Occupational Risk Factor Assessment for Community-based Health Professionals

D. Lynn Skillen

Abstract


The majority of provinces enacted occupational health and safety legislation in the 1970s. Alberta's Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1976 integrated the province's approach to worker protection; however, although safety regulations are universal, statutory requirements did not regulate health services for workplaces with less than 200 on-site employees. Affected employees are required to approach community-based health care practitioners for the identification, evaluation and management of work-related illness and disease. Assuming that occupational health problems are essentially preventable, health professionals hold key positions for influencing worker health outcomes. Nurses and physicians, however, must provide health surveillance and health care that is based on information elicited from the worker-client and without the advantage of worksite observations. This project evolved from the concern that health professionals, who are functioning outside of the workplace, are approached for health services by worker-clients who have diverse experiences and exposures. It is essential that those professionals have comprehensive information about relevant occupational factors.
Description of the Project
The purpose of this project was to expedite the development of a comprehensive data collection instrument for use by community-based health care practitioners in the individualized assessment of occupational risk factors. The following objectives were stated.

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