This paper reviews the range of health surveillance activities which can be utilized in the workplace by occupational health professionals for assessing fitness for work and contributing to the prevention of occupational illness and promotion of good health. The systematic approach described categorizes health surveillance procedures into occupational or non-occupational, risk-based or unfocused, and as primary, secondary or tertiary preventive measures. All categories of health surveillance are currently being practised to some extent, but the type of surveillance may not match the needs of the workplace in some situation. In order to aid health professionals in deciding which procedures should be implemented, recommendations based on an assessment of health risks are made. The key proposal is to establish a minimum level of periodic health surveillance for all workers based on a targeted lifestyle health risk assessment and a structured health questionnaire. Additional procedures can then be added sequentially as appropriate to manage any health risks in the workplace. The role of the unfocused periodic general medical examination is discussed in the context of the systematic approach and allows occupational professionals to critically appraise its usefulness.
"Traditionally, health surveillance has been defined as " the periodic medicophysiological examination of exposed workers with the objective of protecting and preventing occupationally related diseases " . It includes " any procedure undertaken in individuals or groups to review an employee's health and assess any significant deviation from normality " . Health surveillance is indicated when there is a continuing potential for occupational exposure to a hazard and there is a valid method of surveillance with adequate means for interpreting the findings . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background. Work-related stress is a major problem for mental health. The occupational physician has the opportunity to gather information on the perception of stress from workers in the course of regular medical examinations. Method. 1,231 subjects, engaged in 6 different occupations, were invited to compile the Demand/Control/Support and the Effort/Reward/Imbalance questionnaires. Results. A specific profile of work-related stress emerged for each group of workers. Radiology physicians reported high control over work, but also exceedingly high demand and effort, high overcommitment, low social support, and low rewards from work. Health care workers were often overcommitted but had high levels of reward and social support. Low levels of social support and reward were recorded for mature workers, while special force policemen engaged in law enforcement during the G8 meeting had high levels of social support and regards, so that their resulting stress levels were closer to the reference group of employees in an insurance company with no front-office. Conclusion. The practice of administering questionnaires to groups of workers who are subject to medical surveillance is useful for monitoring mental health and well-being.
03/2013; 2013:701872. DOI:10.1155/2013/701872
"In light of this review, it appears that none of the three common means of assessment (questionnaires, work samples and motor skills evaluations) meet the needs for the early detection of musculoskeletal damage. Evidently the variety of methods and tests within this domain are proof that there remains a high level of disagreement about the relevance and value of each approach      . This criticism puts in doubt the effectiveness of these approaches for post-offer testing . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Functional capacity evaluations in the post-offer phase of employment has the capacity to minimize work related injuries and promote wellness on the worksite. This paper includes a discussion of the value of post-offer evaluations and possible assessment options. To investigate the feasibility of administering post-offer evaluations, a case study was initiated. The Physical Work Performance Evaluation (PWPE) was administered to a new employee, VA, who was employed for the task of kneading dough, at a major food company. When compared to detailed work demands, there was no match between the job demands, and the client's capability in two sub-tests: lift from waist to eye level and trunk rotation. Based upon findings, recommendations for an initial graded work schedule, basic strengthening exercises, and modifications of the job site and task were made to the employer. The project was initiated with the hope of raising employee's and employer's awareness of workers health issues in the post-offer phase as it express itself in post-offer evaluation that aims to prevent musculoskeletal problems. This article aims to expand occupational therapists' awareness to the potential benefits of such a process.
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