Collaboration and networking offer opportunities for knowledge sharing, the exchange of good practice, increased impact and enhanced outreach. They also make effective use of human and financial resources and help identify a common approach among all stakeholders.
While national partnerships help to combine actions and reach target groups more effectively, international collaboration is also particularly helpful, since there are similar or identical occupational safety and health challenges in all regions of the world. Studies and good practice examples from social security institutions in other parts of the world offer vast potential for improvement in prevention work at national level.
Social security institutions dealing with prevention place an increasing emphasis on workers’ health. This approach takes into account that work-related and nonwork-related factors are having an impact on the health and productivity of workers and that the workplace provides excellent opportunities to promote health and prevent diseases. However, the promotion of such activities is only possible through collaborative and strong networks. For instance, occupational health services play a key role in health promotion. Not only do regular health screenings contribute to reducing the prevalence of chronic diseases, but they allow for early intervention, thus helping to avoid temporary or long-term work incapacities. Another example is collaboration between workers’ compensation boards, health insurances, primary health care and ministries of labour to provide a holistic approach to both the prevention of occupational risks and the promotion of health and well-being at the workplace.
Social security institutions should therefore establish contacts and collaborate with other stakeholders in the field of occupational safety and health and related areas such as standardization, labour inspection or primary health care.