The basis of activities that maintain work ability and employees’ coping at work is the continuous improvement of work and working conditions and activities that maintain work ability for all employees. The goal of the activities is to ensure that everyone can cope with their work and tasks as well as possible with their own resources and with the help of measures that support work ability that are implemented as needed. In practice, maintaining work ability can focus on promoting employees’ health and work ability, developing their professional capabilities and motivation or improving the communal conditions at the workplace, for example.
The expertise of occupational health care is taken into account in the planning and implementation of activities that maintain and promote work ability at workplaces. Occupational health care has both general evidence- and research-based and workplace-specific knowledge about what workplaces should taken into account in order to promote health and work ability. In addition to this, in its own activities, occupational health care must ensure that the prevention of work-related diseases is carried out at workplaces in a way that prevents incapacity for work and supports the promotion of work ability. The expertise of occupational health care is needed particularly with regard to issues related to the health of an individual employee.
According to Section 8 of the Occupational Health Act(avautuu uuteen ikkunaan, you will be directed to another service), the employer must act in cooperation with employees or their representatives in matters related to the organisation, content and scope of occupational health care and the assessment of the impact of occupational health care. The Act places special emphasis on the cooperation between the workplace and occupational health care. The primary goal is that the workplace and occupational health care can together prevent work-related diseases and thereby also reduce the risk of incapacity for work caused by disease.