The activity of higher education institutions and many other organizations depends on their personnel. Their impact on the institution depends not only on their motivation or qualifications, but also on their own health and well-being.
There is no effective human resource management without a strategy to promote health in the workplace. Occupational medicine, a legal requirement set forth in the Basic Health Act (Act No.the No. 95/2019 of September 4), on the basis of conducting tests to assess physical and mental competence for the exercise of professional activity.
As recommended in the EU Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at Work 2021-2027, promoting workers’ health should include good management of changes in the working environment during digital and environmental transformations, better prevention of occupational risk factors and diseases, and work continuity based on these factors. .
The establishment of occupational health services makes it possible to accurately identify risk factors and exposed workers and monitor their physical and mental health appropriately. In this way, risks are anticipated and controlled, accidents are reduced, disease is prevented, absenteeism is reduced, healthy work environments are promoted, productivity and physical, mental and social well-being are improved.
These services should include promoting healthy work practices and lifestyles, if required by crossing several areas of work, such as safety, nutrition, ergonomics, mental health, physical activity, and identifying and reducing risk contexts. Health education cannot be forgotten either.
Establishing its own departments in this field requires resources and depends on other measures, such as the creation of suitable jobs, but it would be a great improvement over the traditional approach, with significant gains for workers, organizations and society.
It’s worth thinking about.
* President of the University of Aveiro
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