower productivity for the enterprise. Taken together they represent a major cause of accidents, fatal injuries, disease and absenteeism at work in both developed and developing countries. SOLVE focuses on their prevention providing tools for action at the enterprise level. The ILO uses the social dialogue approach in applying SOLVE to promote the implementation of successful workplace and community initiatives, with the involvement of employers, workers, governments, public services and NGOs.

SOLVE addresses the following subjects: managing workplace health promotion; work-related stress; prevention of alcohol and drugs use at work; prevention of violence at work; HIV and AIDS at work; tobacco and workplace second-hand smoke; nutrition at work; physical activity for health; healthy sleep; economic stress. The method foresees that participants becomes members of a virtual enterprise and through the assessment of case studies they move from concept to action by designing a policy a preventive programme and a plan of action. The training package includes a Participant's Workbook, a Trainer’s Guide, the Lesson Plans, and a CD-ROM with PowerPoint presentations and background material.

Key resources

  1. New SOLVE training package

    Integrating health promotion into workplace OSH policies

    18 April 2012

    The material covers the management of health promotion at the workplace to deal with nine topics: stress and economic stress, violence, tobacco and smoke-free workplaces, alcohol and drugs, nutrition, physical activity, healthy sleep and HIV/AIDS. The package includes a participant's workbook, a trainer’s guide, lesson plans and a CD-ROM with presentations and background material.

  1. Course

    SOLVE training of trainers: Integrating health promotion in occupational safety and health policies

    18 - 29 May 2015 - International Training Centre of the ILO, Turin, Italy

    The overall objective of this course is to develop knowledge and skills that will lead to the integration of the psychosocial and health promotion issues into a comprehensive enterprise policy and establish a framework for preventative action. Deadline for applications: 10 April 2015.

  2. Training material

    Stress prevention at work checkpoints: Practical improvements for stress prevention in the workplace


    This manual aims at reviewing workplace stress issues. It includes easy-to-apply checkpoints for identifying stressors in working life and mitigating their harmful effects. It is hoped that workers and employers will be able to use the checkpoints to detect causes of stress at work and take effective measures to address them.

  3. A new digital tool for improving OSH in the workplace

    Stress Prevention Checkpoints App

    50 easy-to-implement checkpoints for identifying sources of stress in the workplace and mitigating their harmful effects. Users can explore illustrated descriptions of each checkpoint and create interactive checklists tailored to their workplace. Includes best practice recommendations for taking action and implementing effective improvements.