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Workplace Health Promotion in CyprusFuture perspectives DR Athanasios Athanasiou
Economic System of Cyprus • Orientation is towards services mostlymade of SMEs • Total Labour Force: 347000 employeesincluding self-employed • 76% of GDP (gross domestic product) is been generated from the services sector
Medical Workforce • Lack of Industry, occupational medicine was never a priority • 4 occupational physicians (3 of them in the public sector) • Formal medical education needs to be undertaken abroad • Emphasis of the entire OSH system is given on safety
Legal Framework Concerning Employees Health • Health and Safety legislation undergone major changes • Employers responsibility to ensure health surveillance • The level/extend of medical examinations/services the employer is entitled to provide is determined from a risk assessment • Only few health surveillance requirements are listed in the existing legislation
Health Surveillance System of Employed Persons • Obligations of employers, employees and examining physicians • Methods of increasing awareness of various players • Provision of arrangements for training courses • Ways and methods for conducting health surveillance in various sectors of economic activity • Introduction of new legislation on employees health
Workplace Health Promotion in Cyprus • Concept missing from the legal framework of the OSH system • Completely new concept, lack of common understanding • Knowledge and interest is only present at the level of few professionals • Limited diffusion of WHP related topics through the Department of Labour Inspection which is the main driver
Professional Training for WHP • Medical and other scientists on occupational health are mainly trained abroad • Cyprus International Institute for the Environment and Public Health • Occupational Health and Safety training center of the Department of labour Inspection • Few training courses for employers, employees and safety representatives are provided through the structure of employers and employees organizations)
Activities and Models of Good Practices in WHP • No MOGPs have been identified up until now • Several activities in relation with European Agency in Bilbao can be mentioned (annual safety week on the prevention of work accidents and occupational diseases) • Research study on the risk factors of musculoskeletal disorders amongst Cypriot employees
Development of Structures and Policies for WHP • 2 local events have been organized in the frame of ENWHP projects Supporting factors: • Good exposure to European and International information of different parties • Small country, its easy to disseminate information • Good level of tripartite cooperation • High proportion of unionization, quite active and well organized organizations • Good Labour Inspection Services
Future Perspectives for WHP in Cyprus • Legal framework on WHP • Increase of the number of specialist in the field of WHP • Provision of information and knowledge on WHP amongst various partners • Organization of training programmes needed for qualifications in the field of WHP • Very specific and tailor-made initiatives for micro scale enterprises
Future Perspectives for WHP in Cyprus • The role of upcoming National Health System on workers health • Adequate financial and other support from the key stakeholders • Emphasis should be placed for both health and safety issues • Health policy at the enterprise level should be a matter of priority • Health and Safety is integrated into the programme of elementary and secondary schools. Development of health culture • Research studies on occupational health