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Global Occupational Health$
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Tee L. Guidotti

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195380002

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195380002.001.0001

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Occupational Health Services

Occupational Health Services

(p.512) 27 Occupational Health Services
Global Occupational Health

Tee L. Guidotti

Oxford University Press

The provision of occupational health services requires an organizational structure, basic equipment, procedures and facilities for providing care and trained people. Such an organization is called an occupational health service. Much of the delivery of occupational health services takes place in primary health care, where suitably-trained generalist health care providers deal with basic health care needs. Health care providers are usually physicians or nurses or sometimes specially trained heath care technicians. For many years, the World Health Organization (WHO) has had a policy of emphasizing primary care and using the primary health care system to coordinate public health and disease prevention, including occupational health services, in its policy of “Basic Occupational Health Services”. Larger and more complex organizations require specialized occupational health services. These specialized services are staffed or may call in consultations as needed by occupational physicians (physicians who are specially trained in occupational medicine), occupational health nurses (nurses who are specially trained in occupational health), occupational hygienists (experts in identifying and correcting occupational hazards), safety professionals (experts in preventing injury), ergonomists (experts in managing ergonomic issues or one of many other professions in occupational health. At the local level, individual plants may have an employee health service for their own employees. Often, occupational health professionals in the community provide needed services under a contract or other arrangement. Corporate medical departments are located in the headquarters of large employers and coordinate occupational health and other health issues throughout the enterprise.

Keywords:   occupational health service, Basic Occupational Health Services, physician, nurse, occupational hygienist, safety professional, ergonomist, primary care, employee health service, corporate medical departments

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