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Role of the Occupational Physician in Corporate Management of Health Risks: An Important Aspect of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Role of the Occupational Physician in Corporate Management of Health Risks: An Important Aspect of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Nihon Eiseigaku Zasshi. Japanese Journal of Hygiene 71(2): 173-180

There are various risks involved in corporate activities conducted both within and outside the corporation. Among these, health risks are very important and should be managed effectively as an integral part of corporate social responsibility (CSR). A corporation is responsible for health impairments caused by its activities and suffers great moral and economic loss when they occur. It is essential that corporate management takes proper preventive measures against such risks. Occupational physicians possess substantial knowledge of health risks in corporations. In this study, we examine the role of occupational physicians in the management of corporate health risks. Information was obtained from articles in print and on the Internet. Health risks due to corporate activities involve not only the employees of the corporation but also individuals outside the corporation. Each corporation should effectively use available resources to manage health risks. Occupational physicians are one such valuable resource. However, many corporations do not actively involve occupational physicians in health risk management. According to a current Japanese law, health risks for employees in corporations are managed by occupational physicians, but in general, health risks outside corporations are not. The 1984 Bhopal Disaster in India is an example in which physicians of the corporation were only minimally, if at all, involved in assessing and treating impaired health outside the corporation. The role of occupational physicians should be expanded to include management of health risks outside the corporation. This places a greater burden on the physicians and they must make the effort to train in many academic fields in order to better understand the entire context of health risks due to corporate activities. Some occupational physicians may be hesitant to take on such added responsibilities. Some corporations may not recognize the overall health risks due to its activities and do not understand the merit of occupational physicians working with the management to decrease health risks. However, an occupational physician is an important member of the corporation, so he/she must be involved in the management of health risks not only within the corporation itself, but also outside the corporation from the viewpoint of CSR. Effective management of health risks due to corporate activities should be widely discussed among occupational physicians, business entrepreneurs and managers of the division in charge of corporate health risk management as well as stakeholders. The authors propose expanding the role of occupational physicians to actively manage health risks not only inside but also outside the corporations.

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Accession: 058791144

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 27246156

DOI: 10.1265/jjh.71.173

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