Alcohol-related harm constitutes a significant factor decreasing work productivity. Of heavy alcohol users, most participate in working life. According to labour contract law, a person attending the workplace inebriated can be fired. If the employer applies a deferral to treatment practice, the drug- or alcohol-addicted person can be provided with the choice of therapy and rehabilitation instead of terminating the employment. According to the recent recommendation by the trade unions, organizations should have a program for preventing substance abuse. The employer should take care of the worker's intoxicant education and train the foremen to intervene in the situations on time.
Substitution for a harmful chemical implies that the desired function is maintained without using the harmful chemical in question. Improvement can be achieved if a less harmful chemical can be used or the same function obtained by changing the process and eliminating the harmful chemical agent. In 1982, Denmark introduced an authority regulation requiring substitution if functional and economical alternatives exist. This paper summarizes the results of 162 examples of substitution investigated by the Danish Occupational Health Services. The identification and implementation of substitution alternatives is described as an iterative process with seven distinct steps. Several tools that are useful in evaluating alternatives are described, including Hansen solubility parameters and vapor hazard ratios. In addition to the technical issues surrounding substitution, this paper describes the social interactions necessary to include all affected individuals, along with those having the proper expertise in the decision-making process. The use of the described methods may result in a safer work-place by eliminating certain hazardous chemicals or practices that have historically been used in specific industries.
Medical screening and biomedical monitoring violate individual rights. Such conflicts of right with right are acted upon synergistically by uncertainty which, in some important respects, increases rather than decreases as a result of research. Issues of rightness and wrongness, ethical issues, arise because the human beings who are subjects of medical screening and biological monitoring often have little or no option whether to be subjected to them. We identify issues of rightness and wrongness of biomedical surveillance for various purposes of occupational health and safety. We distinguish between social validity and scientific validity. We observe that principles are well established for scientific validity, but not for social validity. We support guidelines as a way forward.
A comparative analysis of current work practices of occupational health services of international companies of Russian oil & gas industry and provisions of ILO Convention 161 and Recommendation 171 "Occupational Health Services" has been carried out. Proposals for improvement and harmonization of labor legislation related to this problem have been formulated.