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Topical Workshop 7
10th European Work Hazards Network Conference 2006
29th September – 1st October 2006; Baltic Beach Hotel, Jurmala, Latvia
Topic Workshop 7: Occupational Health Services
- finding a common basis …
Facilitated by Brigitte Schigutt, Austria
The workshop group included 7 delegates from Austria, Scotland and Denmark.
Compared to former years it seems Occupational Health Services are part of a system which seems to fall apart. The experiences are all about the same even if the participants come from very different places and professions. We discussed our experiences with different systems (compulsory or not, internal/ external, big/ small companies, outsourced systems, reporting systems, labour inspectorate functions- or ‘not-functions’ especially in Denmark).
Occupational Health Services are acting more and more individualized, its influence on the companies and its duties in general are decreasing- so are the legal basics. It seems “work environment” and “working class” is “out”. Workers have no lobby.
BUT: (an attempt to a positive outcome)
But Occupational Health Services is not only health surveillance, is not only examination or advice.
Occupational Health Services is part of a welfare system. Safe and healthy working conditions are part of Human rights and not just part of a policy.
Even if it sounds unfashionable at the moment (or just because of it) we have to stick to our demands of having healthy and safe working conditions as part of a healthy and safe life.