Occupational Health Services
Occupational safety and health is an area concerned with protecting the safety, health and welfare of people engaged in work or employment. The goals of occupational safety and health programs include fostering a safe and healthy work environment. OSH may also protect co-workers, family members, employers, customers, and many others who might be affected by the workplace environment.
Occupational safety and health can be important for moral, legal, and financial reasons. All organizations have a duty of care to ensure that employees and any other person who may be affected by the companies undertaking remain safe at all times. Moral obligations would involve the protection of employee's lives and health. Legal reasons for OSH practices relate to the preventative, punitive and compensatory effects of laws that protect worker's safety and health. OSH can also reduce employee injury and illness related costs, including medical care, sick leave and disability benefit costs. OSH may involve interactions among many subject areas, including occupational medicine, occupational hygiene, public health, safety engineering, industrial engineering, chemistry, health physics, industrial and organizational psychology, ergonomics, and occupational health psychology.
Since 1950, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have shared a common definition of occupational health. It was adopted by the Joint ILO/WHO Committee on Occupational Health at its first session in 1950 and revised at its twelfth session in 1995. The definition reads:
"Occupational health should aim at: the promotion and maintenance of the highest degree of physical, mental and social well-being of workers in all occupations; the prevention amongst workers of departures from health caused by their working conditions; the protection of workers in their employment from risks resulting from factors adverse to health; the placing and maintenance of the worker in an occupational environment adapted to his physiological and psychological capabilities; and, to summarize, the adaptation of work to man and of each man to his job.
"The main focus in occupational health is on three different objectives:
- The maintenance and promotion of workers’ health and working capacity;
- The improvement of working environment and work to become conducive to safety and health and
- Development of work organizations and working cultures in a direction which supports health and safety at work and in doing so also promotes a positive social climate and smooth operation and may enhance productivity of the undertakings. The concept of working culture is intended in this context to mean a reflection of the essential value systems adopted by the undertaking concerned. Such a culture is reflected in practice in the managerial systems, personnel policy, principles for participation, training policies and quality management of the undertaking."
According to The Gujarat Factories Rules, 1963; 68-T
- Workers employed in a 'hazardous process' shall be medically examined by a qualified medical practitioner hereinafter referred to as Factory Medical Officer, in the following manner:
- Once before employment, to ascertain physical fitness of the person to do the particular job.
- Once in a period of 6 months, to ascertain the health status of all the workers in respect of occupational health hazards to which they are exposed: and in cases where in the opinion of the Factory Medical Officer it is necessary to do so at a shorter interval in respect of any workers.
- The details of pre-employment and periodical medical exam, carried out as aforesaid shall be recorded in the Register in Form No. 32.
- No person shall be employed for the first time without a certificate of fitness in Form No. 33 granted by the Factory Medical Officer. If the Factory Medical Officer declare a person unfit for being employed in any process covered under sub-rule (1), such a person shall have the right to appeal to the Inspector who shall refer the matter to the Certifying Surgeon whose opinion shall be final in this regard. If the Inspector is also a Certifying Surgeon, he may dispose of the application himself.
- Any findings of the Factory Medical Officer revealing any abnormality or unsuitability of any person employed in the process shall immediately be reported to the certifying Surgeon who shall in turn, examine the concerned worker and communicate his findings to the occupier within 30 days. If the Certifying Surgeon is of the opinion that the worker so examined is required to be taken away from the process for health protection, he will direct the occupier accordingly, who shall not employ the said workers in the same process. However, the worker so taken away shall be provided with alternate placement unless he is in the opinion of the Certifying Surgeon, fully incapacitated in which case the worker affected shall be suitably rehabilitated.
- A Certifying Surgeon on his own motion or on a reference from an Inspector may conduct medical examination of a worker to ascertain the suitability of his employment in a hazardous process or for ascertaining his health status the opinion of the Certifying Surgeon in such a case shall be final. The fee required for this medical examination shall be paid by the occupier.
- The worker taken away from employment in any process under sub rule (2) may be employed again in the same process only after obtaining the Fitness Certificate from the Certifying Surgeon and after making entry to that effect In the Health Register.
- The worker required to undergo Medical Examination under these rules and for any Medical Survey conducted by or on behalf of the Central or the State Government shall not refuse to undergo such a medical examination.