Occupational health protection

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The operational health is concerned with the long-term effects of the work on the health of employees. The aim is to prevent work-related health disorders and occupational diseases (see preventive occupational health care ). Health protection and occupational safety are among the company’s obligations under the Occupational Safety and Health Act and should be coordinated within the framework of an integrated occupational safety management system. The closest possible cooperation between the occupational safety specialist and the company doctoris therefore sensible and advisable. In companies with a works council this employee representatives determined with .

Relationship prevention

The focus of the Occupational Safety and Health Act is on the prevention of relationships ( Section 4 ): "Dangers must be combated at their source." This prevention starts with the working conditions and not the individual employees: "Individual protective measures are subordinate to other measures."

The assessment of working conditions is the basis for the health-friendly design of workplaces and work processes. The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires that risks of incorrect exposure, for example through hazardous substances, noise, physical and psychological stress, are identified, assessed and documented in a risk assessment (e.g. key indicator method ). Hazards must be reduced or eliminated entirely with suitable measures. An effectiveness check is prescribed for the measures in the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Ergonomic factors such as lighting, room climate or workplace dimensions can be optimized.

Relational prevention means changing the environment in order to secure both the physical and psychological integrity of employees. For example, the work can be designed in such a way that the worker has more room for maneuver with the necessary resources and can thus organize his work more independently. Greater job satisfaction can help prevent stress, depression and other ailments.

Behavior prevention

Providing information about health hazards and practicing healthy behavior are also part of the company's medical duties. For example, the Ordinance on Hazardous Substances and the Ordinance on Biological Agents provide for mandatory information and advice for employees by the company doctor. The Occupational Safety and Health Act calls for behavioral prevention to implement the preventive measures required in Section 4 : "Employees must be given appropriate instructions."

Examples of further behavioral prevention measures include training for correct sitting, correct carrying ( back training ), a skin protection plan or correct behavior in road traffic ( commuting accident ). Offers for coping with stress and combating bullying are also gaining in importance . This also includes active non-smoker protection and offers for smoking cessation.

A more recent development is the offer of clinics to companies whose employees offer medical care based on consulting contracts with these companies, whereby the anonymity of the employees towards their employer is ensured within the framework of medical confidentiality. However, such voluntary behavioral prevention measures by the employer are not a substitute for legally prescribed measures to prevent relationships. What is required is a balance between prevention based on working conditions and prevention based on individual employees.

Examples of further measures

  • Improvement measures such as more beautiful lighting, new colors and redesigning the break room can be counted as health protection from an occupational psychological point of view.
  • Company sports or grants to sports clubs / fitness studios
  • Driver safety training (also eco driver training, since "more relaxed driving" is taught here)
  • Suggestion boxes
  • Employee surveys
  • Health circles
  • Promotions for healthy eating in the company canteen

See also

Web links

  • Prevention Forum + - Official search engine for occupational health and safety for Germany, Austria and Switzerland

Individual evidence

  1. According to Art. 3e of the agreement with the ILO , health means “not only being free from illness or infirmity, but also includes the psychological and mental-emotional factors that have an effect on health and that are directly related to safety and health standing at work. ”(see comment 8 on §1 ArbSchG in Michael Kitter, Ralf Pieper: Arbeitsschutzgesetz , 2007, ISBN 978-3-7663-3788-7 ). The Occupational Safety and Health Act is based on a broad concept of health that also includes the psychological well-being of employees. (BVerwG January 31, 1977, NZA 1997, 483).
  2. Jens Gäbert, Brigitte Maschmann-Schulz: Codetermination in health protection . 2008, ISBN 978-3-7663-3498-5 (implementation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, co-determination, company agreements, etc.).
  3. Horst Schmitthenner : Good work as an operational field of action - use participation in health protection . In: Jürgen Peters, Horst Schmitthenner: Gute Arbeit , vsa-verlag, 2003, ISBN 978-3-89965-025-9 .
  4. Psychological stress, action plan for risk assessment . (PDF; 682 kB) Office for Occupational Safety and Health, Hamburg, 2009, p. 13.