Small + Safe + Well (SSWell)

Studying small organizations and worker health, safety, and well-being.

About the study

The Small + Safe + Well (SSWell) study was a multi-year research project designed to understand how small organizations support the health, safety, and well-being of their workforce and how employees perceive their workplace culture. This project aimed to uncover how those efforts and perceptions that affect health outcomes.

The study findings demonstrate the importance of developing Total Worker Health® policies, programs, and practices in small businesses. In particular, our work emphasized how critical company leadership is in creating an environment that supports Total Worker Health (TWH). We found that when leadership is committed to workforce health, safety, and well-being that employees are more motivated to engage and participate in TWH initiatives. Our research demonstrates that TWH leadership training can help small business leaders take action to improve their workforce’s health, safety, and well-being.

Major outputs of this research project are our Total Worker Health® Leadership Programs that are offered online or in-person. These evidence-based training programs are designed for business leaders who want to create a workplace culture that is safe, healthy, productive, and sustainable.

Better Together
Businesses that focus on leadership and have health and safety policies and programs have employees who act safer and healthier.

Policy and Program Changes
On average, businesses increased their Healthy Workplace Assessment score by 11% after the first year of the intervention

Leadership Matters
Work environments were rated 14% higher when employees felt that their leaders cared about their health and safety.

Support Matters
Employees were motivated to be safer and healthier at businesses with work environments that support employee health and safety.

Pandemic Strong
During the COVID-19 pandemic, well-being was greater at businesses with work environments that support employee health and safety.

View the infographic.


132 organizations enrolled

17 industries represented

60 leadership trained

10,000+ workers represented

Total Worker Health® Leadership Programs

Major outputs of this project are our Total Worker Health Leadership Programs that are available to non-SSWell study participants. These programs are designed for business leaders who want to create a sustainable workforce and workplace culture that is safe, healthy, and productive.


The SSWell Study was funded through a cooperative agreement (1 U19 OH 011227 – 01) with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health as part of one of six national Centers of Excellence for Total Worker Health.​

Center for Health, Work & Environment

Colorado School of Public Health

CU Anschutz

Fitzsimons Building

13001 East 17th Place

Suite W3111

Mail Stop B119

Aurora, CO 80045

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