Enterprise Health services
Enterprise health services usually deal with both technical and medical preventive measures, hospital care and rehabilitation. They are expert services which should be designed to fit the organisation and production system. The primary task of the health service is to co-operate with management, workers, and the safety committee in establishing a preventive health service and improving safety, health and working conditions. To this can be added the task of rehabilitation.
Providing sick workers with medical care is secondary to these functions.
Principal tasks of enterprise health services are
Description, evaluation and information on the conditions at the workplace which can cause physical or mental illness among the workers.
Participating in the improvement of the safety, health and working conditions and giving advice when management and workers are involved in planning new or renovating old work premises, production processes and work methods.
Helping management, engineers and workers with advice and information on the application of preventive measures.
Organising quick and reasonable rehabilitation in case of illness and reduced ability to work.
In order to provide an efficient service, it is vital that effective health services are established in all larger workplaces. Medium-sized and small enterprises can request service from the outside or from joint health services. Physicians and nurses attached to such services and the safety engineer/inspector should have impartial advisory roles as experts.
The enterprise-based health service should co-operate with public authorities and other agents such as the health authorities, hospitals, safety organisations and rehabilitation units.
Health checks are an important method of carrying out effective preventive health services. The planning of health checks must take into account the existing conditions of work. The health service conducting the health checks must take into account the possible exposure of workers to various working condition factors such as noise, climate, radiation and chemicals as well as possible ergonomic and mental health problems. The service should assist management, safety officers and the safety committee in workplace inspections and in evaluation of the workplace conditions. They should also provide technical help for monitoring physical and chemical hazards at workplaces.
The ergonomic factors, working time and psychosocial factors should be investigated in order to take steps to fit the work to workers and their demands. Examples of such factors are work postures, job stress, shift work and so on.