Total Worker Health Leadership and Business Strategies Are Related to Safety and Health Climates in Small Business

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Mar 24;17(6):2142. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17062142.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between Total Worker Health® (TWH) business strategies and employee perceptions of leadership commitment and safety and health climates. Using data from 53 small enterprises and 1271 of their workers collected as part of the Small + Safe + Well (SSWell) Study, we confirm the primacy of the relationship between leadership commitment to safety and workplace safety climate. After accounting for leadership commitment to safety, business-reported policies and practices that promote the health, safety, and well-being of workers (i.e., TWH strategies) were no longer related to safety climate. In contrast, the relationship between TWH strategies and health climate were significantly associated with the level of small business leadership commitment to worksite wellness. Relatedly, our results demonstrate that leadership is a common correlate to both safety climate and health climate. Future research should investigate integrated TWH leadership development strategies as a means of simultaneously improving safety and health climates.

Keywords: Total Worker Health; health climate; health leadership; occupational safety and health; safety climate; safety leadership; small business leadership; worksite wellness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leadership*
  • Male
  • Occupational Health*
  • Organizational Culture
  • Small Business*
  • Text Messaging*
  • Workplace