The direct commitment of senior management and the participation of employees in the development of workplace health policies are an essential prerequisite to the successful implementation of policies that are designed to address the real needs of the working community.
The following main steps and/or activities should be considered in the development and implementation of workplace health management at the enterprise level:
· Develop a short policy statement from the employer or senior executive that explicitly states senior management’s commitment to and acceptance of responsibility for the health management strategy within the company.
· Educate managers and workers on the impact of environmental, occupational and lifestyle factors on their health and social well-being and on the economic situation and competing ability of the company to facilitate their participation in health management.
· Determine the role of the medical, nursing, environmental and safety experts and other professionals needed to assist in the implementation of the health management strategy in the company.
· Discuss economic appraisal of existing and projected outcomes to health, safety, and environmental health from the activities of the company.
· Train staff in quality management principles and standards to be used for the workplace health management system. These are the same as those applied to quality assurance in the management of manufacturing, servicing or marketing operations.
· Assure participation of management and employees in the development and implementation of workplace health management systems in the company.
· Develop adequate tools for monitoring and evaluation of health, safety, social, economic and environmental outcomes to determine the impact on well-being of employees and competitiveness of the company.
· Introduce systematic internal auditing and evaluation to be able to make necessary adjustments to the workplace health management system of the company.
· External audit by a recognized certifying body, if necessary.
Key steps in implementing workplace health Policies
The prerequisite for establishing good practice in workplace health management in companies is the conscious and creative support as well as the fullest possible participation of senior management, employees and their trade union representatives.
They would co-operate in the development of the workplace health policy and in its implementation with the assistance of appropriate experts, e.g. from occupational health services, environmental health services or health promotion agencies, preferably from multidisciplinary preventive services. Quality management systems and internal and external auditing is believed to be supportive to the creation and maintenance of a healthy enterprise. Leading companies are increasingly integrating their health management and environment management into the overall corporate management system. The health and environment policy of the company determines targets, define processes, and assure financial and human resources necessary to act on the health determinants and improve social and physical environments in order to:
- Create the greatest gain in health and working ability for the entire staff, and if possible, also for their families
- Provide a safe and healthy working environment for employees while preserving the general environment and health of people living outside the premises
- provide healthy and environmentally friendly products and services
- ensure human rights of the entire staff
Coming up in the next chapter ” Key Benefits of Workplace Health Management