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Health Educ Q. 1990 Fall;17(3):307-27.

Planning and implementing health promotion in the workplace: a case study of the Du Pont Company experience.

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Employee Relations Department, Du Pont Company, Wilmington, DE 19898.


This case study describes the needs assessment, design, implementation, and preliminary evaluation of a comprehensive workplace health promotion program. The company had 110,000 U.S. employees at more than 100 locations engaged in a variety of manufacturing, research, sales, and support occupations in 1980. The PRECEDE framework was used to focus program planning and evaluation on key areas of health knowledge, attitudes, and behavior. The needs assessment included use of company morbidity and mortality data, a survey of medical and human resources staff, and a survey of employees, spouses, and pensioners. An in-house network of lay committees, site medical personnel, and corporate health education, nutrition and fitness specialists was used to staff critical program functions. Interventions included: public health approaches to program kick-off and health risk assessment; group and self-directed lifestyle change activities; recognition and awards; and workplace climate changes such as smoking policies that favor nonsmokers. One pilot location experienced a 47.5% decline in hourly employee absenteeism over six years versus a 12.5% decline in the total Du Pont hourly workforce. A number of lessons are discussed on how to improve the planning, implementation, institutionalization, and evaluation of health promotion programs in large industrial companies. Four areas where future research and practice should be focused include: reaching spouses, sales personnel, shiftworkers, and employees at small sites; balancing what is popular with what reduces risks over the long-term; documenting program impacts when research resources are scarce; and integrating health promotion programs with workplace medical, safety, employee assistance and benefits programs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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