289 Expansion of occupational health to include environmental and community health: a philippine experience


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Abstract

IntroductionOccupational health (OH) in Philippines private sector companies is changing, being driven by awareness that promotion and protection of worker’s health is a good investment. Challenges include limited OH competency, limited regulatory compliance, and low appreciation of proactive and risk based approach. The First Philippine Holdings Corporation (FPH) is involved in energy generation, real estate, construction, manufacturing, and health care. Since 2011, FPH began developing a risk-based OH management system. The Philippine Environmental Impact System (EIS) System requires environmentally critical projects to conduct an environmental and health Impact assessment including regular assessment risk assessment and impacts to workers and host communities. FPH OH teams are required to provide direction and support in addressing community health issues and corporate health social responsibility programs, expanding scope to include occupational, environmental, and public health. This paper describes how this was achieved.MethodsTo institutionalise OH in the Environment, Safety, and Health Management System (ESH MS) the following were implemented:Developed a set of mandatory OH standards including requiring companies to strategically address environmental health and CSR health programs;Established OH Management System;Implemented health guidelines and procedures; andImplemented OH competency development.ResultThe FPH Corporate Health function was established providing technical support, guidance, and services in the development, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of all health initiatives including a ‘one-stop-shop’ for all health needs.DiscussionPhilippine OH focuses on medical services, reactive in approach, and programs are not risk based. Corporate culture and perspective needs to change to take on a proactive and risk based approach. Health programs needs to be simplified, standardised, and made fit-for-purpose. The OH management system of FPH has addressed this through organisational development, engagement of stakeholders, and managing health just like any other business.

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