Healthcare workers should recognize the value of the occupational health professionals (OHPs) who are responsible for their health and safety. That’s the message coming from the Association of Occupational Health Professionals in Healthcare (AOHP) in the form of a Position Statement on The Critical Role of Occupational Health in Healthcare, which seeks to shed light on the vital role OHPs play in the industry.

According to the statement, OHPs “must continually learn new skills, adapt current practices to meet changing needs, and develop innovative approaches to solving problems."

It also highlights key areas of responsibility for these professionals within the healthcare organization, including:

  • Evaluating individuals prior to and throughout employment.
  • Providing vaccinations, fitness for duty evaluations, and injury management and reporting.
  • Understanding evolving national and state regulatory standards and guidelines.
  • Overseeing respirator fit testing, and safe patient handling and workplace violence prevention programs.
  • Management of bloodborne pathogen and ergonomics practices.”

AOHP Executive President Mary Bliss, RN, COHN said the the work performed by OHPs “imroves the health of employees, which in turn improves the health of patients and communities."

AOHP is a national association with about 1,000 members whose vision is to be the defining resource and leading advocate for occupational health and safety in healthcare. AOHP promotes health, safety and well-being for healthcare workers through: advocating for employee health and safety; occupational health education and networking opportunities; health and safety advancement through best practice and research; and partnering with employers, regulatory agencies and related associations.