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Behavioural and situational prevention

May 13, 2024
A hand holds up dominoes before they can fall over. This symbolises prevention, which is divided into behavioural and situational prevention.

In the Occupational health management (BGM) are two basic approaches for the prevention of occupational diseases and sickness absence: Behavioural prevention and relationship prevention.

Both approaches aim to promote, maintain or improve the health of employees. In this article, we would like to explain the fundamental differences and give you some examples of how to implement them in health management.

A young employee stands in the office and looks very satisfied.

What does prevention actually mean?

Prevention means that preventive action is taken, whereas rehabilitation means that action is taken retrospectively when consequences, such as illnesses, have already occurred.

Prevention in the sense of OHM refers to all measures and strategies aimed at preventing or averting illnesses, health problems or other negative developments.

The focus here is on promoting healthy behaviour and well-being and avoiding risk factors that can lead to illness or other health impairments. 

Primary, secondary and tertiary prevention

In the occupational health management Primary, secondary and tertiary prevention refer to Different levels of health promotion and maintenance:

Primary prevention:

Refers to preventive measures aimed at minimising the Prevent the occurrence of health problems, nor before they arise. Primary prevention focuses on identifying and minimising risk factors in order to maintain employees' health in the long term. 

Secondary prevention:

Secondary prevention aims to achieve this, Recognising and treating health problems at an early stagein order to Minimise the impact and Prevent progression. This includes, for example, regular health checks, screenings and examinations for the early detection of illnesses as well as relapse prevention programmes. The aim is to recognise illnesses and risks at an early stage and intervene appropriately in order to avoid negative consequences and maintain the health of the workforce.

Tertiary prevention:

Tertiary prevention focuses on this, treat existing health problems and minimise their effectsto support the recovery and reintegration of employees into the work process. This includes Rehabilitation programmes, Physiotherapeutic treatments, psychological support and Reintegration programmes after an illness or injury. The aim is to support employees in maintaining their Restore health and a successful return to work.

A man and a woman exercise outdoors. This type of behavioural prevention leads to a healthy life.

Two types of prevention: behavioural and situational prevention

Behavioral prevention

Behavioural prevention focuses on preventing illness by changing the individual behaviour and actions of all employees. This means that the employees should be motivated to change their behaviour, Avoid risks and Health-promoting measures such as vaccinations and early detection examinations. In addition, the individual health behaviour of individuals in particular is to be strengthened, for example eating more healthily or taking part in sport.

Through behavioural prevention, we strive to Skills, knowledge and behaviour to positively influence the health of our employees in order to help promote their health. < Emphasise this sentence in a box or similar.

Examples of behavioural prevention measures:

  • Providing information and education about a healthy lifestyle in areas such as nutrition, exercise and stress management.
  • Developing employees' individual skills such as time management, mindfulness and health expertise
  • Courses on stress management and coping with stress
  • Exercise programmes, sports courses, health coaching or nutritional advice
  • Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)
  • Occupational psychology counselling
  • Company integration management (BEM)
  • Offer of examinations for early detection
  • Management training, especially on the topic of healthy leadership
  • Worshops on nutrition, exercise and smoking cessation

Through these measures, we strive to promote the health and well-being of our employees and offer them the support they need to lead a healthy and fulfilling working life.

A young employee works standing up at a height-adjustable desk. This measure is part of injury prevention, as employees are provided with a desk for ergonomic working.

Environmental prevention

Relational prevention, on the other hand, refers to the prevention of diseases through the change in workplace and living conditions. The aim is to Working environment in such a way that risks are minimised and the emergence and development of diseases is counteracted.

Examples of measures to prevent behaviour:

  • Regulations and laws, such as the smoking ban in workplaces
  • Prohibition of alcohol consumption in the workplace
  • Introduction of company regulations on health and harassment
  • Carrying out risk assessments
  • Healthy workplace design through ergonomic equipment, such as height-adjustable desks, ergonomic office chairs and electronics
  • State subsidies or technical monitoring, especially for skilled trades
  • Shift plans that take the biorhythm into account
  • Optimisation of work processes and design
  • Expansion of the scope for decision-making and action
  • Optimisation of working hours and flexible working hours
  • Flat hierarchies and shorter and more efficient communication channels
  • Introduction of a health-orientated corporate culture
  • Guidelines for employee appraisals and derivation of appropriate measures
  • A good communication culture
  • Personnel development programmes that are adapted to the target group
  • Creation of good framework conditions for remote work and regulations 
  • Availability of break rooms that are conducive to relaxation
  • In-house fitness studios or classrooms
  • Healthy nutrition in the canteen or catering concepts
  • Reduction of noise, odours and similar stressors in the workplace

By implementing these measures, companies can help to create a healthy working environment and promote the long-term well-being of their employees.

RemarkSometimes the boundaries between behavioural and situational prevention are not clear and distinct. For example, the offer of a health day by the health insurance company can have a positive influence on the behaviour of employees, but at the same time also ensures the creation of a health-promoting working environment by signalling that health is anchored in the corporate culture and is important.

ISA from Deep Care combines behavioural and behavioural prevention

ISA is our digital health coach. Over a longer period of time, ISA observes and analyses behaviour at the workplace, such as sitting posture, movement and drinking habits. ISA provides personalised tips on how to improve working practices and supports employees in establishing healthier habits. ISA covers both the Behaviour and working environment from. It helps to prevent a lack of exercise, encourages more exercise, a healthier diet and sufficient fluid intake and is therefore a perfect measure for workplace health promotion.

ISA promotes ergonomic working and gives tips on improving posture to avoid back pain or similar complaints and counteracts the lack of movement in everyday life.

An employee sits at her desk and works on her laptop. On the desk is an Isa, which contributes to behavioural and relationship prevention.

Conclusion on behavioural prevention

Of course, a company cannot usually implement all of these programmes at once. It is therefore important to find out which health promotion programmes are in demand and needed by employees and to develop a health promotion strategy. Needs analysis to be carried out.

After all, no matter how many programmes a company offers, it is ultimately up to the employees to decide how they are accepted and implemented. That is why it is the Core task of the company to make health attractiveso that employees are motivated, proactively protect their own health, both at work and in private life.

The BGM measures can only be effective and successful in the long term if the company cooperates and interacts with its employees.

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