1. All work is work.
Compensated or uncompensated, “blue-collar,” “white-collar,” or “no-collar,” unionized or non-unionized, documented or undocumented, legalized or criminalized, formal employment, barter, or self-reliance – all workers have the right to healthy, sustainable, dignified work.
2. All health is related to work.
Workers routinely experience on-the-job injuries that result from performing physically stressful job tasks. However, there are other ways to get “injured” on the job. Public health research and workers’ experiences demonstrate that work-related inputs have a direct and indirect impact on the health and well-being of workers, with risk factors including:
physical, psychological, and emotional stress
risks of unsafe work environments and conditions
inadequate protection against exploitation, discrimination, and harassment
inadequate access to collective bargaining, advocacy, and information on workers’ rights
inadequate compensation and wage theft
occupational and social hierarchies [cf. Whitehall studies]
Work can also limit access to the other social determinants of health: education, housing, health care, a healthy environment, healthy food, strong community, and sense of stability, security, and satisfaction.
3. Because the health of workers extends far beyond immediate conditions on the “shop floor,” workers’ health is inseparable from public health.
Public health education and research should dedicate resources to investigate how the health of diverse populations is shaped by work conditions.
4. We believe that workers are in the best position to understand, address, and represent the issues of health and safety that affect them. Therefore, workers are a critical resource to the work of public health researchers and experts in occupational health and safety and can significantly contribute to this work.