Focus on Wellness: For Our Workers, It’s a Critical Life or Death Issue

When I started this Blog, I wanted to post analysis and suggestions which were different or more practical than some of the Employment Law, Safety and Labor Articles out there.  I did not want to simply repeat what others were already effectively communicating.   So I have not availed myself as much as I should have of  the great posts out there in the Blogosphere.  I  resolve to do better and post more articles and blog entries that impress me, starting with the article referenced in the title.

The wonderful TLNT HR and more site has a great discussion on the urgent need to address employee wellness, and the increasing roadblocks thrown up by our government (is obesity a disability?).    See also the interesting Wall Street Journal piece, “Should Employees get Insurance Discounts From Completing Wellness Programs?”

It’s that increasing conflict between absolute individualism and personal responsibility.  In case you hadn’t noticed, absolute individualism seems to be winning….

I have blogged on Wellness issues before and linked to some excellent EHS Today articles.  It’s rather obvious that our workforce is getting older, and older employees suffer more work-related and non work-related injuries and illnesses.  Check the sobering statistics in my earlier blog.

And age is not the only challenge.  The increasing youthful obesity is producing  health problems not previously presented by new workers entering the market.

Factor into this ugly mix the fact that it is pretty darned hard to generate fitness and health improvement opportunities for the blue-collar worker coming home from 10 hours of work.

So please read “Focus on Wellness: For Our Workers, It’s a Critical Life or Death Issue,” Check the author’s company (Keas) site as well.   Start working on concrete plans.  The situation will only worsen.


About mavity2012

I am a Senior Partner operating out of the Atlanta office of Fisher & Phillips LLP, one of the Nation’s oldest and largest management employment and labor firms. My practice is national and keeps me on the road or in one of our 28 offices about 50 percent of the time. I created and co-chair the Firm's Workplace Safety and Catastrophe Management Practice Group. I have almost 29 years of experience as a labor lawyer, but rely even more heavily on the experience I gained in working in my family's various businesses, and through dealing with practical client issues. Employers tell me that they seldom meet an attorney who delivers on his promise to provide practical guidance and to be a business partner. As a result, some executives probably use different terms than “practical” to describe my fellow travelers in the profession. I don't enjoy the luxury of being impractical because I spend much of my time on shop floors and construction sites dealing with safety, union and related issues which are driven by real world processes and the need to protect and get the most out of one's most important business assets ... its employees. That's one of the reasons that I view safety compliance as a way to also manage problem employees, reduce litigation and develop the type of work environment that makes unions unnecessary. Starting out dealing with union-management challenges and a stint in the NLRB have better equipped me to see the interrelationship of legal and workplace factors. I am proud also of my experience at Fisher & Phillips, where providing “practical advice” is second only to legal excellence among the Firm’s values. Our website lists me as having provided counsel for over 225 occasions of union activity, guided unionized companies, and as having managed approximately 450 OSHA fatality cases in construction and general industry, ranging from dust explosions to building collapses, in virtually every state. I have coordinated complex inspections involving multi-employer sites, corporate-wide compliance, and issues involving criminal referral. As a full labor lawyer, I oversee audits of corporate labor, HR, and safety compliance. I have responded to virtually every type of day-to-day workplace inquiry, and have handled cases before the EEOC, OFCCP, NLRB, and numerous other state and federal agencies. At F & P, all of us seek to spot issues and then rely upon attorneys in the Firm who concentrate on those areas. No tunnel vision. I teach or speak around 50 times per year to business associations, bar and professional groups, and to individual businesses. I serve on safety committees at three states’ AGC Chapters, teach at the AGC ASMTC
This entry was posted in ADA, aging workforce, cultural changes, EEOC, employer benefit plans, employer policies, generational differences, incentive plans, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, wellness, workers comp and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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