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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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Health Protection, Health Promotion, and Disease Prevention at the Workplace

Health Protection, Health Promotion, and Disease Prevention at the Workplace

(p.340) 18 Health Protection, Health Promotion, and Disease Prevention at the Workplace
Global Occupational Health

René Mendes

Elizabeth Costa Dias

Oxford University Press

Health promotion seeks to improve the level of health in a population by preventing diseases, controlling hazards, improving fitness and well being and enhancing the capacity or workers to work and to function in society. Health promotion activities are generally divided into education, health protection (protecting the worker from hazards and ensuring prompt intervention if something goes wrong) and prevention of disease. Prevention, in turn, is often divided into primary prevention (the prevention of disease in the first place, for example through clean water or immunization against infectious disease), secondary prevention (the early detection of disease at a stage when it can be treated or limited, through periodic health surveillance) and tertiary prevention (prevention of disability, for example by providing rehabilitation services after an injury). The workplace is an excellent place to promote health, to the benefit of all society. For this reason, the World Health Organization has developed many sophisticated approaches to health promotion based on education, disease prevention and enhancing fitness in the workplace, based on recognition of the determinants of health and interventions based on a model of how they work together known as the health field concept. The Ottawa Charter (1986) is a key document that brought together WHO’s approach and links it with empowerment of the worker, who is encouraged to take responsibility for his or her own health. Health promotion activities take many forms but generally target exercise and activity, diet, cancer prevention, smoking cessation, and management of chronic diseases through wellness programs.

Keywords:   health promotion, health protection, primary prevention, secondary prevention, tertiary prevention, World Health Organization, Ottawa Charter, determinants of health, smoking cessation, diet, cancer prevention, wellness, health field

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