The WHO has prioritized the workplace as a setting for health promotion because of the large potential audience and influence on all spheres of a person’s life. The workplace directly influences the physical, mental, economic and social well-being of workers and in turn the health of their families, communities and society. It offers an ideal setting and infrastructure to support the promotion of health of a large audience. But: Successful workplace health promotion (WHP) depends on good quality in the practical implementation. Policy refers to plans, positions and guidelines which influence decisions made by stakeholders to address the practical implementation of good WHP standards.
ENWHP has a long tradition in the development of policies in workplace health promotion. The ENWHP Declarations are policy documents which define the network’s basic consensus on the common goals, vision and mission during the last twenty years:
- Luxembourg Declaration on Workplace Health Promotion in the European Union.
- Cardiff Memorandum on Workplace Health Promotion in SMEs.
- Lisbon Statement on Workplace Health in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs).
- Barcelona Declaration on Developing Good Workplace Health Practice in Europe.
- Edinburgh Declaration on the Promotion of Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing.
- Brussels Declaration on Workplace Health Practices for Employees with Chronic Illness.
Defining WHP in the Luxembourg declaration
In the Luxembourg Declaration (PDF 0.2 MB) the members of the network agreed on a common understanding of Workplace Health Promotion which is in the meanwhile worldwide accepted:
Workplace Health Promotion (WHP) is the combined efforts of employers, employees and society to improve the health and well-being of people at work.
This can be achieved through a combination of:
- improving the work organisation and the working environment
- promoting active participation
- encouraging personal development.
The policy declarations of ENWHP support successful workplace health promotion strategies including the principles of participation, project management, integration, and comprehensiveness:
- Participation: all staff must be included in all program stages
- Project management: programs must be oriented toward the problem-solving cycle
- Integration: programs must be incorporated into company management practices and workplace health-promotion strategies should influence corporate planning
- Comprehensiveness: programs must incorporate interdisciplinary individual-directed and environment-directed health strategies.
By including elements such as work organization, organizational and human resource management, WHP goes beyond the legal requirements and takes on a broader dimension than traditional occupational safety and health.