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Med Lav. 2012 May-Jun;103(3):165-74.

Fitness for work in health care workers from the prospective of ethics, science and good practices.

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1
Department of Experimental and Applied Medicine, Section of Occupational Health and Industrial Hygiene, University of Brescia, Italy.

Abstract

Fitness for work (FFW) is the final task of both risk assessment and health surveillance, aimed at protecting workers' health and working capacity. There are numerous specific concerns regarding health care workers. In particular: i) the frequent difficulty in determining at pre-employment/pre-placement examinations the specific task that the individual worker will perform; ii) the prevalence of female workers and the contemporary presence of numerous occupational risk factors that are a potential cause of harmful effects on women's reproductive health; iii) the progressive aging of the staff especially nurses; iv) the risk to third parties, with particular reference to the issues of biological risk and substance abuse, also in relation to shift work, fatigue and occupational stress; v) the increasing number of immigrant workers among support staff In such cases the occupational physician, respecting both ethical principles and regulations and with an appropriate balance between scientific evidence and the precautionary principle, should express a FFW judgment that allows both the adaptation of work to the worker and vice versa, as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH). Proper FFW judgment also permits the expected benefits to be achieved, not only for the workers but also for employers, companies and society.

PMID:
22838294
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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