Championing Workplace Health and Safety Is a Winning Formula for Business

Is your organization among America’s healthiest? Medical society specializing in worker health and safety celebrates 25 years of recognizing health, safe organizations.
 
Elk Grove Village, IL – For 25 years, the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) has recognized the accomplishments of organizations that strive for excellence in worker health, safety, and environmental management. ACOEM is the pre-eminent physician-led medical society that champions the health of workers, safety of workplaces, and quality of environments.

ACOEM’s Excellence in Corporate Health Achievement Award, or eCHAA, reinforces the importance of measurable results and continuous improvement and provides a forum in which participating organizations can exchange ideas and best practices on creating healthy and productive working environments. Safer, healthier workplaces result in bolstered productivity, increased employee engagement, stronger bottom-line results, safer environments, and enhanced community relationships. Healthy and productive employees make for an organization that can “win” in today’s competitive marketplace.
 
A healthy and safe workplace also correlates with a company’s performance. Two studies of past eCHAA winners demonstrate that employers that invest in the health and safety of their employees outperform their competitors in the marketplace (see https://bit.ly/3AuSB1s and https://bit.ly/3ApEx9a).
 
Employee health and safety is even more important now as workplaces are re-established as a rsult of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The award does more than recognize the accomplishments of organizations – it tells the business community that comprehensive occupational health programs make good business sense,” says Dr. Robert Bourgeois, ACOEM President. “As occupational and environmental physicians begin to look to the future of workplace safety, it is of the utmost importance to highlight the businesses and organizations that prioritize the health, safety, and well-being of workers.”
 
The award is open to North American for-profit and not-for-profit organizations and government agencies that employ 500 or more employees. Industries can include health care, manufacturing, service, financial, information technology, etc. Previous eCHAA recipients include Baptist Health South Florida, Union Pacific Railroad, Smithsonian Institution, Eli Lilly and Company, Vanderbilt University, Dow Chemical Company, and Erickson Living, among others.
 
Applicants undergo a rigorous review by an expert panel of examiners to assess three dimensions that parallel those used by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) – Economic, Environmental, and Social. Each category is evaluated by determining the appropriate “maturity” level of the program that the organization has discussed in its application. The goal is to evaluate each item for comprehensiveness and appropriateness, then on how well it is deployed across the company, and finally if the program has been defined with measurable outcomes and shows improvement trends in these outcomes. Winning organizations receive valuable feedback from the panel of examiners, can promote award recognition in their marketing materials, and present at ACOEM’s annual conference in the spring.
 
Organizations can use ACOEM’s Guide to a Healthy and Safe Workplace to help improve the health and safety of their organization. (If you apply for the award, the Guide will also steer your organization through all the components you must address in your application.) The Guide can be found at https://bit.ly/3yB6quw.
 
This award is important from a business perspective because organizations with a culture of health have lower medical cost trends, and in addition, have lower incidences of injury and illness. As previously mentioned, healthy organizations also perform higher and maintain competitive advantage in the workforce.
 
Are you interested in how your organization measures up against key elements to promote a healthier and safer workplace? Visit https://www.acoem.org/echaa or contact Julie Ording, MPH, ACOEM Programs Manager, at jording@acoem.org for more information.