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Improving Workplace Health: New Guidelines for Companies

Submitted by: Meridian Group International, Inc.

Categories: Fair Trade & Supply Chain, Women

Posted: Nov 03, 2015 – 06:00 AM EST

 

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 03 /CSRwire/ -  The Evidence Project/RAISE Health in partnership with Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) HERproject released a new tool today at the BSR 2015 annual conference that helps companies in low- and middle-income countries improve their health services for workers.

The Workplace Health Facility Guidelines and Management Benchmarks offer multi-national corporations, their supplier companies, and their partners a roadmap for continual improvement of workplace health education and services.   

The health of women and men workers is usually viewed through the lens of occupational health and safety compliance. Yet, worker health – beyond occupation health and safety – is too often a blind spot for workplace management in lower-income countries.  And as more young women join the global workforce, their specific health needs are often poorly understood and overlooked, including reproductive health and family planning.

The guidelines address three areas essential to meeting workers’ health needs and accepted health standards:

  • Infirmary-level good practices

  • Management systems and oversight

  • Company leadership

Implementing good health practices in most aspects requires basic management skills, not a medical degree. The guidelines provide managers the wherewithal to oversee workplace health functions and define expectations for health providers – with minimal cost and potentially high returns. 

The guidelines are based on more than 10 years of research and experience in workplace programs. HERproject has demonstrated the benefits of women’s health and health education at the workplace, and estimated a US$4 return for each US$1 spent on women’s health education.  A range of health and workplace experts and civil society organizations contributed to the guidelines’ development.

The guidelines also build on international efforts to spur corporate attention to worker health and development, including the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles and the World Health Organization’s Healthy Workplaces model.  They are also relevant to implementing the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

The tool is targeted to:

  • Brands and retailers (corporate sustainability and health policies as well as supplier guidelines and contractual obligations)  
  • Workplace Managers (human resources, compliance and others with responsibility for personnel, health and safety, and management systems)
  • NGOs (implementers of workplace health programs)

The guidelines come with a scorecard and other support materials that enable workplaces to assess their situation (internally or with an external partner) and identify areas for improvement. 

About the Evidence Project

The Evidence Project is funded by USAID and led by the Population Council.  RAISE Health is a major activity of the Evidence Project, implemented by its sub-awardee, Meridian Group International, Inc. a small, women-owned business.

For more information, please contact:

Carolyn Rodehau Program Associate, The Evidence Project
Phone: 516-660-3923

 

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