Most U.S. firms are offering disease management and health promotion programs to employees to address the increasing health care costs through improving employee lifestyle and overall health. Nevertheless, the U.S. has not been efficient in providing employees with integrated comprehensive health programs. Comprehensive programs of promoting employee health might encompass a series of strategies including supportive environments, health education, accessing support services, employee integration into organizational structures and frequent health screenings (O'Donnell, 2008).
Most companies operating in the U.S. have implemented enhancement and employee health programs with a primary focus on employee lifestyle management. Employees are encouraged to enroll in insurance programs, which give them regular health risk assessments (HRA) and a certificate of completion. HRA are regularly applied in the identification of health risks facing employees based on their current lifestyles and health status (Reniers, 2010). Employees are given credit incentives towards their health insurance premiums for the following year if they show low health risks. This credit is also awarded to employees who show interest in participating in recommended programs of improving health if they show moderate or high risks. Seventy percent of American employees have complied to the HRA programs with half of the population successfully completing additional programs of HRA. This has formed the primary basis of evaluating the impact of these programs across the United States of America (Pe-rezgonza-lez, 2007).
Based on the HRA programs, most employees in the U.S. have been enrolled and identified as eligible for lifestyle and health management programs. There are various health and lifestyle management programs: weight, smoking, blood pressure, pre-diabetes, and stress and cholesterol management. Most employees have shown great interest in cholesterol management programs while few of them have enrolled in pre-diabetes management programs. The lifestyle management programs entail online or personal coaching by a personal expert. It entails a series of months based on training and individual plan of action focusing on health risk reduction (Johnson & Stoskopf, 2010).
Besides the regular health management programs, companies in the U.S. have also adopted wellness and preventive physician and employee programs. These incentive programs have been giving quality points to physicians and their employees based on clinical evidence and prevention guidelines. Some program saving projects based on health related and medical cost saving productivity have been allocated to physicians and their employees based on quality points earned. These incentive programs based on quality points are still operational in the U.S. (Goldman, Corrada & Goldman, 2011).
Accumulating evidence shows that many companies in the U.S. have implemented advanced health enhancement initiatives by providing employees with opportunities to complete HRA programs. These companies are giving financial rewards and incentives to both participants and employees who have graduated from eligible HRA programs (O'Donnell, 2008). Companies are increasingly realizing the importance of advanced programs because they offer new significant components to the health and lifestyle management programs. These new programs include disease management and demand management. Looking at demand management, these programs offer a 24-hour help line for employee health advise and questions. All employees who successfully complete HRA programs are given automatic enrollment in demand management programs. Demand management programs are telephone-based availed to employees with more costly and compels medical conditions. Demand management programs encompass assigning employees to personal nurses, care management, coaching, care coordination, lifestyle management and health education with physicians dealing with employees. Currently, employees are being given joint health enhancement programs of lifestyle management, disease management, demand management and HRAs (Buckner & Koepp, 2009).
Safety, health and environmental management systems
Researchers have conducted both external and internal analysis to assess the impacts of lifestyle and health enhancement programs. Looking at the internal analysis, researchers compared outcomes of employees who experienced risk reduction or improvement vs. those who demonstrated increased or no improvement in health risks. In the external analysis, researchers compared outcomes between a controlled group and participating employees in describing the trend of benchmarking health risks across the United States (Pe-rezgonza-lez, 2007). Safety, health and environmental policy express the long-standing commitment to employee safety and environmental management. The policy seeks to ensure that companies in the U.S. are conducting their operations in a manner that is friendly to the environment. This creates a safe and healthy practices, as well as working environments enabling employees to work free from injury. In order for companies to accomplish this goal, the policy articulates that:
All companies operating in the U.S. must exceed or meet all legal requirements
Companies must be proactive in reducing occupational illness and injury risks and promote the health and well-being of employees
Be aggressive in their pursuit of pollution prevention, waste reduction and resource conservation in all business operations
Manufacture and design products to be used safely and reduce environmental impacts
Provide customers with end-of-life management programs that are environmentally responsible for health programs and VI.
Ensuring suppliers conduct their business operations in an environmentally and socially responsible manner
For the goals articulated by the EHS policy to be achieved, companies operating in the U.S. implement safety, health and environmental management systems as a critical part of business operations. This system is tailored to businesses and implemented across the nation. To ensure that the objectives of the policy continue to be met as businesses grow and expand, new companies are required to adopt EHS management systems integrating it in their business processes (Reniers, 2010). EHS is a structured system that seeks to identify priorities of EHS, meet the internal and external requirements of the policy, control risks and improve performance. The U.S. recommends EHS systems for improved organizational performance and attainment of goals. By using this approach, companies use online sites in monitoring employee performance, conducting audits, and management reviews, implementing preventive and correlative actions (O'Donnell, 2008).
Environmental, health and safety systems are based on acknowledged universal models including OHSAS 18001 and ISO 14001. Companies operating in American markets have taken the benchmarking position in obtaining global ISO 14001 certification touching on multinational manufacturing operations. Wellness, health and safety management have been the main area of focus for the American government (Goldman, Corrada & Goldman, 2011). Legal compliance is the minimum requirement of HP for EHS, and the internal standards of EHS displays this commitment. The systems of EHS management ensure that we are equipped with the required processes for compliance. These programs take note of any allegations that do not comply with the law so that we know where the causes originate from and enact relevant action for recurrence prevention (Johnson & Stoskopf, 2010).
Employee training and awareness
The inspections carried out on EHS MS prove that the standards and policies for EHS are being implemented in the entire United States of America. Eligible professionals carry out the inspections, and they forward results to the senior management. The number of times the inspections are performed depends on the complexity and the previous performance. These inspections give a compliment to the evaluations of the regulatory compliance by the local and regional EHS staff and ISO 14001, and 18001 registrars of OHSAS carry out inspections of third parties. This involves developing an analysis of policies and standards nonconformance, taking the appropriate action and establishes measures to prevent the increase in the likelihood of future nonconformance. The systems assure continuity of basis for improvement across companies operating in the U.S. (Reniers, 2010).
Employees are able to get EHS training in local languages with the help of companies such as HP. The fundamentals of EHS are components of the regularly refreshed and orientation training of the employee through online policies of EHS and module of standard training, employees' website and communications of EHS. In addition, the employees gain safety and health training specifically to their job (Pe-rezgonza-lez, 2007). The performance standards of HP EHS are applicable to all sites. The standard of the management system looks into the processes of EHS management such as management responsibilities, auditing and inspection, measurement and monitoring, awareness and training, objective setting and risk assessment. The accompanying standards look into the specific control operation, including electrical safety and ergonomics, fire and life safety, waste minimization, chemical management and energy management (O'Donnell, 2008).
Emergency response and preparedness
Risk solutions based on preparedness to emergencies and programs for response are designed to provide a continued protection of the environment, property, and people, as well as business operations. The programs constitute recovery, response, prevention and planning. Therefore, recovery plans release chemicals, security threats, natural disasters, fires, evacuations and other emergencies. The teams that deal with response have the knowledge of spill response, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, first aid and the control operations for the facility, as relevant to the local environments for working. The teams also undergo a series of tests on the above knowledge (Goldman, Corrada & Goldman, 2011).
The Occupational Safety and Health Act in relation to OSHA's enforcement
The 2007 Act for Occupational Safety and Health is an enactment of parliament that seeks to safeguard the welfare and safety of every worker and all the people who are present…