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  Table of Contents 
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1

Occupational health index: Assessing occupational health performance

Editor – IJOEM Occupational Health Consultant, Thane (W), Maharashtra, India

Date of Web Publication13-Dec-2017

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ganesh K Kulkarni
Occupational Health Consultant, Chesnut Plaza, Shop No. 16, Second Floor, Opp. Endenwoods, B. Nathpai Marg, Thane - 400 610, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijoem.IJOEM_75_17

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How to cite this article:
Kulkarni GK. Occupational health index: Assessing occupational health performance. Indian J Occup Environ Med 2017;21:1

How to cite this URL:
Kulkarni GK. Occupational health index: Assessing occupational health performance. Indian J Occup Environ Med [serial online] 2017 [cited 2020 May 29];21:1. Available from:

Occupational health physicians (OHPs) have faced difficulty in projecting their performance in a comprehensive manner that is easily understood by the management. OHPs have been performing but stored the data in different silos that are not interlinked in a dashboard. For a young OHP, this an area of concern, and the occupational health index (OHI) can serve as the best option to showcase the occupational health performance. At present, OHI is being used as a reflection of quality of deliverance of occupational health in many multinational organizations across the globe. The need is to customize the OHI content to meet the organizational and regional requirements. Through this editorial I am trying to bring the concept to the working table, and each OHP can then work towards a suitable OHI matrix for his/her organization.

The genesis of OHI is based on some of the topics covered in

  1. OHSAS: 18001:2007

    1. Competence, Training, and Awareness (4.4.2)
    2. Emergency Preparedness, and Response (4.4.7)
    3. Performance Measurement, and Monitoring (4.5.1)
    4. Evaluation of Compliance (4.5.2)

  2. ISO 14001:2004

    1. Environmental Aspects (4.3.1)

  3. Company EHS & S standards and guidelines.

The OHSAS: 18001:2007, ISO14001:2004, and Company EHS & S standards cover macrolevel aspects of occupational health components, and hence, the need of OHI to elaborate on specific components in greater details.

How one defines OHI?

  • OHI is a composite matrix that reflects occupational health performance in an organization. It is the logical extension of OHSAS: 18001 and ISO 14001 with detailing of key performance indicators. OHI is strictly in alignment with local legislations and organizational EHS standards.

When one wants to design the OHI matrix, one should consider the major quality components of occupational health services such as compliance, quality, satisfaction score, efficiency score, and culture of health (policies and programs). Some combine wellness with occupation health and many measure them separately; we advocate the combined approach for OHI. In this manner, one can decide on subcomponents within each of the above headings that are critical to the organization. Just to name some such as management review, occupational health surveillance, biomedical waste management, medical records, occupational health center inspection (supported by a relevant checklist), international medical care and workability management, emergency medical response, project site and field employees, employee and stakeholders survey score, occupational health professional development, travel health, water and food safety. In the culture health basket, one can use all the defined policies and programs as subcomponents of measurement such as “EAP and mental health, health protection and promotion, healthy diet, and physical movement.” The most challenging task is designing the scoring framework that has group and subgroup components and scoring checklist with weightage. The scoring framework gives a consolidated score for each subgroup and main group key performance indicators that one can color band as “red (bellow 50), orange (51–70), yellow (71–89), green (above 90), and gray when not applicable.” Detailing of subgroup components is beyond the scope of this editorial, however, an attempt is made to provide a platform for OHPs, especially the younger lot who are keen to showcase their occupational health performance to their top management through OHI dashboard. Thus, the OHI can be a resource in:

  • OHI is a quality tool for measuring occupational health performance
  • OHI matrix can be designed to suit organizational needs
  • OHI supports business continuity plan
  • Regional benchmarking in occupational health
  • OHI can be integrated with EHS & S dashboard.

The editor expects that some of you will work toward creating the OHI dashboard for your organization and share your experience with us. There can also be diverse ways of creating a performance dashboard for occupational health and expect innovations storming the knowledge market.


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