Occupational Health & Workplace Health Management

Workplace Health Management, (WHM), There are four essential components to workplace-health management.

  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Workplace Health Promotion
  • How social and how you live influence your health
  • Environmental Health Management

In the past, policies were often determined solely by legislation compliance. The new approach for workplace health management uses both legislative requirements and health targets, which are voluntary by the industry working group. Workplace Health Management is only possible if it draws on knowledge, experience, as well as practice in three fields: occupational and workplace health promotion. WHM must be understood as a process for continual improvement and health benefit within the company as well as as a framework for cooperation between various agencies in your community. It allows local officials and business leaders to work together on community development, improving public and ecological health.

Healthy Workplace setting is a cornerstone for the Community Action Plan.

WHP is defined as the joint effort of employers, workers and society to improve the well-being of employees in the European Union Network for Workplace Health Promotion.

It is possible to achieve this combination of:

  • Improving the workplace organization and working environment
  • Active participation by employees in health activities
  • Encouraging personal development

The EU network Luxembourg Declaration defines workplace health promotion as a modern corporate strategy. This strategy aims to prevent and enhance employee health, well-being and productivity. Programs in the workplace have documented benefits such as decreased absenteism; reduced cardiovascular risk; reduced medical claims; decreased staff turnover; decreased musculoskeletal injuries; increased productivity; increased organizational effectiveness; and the potential for a return of investment.

Many of these improvements will require sustained participation of employers, employees and society in order to make a real difference. This is possible by giving employees the power to make health decisions. Occupational Health Advisors (OHAs) are well equipped to perform needs assessments and prioritize health promotion initiatives for the working population they serve. They coordinate activities at enterprise level to ensure that all initiatives which have been planned are executed. Occupational health services have participated in assessment of fitness to work, and in assessing levels disability for insurance purposes for many decades.

Some occupational health professionals have come up with innovative ways to maintain working ability in otherwise healthy people. Some cases have seen these efforts as a response to the increasing challenge posed by the aging workforce, and the ever-increasing costs of social safety. OHAs have been often at the forefront of such developments.

It is imperative that all occupational health services are able to focus on maintaining work ability and preventing non-occupational workplace conditions. This will require occupational health services to be more involved in workplace wellness promotion. While this is important, it does not mean that occupational hazards and diseases should be neglected. OHA’s with close contact with employees often over many years are in a strong position to plan and deliver health promotion and maintenance work ability interventions at their workplace.

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