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Expanding the Paradigm of Occupational Safety and Health: A New Framework for Worker Well-Being

Chari, Ramya, PhD; Chang, Chia-Chia, MPH, MBA; Sauter, Steven L., PhD; Petrun Sayers, Elizabeth L., PhD; Cerully, Jennifer L., PhD; Schulte, Paul, PhD; Schill, Anita L., PhD; Uscher-Pines, Lori, PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: July 2018 - Volume 60 - Issue 7 - p 589–593
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001330

Objective: This article describes the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's (NIOSH) development of a conceptual framework for worker well-being. While well-being research is growing, there is a need to translate theoretical concepts into practical models for measurement and action.

Methods: Multidisciplinary literature reviews informed development of the worker well-being framework and major domains and subdomains. An expert panel helped prioritize constructs for measurement.

Results: The framework includes five domains and 20 subdomains and conceptualizes worker well-being as a subjective and objective phenomenon inclusive of experiences both within and beyond work contexts.

Conclusion: Well-being is a positive and unifying concept that captures multiple factors that contribute to workers’ health and quality of life. This work lays the foundation for larger well-being measurement efforts and will provide tools for NIOSH partners to help workers flourish.

RAND Corporation, Arlington, Virginia (Drs Chari, Petrun Sayers, Uscher-Pines); RAND Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Dr Cerully); National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Washington, DC (Drs Chang, Schulte, Schill); AECOM N&C Technical Services, LLC, Cincinnati, Ohio (NIOSH Contractor) (Dr Sauter).

Address correspondence to: Ramya Chari, PhD, RAND Corporation, 1200 South Hayes St. Arlington, VA 22202 (

Funding for this study was provided by National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

The authors have no conflicts of interest.

The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Copyright © 2018 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine