Health circles are company group activities based on quality circles to promote company health (cf. also company health promotion ). With health circles one tries to bring the experience of the employees together with the specialist knowledge of experts and thus to identify and analyze all health-endangering or even disease-causing factors in the workplace and its environment. The method offers the advantage that, in addition to researching the cause, solutions are also developed at the same time.
Around five people will be sent from the work area in question. In addition - if available - the company doctor or the occupational safety specialist. There is also a representative of the works or staff council and management. The management is taken over by a moderator who is appropriately trained and typically does not come from the work area in question, in case of doubt this is an external consultant. For the employees, circular work is working time.
In larger organizations, several health circles will be active in parallel. Then these are coordinated by a working group health promotion (AKG). He ensures that the circle work does not mix with other operational issues other than health. The main task of the health circles is:
- to identify previously less noticeable health problems at workplaces,
- address known but not yet resolved health issues and
- Develop proposals for the elimination of health hazards as well as a healthy work design.
The circle offers employees the opportunity to actively participate in the organization of work and to raise awareness of occupational health and safety issues. They also have the task of keeping the other employees up to date on the activities of the health circle and also to bring in their opinions.
The meetings usually take place every two weeks for about an hour, over a period of six months.
Health circles often bring surprising things to light for the leaders. Often there are deficiencies in the psycho-social area, caused by work organization or management. That is why the willingness of managers to endure criticism and to bring about changes with the employees is essential for the success of the health circle.