The importance of occupational health according to the european union

Becoming a healthy company is much more than a fad for employers who want to improve their business image. Workplace health promotion (WHP) is a concept that involves the participation of the company and management and the employees, the authorities, and society in general.

Through health promotion in the workplace, occupational health and safety measures are extended to employees’ well-being in their workplace. Workplace health and wellness promotion programmes focus on achieving healthy companies by promoting healthy eating and exercise. Besides, they are complemented by other measures such as the prevention of stress, violence, alcohol and drug abuse, among others.

The benefits of investing in HST to become a healthy company reach both the worker and the employer. Consequently, they reach the whole of society. Such is the importance of health at work that the National Institute for Safety, Health and Welfare at Work, which is part of the Ministry of Employment and Social Security, has launched the “Healthy Companies” project to recognise the efforts of companies to improve the health and welfare of their workers using the Healthy Company Certificate.

The Healthy Company Certificate implies, in addition to legal compliance in occupational risk prevention, that the company maintains a comprehensive approach to everything related to the management of workers’ health. Therefore, health promotion at work is based on actions in which employees and employers are involved voluntarily.

What is achieved by being a healthy company?

Health promotion in the workplace benefits, as we have already said, employers and employees in equal parts. Healthy companies gain many advantages:

  • improving the health of workers reduces sick leave due to illness or accident,
  • it reduces absenteeism and increases productivity,
  • a good working environment promotes employee motivation and participation,
  • reduced staff turnover,
  • it is easier to retain talent,
  • it improves the company’s corporate image in the eyes of society,
  • lower health and insurance costs,
  • improved quality of life for citizens in general

The European Agency for Safety & Health at Work recommends that before implementing a health promotion programme in the workplace, occupational risks should be managed. An environmentally healthy workplace should be created. Moreover, employees should be actively involved in programmes. The recommendation is to encourage as much as possible without forcing them to get the employee to improve their lifestyle. Understanding that this is in their interest is the key to a successful programme.


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