What is occupation/workplace health?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), occupation health is defined as a state of total physical, mental and social well-being of workers and employees in all occupation. It is the physical and mental condition of human related to his work activity and freedom from illness or disease arising from their nature of job or exposure of work related physical, chemical, biological, psychological and mechanical harzard.
OBJECTIVES OF OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH
1.Protection: It helps to protect the well-being of workers, that is protection for the harzards.
2. Promotion: It helps to promote the well-being of workers by identification and evaluation.
3. Prevention: It also helps to prevent spread of disease and work condition harzard.
4. Health assurance: It helps to assure healthy work environment and improvement of employee wellness combined with professional and social improvement at work places.
IMPORTANCE OF OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH
Occupational health is important because it helps to understand and evaluate an employee work performance and commitment based on their health, the health state of employee can cause presence or absence from work, the well-being of worker can be determined by several factors, including risk factors at work that cause cancer, hearing loss, accidents, body disorder, circulatory disorder, stress, fatigue and communicable disease.
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH HARZARD
This is a work condition that may cause harm to workers either physically, mentally or socially for that work environment. Health harzard identification, evaluation and control is the topmost part of occupational health management to prevent occupational disease.
Occupational health harzard can be grouped into five main areas:
- Physical harzards: This can e exposure to high temperature, dangerous radiations, vibration, noises and low visibility or illumination.
- Chemical harzards: This can be excess exposure to toxic chemical or substances, dusts, mist, vapour, gas, fumes, solid or liquid that can harm health by either skin contact, inhaling or ingestion.
- Biological harzards: Includes exposure to dangerous bacteria, fungi, viruses by touching inhaling or ingestion, this can cause infection or disease.
- Psychological harzard: This includes unsatisfied job, pressure, stress, insecurity, low interpersonal relations skill and more.
- Mechanical harzard: This include walking, lifting, loading, machining, holding, carrying, guarding of moving parts, unsafe material handling and more, this can be caused by poor design of the workplace.
Occupational health program is a broad program designed for prevention of occupational related disease or sickness by frequent monitoring of workplace, early identification, evaluation and control of occupational health harzards. It helps to keep records of employee medical database for steady or future health cases, monitoring, evaluation diagnosis and analyst helps organization to understand or comply with legal and future work environment requirement.
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH MANAGEMENT
Occupational health management process need to be improved, implemented and maintained to prevent occupational disease by advocating for safe and healthy working practices and environments.
Occupational health management includes establishment, implementing, maintaining and improving of the health organisation framework, health training and education.
Occupational health harzards identification, risk assessment and assurance of controls to prevent the occupational disease, different procedures for health promotion and enhancement in social health, workers promotional activities and different types of improvement campaign, addiction prevention programs, pre-employment medical examination, periodic checkups, hygiene, exposure survey, inspection, Audits and management reporting and review and so on.
Occupational health management in workplaces may include:
1.Perfect and Hygienic eating facilities
2. Enough visibility/illumination in the work places
3. Protection from excess hot or cold temperatures etc.
Occupation health centers, this located in the workplace/on site environment for emergency case of harzard exposure to employee.
Occupational health services: This is offered by some health institution no necessarily closer to work environment, they provide health services for employee of companies in the clinics. Occupation health education is very important to educate employee on physical, mental and social well-being. An individual can go as far as obtaining a bachelor degree in occupational health education and safety.