Occupational health programs
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Occupational Health Programs. Occupational Health Definition. WHO/ILO defines occupational health as: the promotion and maintenance of the highest degree of physical, mental, and social well-being of workers in all occupations

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Occupational health definition
Occupational Health Definition

  • WHO/ILO defines occupational health as:

    • the promotion and maintenance of the highest degree of physical, mental, and social well-being of workers in all occupations

    • the prevention amongst workers of departures from health caused by their working conditions

Occupational health program components
Occupational Health Program Components

1) Safety and Accident Prevention

2) Hazard Identification

3) Exposure Monitoring and Health Surveillance

4) Injury and Illness Management (Case Management)

5) Emergency Response and Disaster Planning

6) International Travel

7) Ergonomics Program

8) Integrated Job Safety Analysis – identify job activities and associated occupational risk factors and modes of remediation and accommodation

Occupational health service goals
Occupational Health Service Goals

  • To protect workers from health and safety hazards

  • To facilitate safe placement of workers according to their physical, mental and emotional capacities

  • To assure adequate medical care and rehab of occupationally ill and injured

  • To assist in measures related to personal health

    Source: McCunney, R. A Practical Approach to Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 1994.

Occupational health directives
Occupational Health Directives

  • OSHA

    • General Duty Clause

    • Lab Standard

    • Respiratory Protection Standard

    • Etc.

  • Texas Department of State Health Services

  • Laboratory Animal Care Accreditation (AAALAC)

  • Joint Commission accreditation for health care organizations

  • Occupational management system standards (OHSAS 18001)

  • Many others

Employee risk assessment
Employee Risk Assessment

  • Recommend placement of employee

  • Screen for health/safety issues

  • Baseline data: physical, mental, historical

  • Meet regulatory mandates (OSHA)

  • Identify exposure and risk factors that are hazardous to employee’s health

  • Educate employee on safety & health issues

Exposure reporting systems
Exposure Reporting Systems

  • Develop institutional exposure control plan

  • Identify responsibilities of occupational health personnel

  • Establish injury/illness reporting mechanisms

    • report forms, telephone hotlines

  • Worker’s compensation

  • Ensure compliance with HIPAA regulations

  • Exposure follow up
    Exposure Follow Up

    • Review of completed report form

    • Follow-up with ill/injured person

      • Ensure documentation of type of exposure along with exposure route-trend analysis

    • Subsequent visits to employee health as determined by individual circumstances

    Safety devices and preventative measures
    Safety Devices and Preventative Measures

    • Perform job safety analysis to determine employee hazard risk categorization

    • Implement use of retractable syringes, sharps containers, etc.

    • Engineering controls

    • Personal protective equipment

    • Proper immunizations

    Occupational health programs

    Workers’ Compensation Benefits System

    Workers' Comp


    Insurance Carrier







    Health Care Provider

    Case management
    Case Management


    • avoid inappropriate medical care

    • avoid lost time when able to perform modified duty

    • avoid anger, frustration of employee

    • maintain open communications between all parties

    • avoid permanent disability

      • encourage rehabilitation, when possible

    Program evaluation
    Program Evaluation

    • Build evaluation into the design of the program

    • Evaluate based on the objectives (be sure they were established to start with)

    • Choose an evaluation tool-

      • Chart review or document review, Customer Survey, Observed practices, Trends in employee injury data

    • Report program information in terms of impact or benefits as well as cost

    • Consider cost benefit analysis as a part of the evaluation (small cost up front vs. large payout later?)

    Characteristics of successful health promotion programs
    Characteristics of Successful Health Promotion Programs

    • Support from the top

    • Priority within mission

    • Input from mgmt & workers

    • Qualified staff

    • Include all shifts

      Source: Chenoweth, D.H. (1991) Health Promotion at the Worksite

    • Defined budget

    • Use on/off site facilities

    • Conduct assessments & screenings with follow up

    • Participate in community programs