With more than a century of experience in occupational health, Dow is committed to worker health protection. We have honed an effective, systematic approach to Total Worker Health® that comprehensively controls workplace health risks, protects workers and improves the health of Dow people.
A team of toxicologists, industrial hygienists and physicians apply their expertise and knowledge of the scientific and medical literature and work processes to monitor trends and regulations in worker health assessment. We engage local EH&S operations personnel to help identify workers at potential risk. Worker health hazards are considered as part of the risk review process for new products and changes in the manufacture of current products.
We use a hierarchy of controls to mitigate worker health risks. Industrial hygiene guidelines drive use of engineering controls and appropriate personal protective equipment. Travel health services (e.g., counseling, vaccinations and access to local care) reduce risk for endemic or acute health problems while on business. In addition to traditional occupational health risks, we minimize other workplace health risks through fitness for duty, workplace tobacco and substance-use policies, and a fatigue management strategy.
Employees who work in areas with high-risk occupational hazards are monitored medically and tracked through our health records system. All workers are provided baseline and periodic medical surveillance, testing, evaluation and health counseling to identify and control work-related health problems. We use the same rigorous standards globally. Health results are carefully monitored through health trend summaries and, when needed, through directed health epidemiology studies.
We use medical surveillance to assess patterns of recognized occupational illnesses. We also use epidemiology to perform population health surveillance for serious illnesses or other adverse health effects. We track health-related recordable injury and illness cases (e.g., results from potential exposure to chemical, physical or biological substances, or ergonomic workplace stressors), with annual improvement targets. Like other environment, health and safety standards, occupational health requirements are global and meet or exceed local regulations.
Every Dow employee has access to occupational services at no cost through an on-site, company managed clinic or an off-site provider managed by Dow Occupational Health. In 2020, we had 58 clinic locations. Clinical treatment is available to all employees for work-related injury or illness, and employees can access occupational health care on paid worktime.
Our commitment to worker health is not limited to occupational health risks. We began a comprehensive wellness program more than 30 years ago because we recognized the value of good health to our employees, their families and our communities.
Dow’s well-being strategy is framed across four dimensions – physical, mental, community and financial well-being – for an approach that is holistic, global, employee centered and outcome-driven. Each dimension has its own set of ambitions, which are coordinated and driven by corporate and functional teams. Engagement is not limited to members of the Human Resources and Occupational Health functions – it benefits from passionate involvement by Employee Resource Groups, Employee Experience champions and Dow’s Inclusion and Diversity team. Key ambitions across the four dimensions focus on elements such as workplace stress, psychological safety, resiliency, workload, healthy eating and activities, and social community and inclusion opportunities.
We track each site’s alignment with evidence-based well-being strategies and best practices, including access to healthy foods, relaxation spaces, lactation support, peer and leader support for mental health and resiliency, and access to physical activity.
EAP is available to all employees and their families globally for help with general stress, substance use, financial struggles and family relations. Our EAP also provides on-site emotional health support in response to a personal or work-related incident.
We help employees maneuver the health care systems, return to health as soon as possible and maintain their progress. This is offered globally through Dow Occupational Health, and where available by local insurance or worker compensation providers.
We seek to improve the health of Dow employees by removing barriers to access and pay for appropriate, quality health care around the world. This is done through both medical insurance and other health offerings for employees. The level of support is determined based on the needs of our workforce within a given geography.
Employees across regions, businesses and functions play an active role in supporting peer well-being. They engage in internal social media, share health and safety information, and advocate for use of company and local well-being services. Efforts to optimize Total Worker Health® are recognized annually and Total Worker Health® priorities are key elements for Dow’s sustainability goals and performance awards.
Health promotion is an integral part of occupational health. It is focused on the prevention of injury and illness through education and support for healthy lifestyle change. Our award-winning program addresses the health issues that Dow families face, on and off the job. This is accomplished by working directly with individuals and by partnering with other Dow disciplines to ensure a work environment that is supportive of healthy lifestyles.