Occupational Health Management
Full course description
The promotion of employee health in light of lifelong sustainable employment is becoming top priority for more and more employers and governments. This results from developments such as the current economic situation and the ageing of the labour population. The competitiveness of organisations depends on the employability, vitality and health of individual employees, and their possibilities to develop these. More and more and organisations develop initiatives in the fields of occupational health management, vitality management, and disability management. These initiatives are often implemented as a part of a broader strategic human resource management strategy. Another relevant setting for the implementation of occupational health management is occupational health care. Occupational health management is a cross-disciplinary area concerned with protecting and promoting the health, well being and sustainable employment of people engaged in work.
In this module much attention will be given to how occupational health management and related approaches can be implemented in organisations, and to how these approaches can be evaluated (i.e., reviewing and creating an evidence base). Even an intervention strategy with a proven efficacy may yield suboptimal or ineffective results if the strategy is not well implemented or embedded in an organisation. In addition,we will address contextual and institutional issues related to the development and implementation of occupational health management, such as stakeholder perspectives and attitudes, legislation, and collaboration. It is not easy though to translate occupational health programs with proven efficacy to other settings, due to cultural and legislative differences. Therefore we will also pay attention to the influence of differences between countries on implementation. At various moments, attention will be paid to the position of several subgroups such as precarious, self-employed and ageing workers in relation to occupational health (management). Finally, a critical (employee) perspective on the occupational health management will be offered.
Knowledge and understanding
- know and are able to describe possible routings from health and participation problems to occupational health management interventions;
- know and are able to describe elements of, different approaches to, as well as different settings for occupational health management;
- Know and are able to describe the barriers and facilitating factors for the implementation of occupational health management;
- know and are able to describe organisational structures and cultures and the concepts and approaches to disability management, vitality management, diversity management;
- know and are able to describe contextual factors of occupational health management (stakeholder perspectives, legislation and international differences in implementation);
- know and are able to describe the position of the precarious, self-employed and ageing worker in the context of occupational health;
- know and are able to describe the most important aspects of qualitative evaluation research (of occupational health management);
- know and are able to describe the most important aspects of quantitative (cost) effect evaluation (of occupational health management);
- understand the difference between mandatory and voluntary occupational health management systems.
Applying knowledge and understanding
- are able to advise about the embeddingand implementation of occupational health management (including disability management), diversity management and vitality management in organisations and to signal potential barriers for implementation;
- are able to incorporate contextual knowledge about occupational health in organisations in their advises to organisations and professionals (in cooperation with other organisations and professionals);
- are able to evaluate occupational health management/disability management policies in organisations both qualitatively and quantitatively;
- are able to advise about occupational health management/disability management policies in organisations and in other settings;
- are able to adequately signal and cope with dilemmas in the field of occupational health management.
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- EU-OSHA (2012). Management of occupational safety and health. An analysis of the findings of the European Survey of Enterprises on New and Emerging Risks (ESENER). European Risk Observatory Report (pp.14-32). Luxembourg: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work.
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