08 Oct

Occupational Health – Workplace Health Management

Workplace Health Management (WHM). There are four main elements of workplace health management:

  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Workplace Health Promotion
  • Social and lifestyle determinants of health
  • Environmental Health Management

The recentmethod was commonlycompelledalone by compliance with the law. In the latestmeans of arrivingatWorkplace Health Management, the method of development is compelled by both legislative condition and by health targets set on a spontaneous basis by the working community within each industry. In order to be productive Workplace Health Management most likely has to be based on experience, knowledge and practice acquired in three disciplines: workplace health promotion, occupational health and environmental health. It is important to see WHM as a process not only for spontaneous improvement and health gain within the company, but also as foundation for inclusion between various services in the community. It offers a platform for co-operation between the business leaders and local authorities on community development through the bettering of environmental and public health.

The Healthy Workplace setting – a cornerstone of the Community Action Plan.

The Luxembourg Declaration of the European Union Network for Workplace Health Promotion defined WHP as the mixedexertion of employers, society and employees to improve the health and well-being of people at work

This can be obtained through a mixed of:

  • Improving the work organization and the working environment
  • Promoting active participation of employees in health activities
  • Encouraging personal development

Workplace health promotion is seen in the EU network Luxembourg Declaration as thelatest and modern corporate style which goals at preventing ill-health at work and improving health bolstering potential and well-being in the workforce. Recordedadvantage for workplace programs include reduced cardiovascular risk, decreased absenteeism, decreased staff turnover, reduced health care claims, increased productivity, decreased musculoskeletal injuries, increased organizational productiveness and the potential of a return on investment. More details here: http://miph.umm.uni-heidelberg.de/miph/cms/front_content.php?idcat=400&lang=3

However, many of these developments require the maintained involvement of employees, society  and employers in the activities needed to make a difference. This is achieved through the empowerment of employees allowing them to make decisions about their own health.

The idea of maintaining working ability, in the otherwise healthy working population, has been produced by some innovative occupational health services. In some cases, these exertions have been developed in response to the increasing challenge caused by the aging workforce and the ever-increasing cost of social security. OHAs have often been at the forefront of these developments.

There is a need to develop more the focus of all occupational health services to contains efforts to keep up work ability and to prevent non-occupational workplace preventable circumstances by interventions at the workplace. This will need some occupational health services to become more pro-actively involved in workplace health promotion, without lowering the attention paid to preventing occupational diseases and accidents. OHAs, with their close contact with employees, sometimes over many years, are in a good position to plan, deliver and evaluate health promotion and maintenance of work ability interventions at the workplace.

Many leading companies already mixed occupational health and safety with environmental health management to optimally use the available human resources within the company and to avoid duplication of effort. Occupational health nurses can make a contribution towards environmental health management, particularly in those companies that do not employ environmental health specialists.