According to the WHO, health is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. The health of workers is essential to ensure their productivity and efficiency within the organisation.
Inquiring about the health of its workers, an indicator of the risks present in the company
It can be helpful to ask about the health of your workers. On the one hand, considering them increases their commitment within the organisation.
On the other hand, it also provides a good indicator of the occupational hazards present in the workplace and enables appropriate measures and action plans.
Implementing preventive measures on occupational risks
The risks of danger, both to workers’ mental and physical health, are present in the workplace. These dangers can be dramatic both for the worker and his or her health and for the entire organisation, which could suffer considerable losses (in terms of personnel and financially). It is therefore essential for the company to put in place measures to prevent these risks.
There are several types of prevention:
Primary prevention aims to prevent harm by reducing the number and intensity of risk factors and eliminating risks at their source.
Secondary prevention: aims to prevent damage by limiting risky situations and their frequency (e.g. putting in place means of protection to prevent workers who are already showing signs of health damage from developing damage that is more radical).
Tertiary prevention aims to limit the damage and its consequences by avoiding complications by restricting the chronicity of symptoms or by preventing recurrences.
Rehabilitation or reintegration: the aim is to support a worker after a long absence from work or disability.
- Avoiding risks;
- Assess the risks that cannot be avoided;
- Combating threats at source ;
- Replace what is dangerous with what is not difficult or is less dangerous;
- Favour collective protection over individual protection;
- Adapting work to people.
In addition, the Belgian law on well-being at work stipulates that the employer must take the necessary measures to promote the well-being of workers during the performance of their work. It, therefore, provides for six principles to be respected:
Other measures complement these prevention principles :
- Limiting risks as far as possible in line with technological developments;
- Limiting the risk of a severe injury through physical measures ;
- Planning for prevention ;
- Inform the worker about the nature of their activities, the residual risks associated with them and the measures to prevent or limit these hazards.
- Give appropriate instructions to workers and establish accompanying measures to reasonably ensure compliance with these instructions;
- Provide or ensure the existence of appropriate occupational health and safety signage.