- medical consultations and vaccinations for traveling
- occupational medical care of companies
- checkups according to the Road Traffic Regulations (for taxi and bus drivers, truck drivers)
- Occupational medical preventive checkups
- Advice on issues of worker protection
The Occupational Medicine
This is an independent field of medicine. Described in simple terms: occupational medicine deals with all health aspects arising from work-related strain.
The aim is to protect people against both physical, mental and emotional work-related health problems. Special attention is paid to employees who may need special care due to illness, disability or pregnancy (Maternity Protection Act) or because of their age (Youth Protection Act).
In recent years, a paradigm shift in occupational medicine has occurred. More and more a corporate health management and health promotion takes place in businesses. Now prevention is the focus, less the measuring of strains and examining of employees. Also due to demographic change and the increasing engagement of older employees it is necessary to find ways how to promote good health in spite of a long occupational life. This is a different approach, because now the question is not what makes a person sick (pathogenesis) but what keeps him healthy (salutogenic concept by Antonovsky; salus (lat) for health).
More and more the focus is on prevention. This doesn’t include only workplace health promotion but the entire spectrum of occupational primary, secondary and tertiary health prevention. In primary prevention the emergence of diseases is to be prevented from the outset (e.g. by vaccination or health education). In secondary prevention, a further worsening of an already existing disease is to be prevented (e.g. special assistance at the workplace). Tertiary prevention deals with the reintegration of disabled people into the workplace after a long absences. The Company Integration Management is so important to the legislator that it has even been enshrined in the Social Security Code (SGB 9, § 84).
The occupational physician or company doctor is giving advice and support to the same extent to employer and employees. He should visit the workplaces regularly and in companies with more than 20 employees participate in health and safety committee.
A risk assessment of the workplace is a requirement for occupational health activities.
In Germany, the Occupational Safety and Health is governed by a dual system.
Once through the legislative and regulatory authorities of the countries on the other hand by the statutory accident insurance (professional associations and accident insurance).
The Occupational Safety and Health Act obliges the employer for the implementation of Occupational Safety.
The Occupational Safety Act (ASiG) regulates the appointment of occupational physicians and company doctors, safety engineers and specialists for occupational safety. Their tasks and cooperation are defined and regulated in the Occupational Safety Act.
Specific requirements for occupational health services are governed by a provision of the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV2, formerly BGV A2 or UVV).
Occupational medical checkups are required for hazardous substances through the Hazardous Substances Act, for biological working materials through the Ordinance on Biological Agents, for radiation through the X-ray or radiation protection regulation, for noise and vibration through the noise and vibration protection regulation. In detail, the Regulation on Occupational Health Care (ArbMedVV) regulates which hazards require medical checkups.
The checkups are classified in four groups:
Compulsory checkups have to be arranged by the employer. Only after acceptable medical results the worker can be employed at the respective workplace.
Offered checkups The employer is obliged to offer the employee a checkup but for the employee the examination is voluntary. An example of this is the video workstation investigation (G 37).
Checkup on request A medical examination is carried out on request of the employee. This may be the case if the employee believes disease symptoms are triggered by agents (e.g. an allergy due to a working material, which is not a hazardous substance).
Suitability tests determine whether an employee is suitable for a particular activity (e.g. forklift drivers).