Scand J Work Environ Health 1979;5 suppl 2:18-20    pdf | Issue date: 1979

Need for job-related health counseling in small workplaces.

by Vaaranen A, Kolivuori T, Rossi K, Tolonen M, Hassi J

Health counseling aimed at maintaining health and safety on the job is required in most small workplaces. From a labor protection point of view, the most important advice deals with environmental hazards such as protection against physical and chemical factors, ergonomic problems, and safety risks. Information provided by the employers was considered insufficient in three-fourths of the 163 firms surveyed in this study. The staff providing local occupational health services could perform two broad types of counseling. First, they could educate management as to its responsibilities for the health and safety of employees; health personnel can instruct management during their workplace visits. Second, during health examinations and other personal contacts, the worker can be advised about ways to improve or maintain his health. Moreover, such occasions also provide an opportunity for more extensive health counseling about personal, social emotional, and other problems although, in municipal health centers, these subjects belong within the scope of public health rather than occupational health.