Prevention section

International Section of the ISSA on Prevention of Occupational Risks in Health Services

Prevention section

International Section of the ISSA on Prevention of Occupational Risks in Health Services

The International Section of the ISSA on Prevention of Occupational Risks in Health Services aims to improve occupational safety in health services through the international exchange of experience.

Objectives 

Occupational risks in the health services sector differ widely from those in other fields of work. These risks are quite similar in different countries, but the measures taken to cope with them vary from country to country. 

The Section on Prevention of Occupational Risks in Health Services aims to determine and to compare the state of occupational safety in health services in various countries, and to develop recommendations on how to apply proven or new methods on a worldwide basis. The Section aims to promote safety and health for health-care workers, the prevention of work accidents and the prevention of occupational and work-related diseases in health services.

In many countries experience in occupational safety in health services is available. By enabling discussion between medical and technical experts from the safety field, and with the authorities and social security institutions, the health-care facilities and their employees, it is possible to better protect the health and safety of people working in health care services. The Section seeks to promote the pooling, assessment, improvement and dissemination of knowledge. Through the exchange of experience, existing methods can be enhanced and new solutions for areas showing deficits can be developed. 

The Section identifies and promotes effective methods for enhancing occupational safety for the different professions in health care, through conferences, colloquia and seminars, and raises awareness of risks through the international exchange of information. 

The main focus of activity is on occupational and work-related diseases. The findings, experiences and proposals collected by the Section are presented to the public, in particular to the specialist public, as printed material or in meetings. 

For more information please consult the standing orders of the Section.

Structure

The Section is governed by two executive bodies: the General Assembly and the Bureau.

The General Assembly consists of the full members and meets at least once every three years. It discusses and rules on questions relating to work programmes, objectives and standing orders and elects the Bureau of the Section.

The Bureau of the Section consists of the president, the two vice-Presidents and the secretary general of the Section. The Bureau conducts the Section's regular business and develops its programme of activities.

The Section elects from among its full members, normally every six years, the president and the two vice-Presidents of the Section. The Secretary General of the International Social Security Association (ISSA), Geneva, or his representative, belongs ex officio to the Bureau of the Section in a consultative capacity.

The secretariat of the Section is based in Hamburg, Germany, at the Institution for Statutory Accident Insurance and Prevention in the Health and Welfare Services (Berufsgenossenschaft für Gesundheitsdienst und Wohlfahrtspflege - BGW), which is entrusted with providing the Secretariat. The BGW puts at the disposal of the Section all possible adequate means in order to ensure the activity and financing of the Secretariat. The BGW designates from among its staff the Secretary General of the Section, in agreement with the Secretary General of the ISSA.

Members of the Bureau

President

Gerhard Mehrtens
Berufsgenossenschaftlicher Verein für Heilbehandlung e. V.
Berufsgenossenschaftliches Unfallkrankenhaus Hamburg
Germany

Vice-Presidents

Claudia Pletscher
Schweizerische Unfallversicherungsanstalt (Suva), Luzern
Switzerland

Joanna Rosińczuk
Faculty of Health Sciences
Wrocław Medical University
Poland

Secretary General

Stephan Brandenburg
Institution for Statutory Accident Insurance and Prevention in the Health and Welfare Services (Berufsgenossenschaft für Gesundheitsdienst und Wohlfahrtspflege - BGW)
Germany

Working Groups

Three Working Groups cover the main topics of activity:

Infectious Risks

Chairperson

Colette Le Bâcle
Institut National de Recherche et de Sécurité (INRS)
France

Chemical Risks

Chairperson

Udo Eickmann
Institution for Statutory Accident Insurance and Prevention in the Health and Welfare Services (Berufsgenossenschaft für Gesundheitsdienst und Wohlfahrtspflege - BGW)
Germany

Ergonomics

Chairperson

Sigfried Sandner
Institution for Statutory Accident Insurance and Prevention in the Health and Welfare Services (Berufsgenossenschaft für Gesundheitsdienst und Wohlfahrtspflege - BGW)
Germany

The working groups provide a platform for discussion and exchange of information and experience. 

Currently, practical guidelines about risk assessment and management of occupational infectious risks in health services are in preparation. The Section is also elaborating propositions and recommendations concerning the prevention of musculoskeletal accidents and diseases. In future the Section will work on occupational skin and respiratory diseases. 

The Section on Prevention of Occupational Risks in Health Services collaborates with the Working Group on SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) of the ISSA Special Commission on Prevention. The objective is to improve prevention in SMEs.