Successful collaboration between occupational health service providers and client companies: Key factors.

Work (Reading, Mass.)

PubMedID: 24763348

Schmidt L, Sjöström J, Antonsson AB. Successful collaboration between occupational health service providers and client companies: Key factors. Work. 2014;.
BACKGROUND
Occupational health services (OHS) are often described as an important resource to reduce work-related diseases and improve the workplace.

OBJECTIVE
This paper identifies key factors for successful collaboration between Swedish OHS providers and their client companies.

METHODS
Interviews were carried out with representatives of 15 companies and their OHS providers. The interviews were transcribed and their content analyzed.

RESULTS
The results revealed that successful collaboration was highly correlated with six factors. First, the collaboration depends on both parties; "it takes two to tango". Second, the company and the OHS provider have a joint commitment to a long-term collaboration. Third, the collaboration is built on frequent contact at different organizational levels. Fourth, the company has a well-structured work environment for occupational health and safety management. Fifth, the OHS provider uses a consultative approach in its prevention and promotion activities. Finally, OHS providers seek to treat the company, not the individual.

CONCLUSIONS
Our research indicates that a successful collaboration requires both occupational health and safety management (OHSM) within the company and the assistance of a competent OHS provider. A change toward more promotion and prevention services benefits the company, since the occupational health services are better tailored to the company's needs.