Chronic disease kills more people in Vermont than all other causes of death combined.
Worksites can support and encourage employees in accessing preventative care. Over a third of employed adults in Vermont do not receive an annual medical exam, and many do not receive recommended screenings for their age and gender. A quarter of employed adults do not receive annual dental care and many delay getting care when needed. Worksites can also help limit the spread of illnesses by encouraging employees to stay home when sick and by promoting immunizations, such as annual vaccines. Along with supporting disease and infection prevention, worksites can also take measures to ensure the safety of their employees and help prevent injury.
Education and Awareness
- Use educational flyers, emails or other channels to share about the importance of preventative care, including cancer screenings, oral health, asthma management and staying up to date on adult vaccinations.
- Promote cancer screenings at the workplace with national awareness months.
- Promote free or low-cost screening services for under-insured or uninsured eligible employees through the You First Program (YouFirstVT.org).
- Promote oral health, including dental cleanings and reducing sugary drink and food consumption.
- Provide on-site education on cancer screenings, asthma management, hypertension, diabetes prevention and management, and oral health.
- Offer vaccination clinics on-site or post information on area clinics open to the public.
- Request a free, no-penalty Project WorkSAFE consultation at your facility to help identify asthma problem areas and solutions.
- Offer paid sick leave and encourage employees to stay home when sick.
- Allow employees to use sick leave to access preventative care.
Education and Awareness
- Request a free, confidential, no-penalty Project WorkSAFE consultation at your facility to help identify hazards and receive assistance in improving safety. Services include safety audits, chemical exposure assessments, noise monitoring, safety program development and evaluation. Priority is given to workplaces with 250 or fewer employers.
- Educate employees on state laws and best practices related to safe driving, and develop workplace policies on seatbelt and cell phone use when using a vehicle for work purposes.
- Provide information on risk factors for injuries, such as proper body mechanics to prevent musculoskeletal disorders.
- Provide information on community resources for arthritis and chronic pain self-management.
- Offer ergonomic assessments to employees to ensure workspaces reduce the risk of injuries and chronic pain.
- Maintain proper housekeeping practices throughout your facility. This is especially important for walking and storage areas.
- Ensure walking areas meet requirements established in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
- Provide relevant Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as face masks, hearing protection, eye protection, safety shoes, hard hats, etc.
- Offer health promotion programs in the workplace, such as nutrition, physical activity and tobacco cessation.
- Offer opportunities for physical activity and stretch breaks.
- Ensure policies support enough time for rest and recovery to help prevent accidents. Examples include:
- Reducing the length of shifts
- Allowing more break times
- Ensuring enough staffing to rotate workers through tasks that are physically demanding
- Evaluate your organization’s disability management and return-to-work policies to support employees returning to work after injuries.
- You First program: YouFirstVT.org
- Vermont Oral Health Coalition
- Vermont Asthma Program
- Vermont Cancer Program
- My Healthy VT Self-Management Workshops
- For information on other chronic disease education opportunities, contact your local area hospital or insurance provider.
- Vermont RETAIN (return-to-work support and resources)
- Project WorkSAFE
- Project Roadsafe
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) resources on ergonomics,
diseases, injuries, occupation and industry-specific resources, hazards and exposures, emergency preparedness, chemicals and other safety and prevention topics:
• Total Worker Health webinar series and resources
- Vermont Safety and Health Council
- Resources for Finding Safer Cleaning Products and Chemicals
- Dampness and Mold Assessment Tool for Buildings
- MyHealthFinder Resource on screening tests and vaccines by age
- CDC Flu Finder resource to find a flu vaccine near you