Julie Staun OBE, PhD (stud.), RN, CRNA, OHN
Work Environment Consultant
Orebjerg Alle 5b
Tel.: +45 47521402
Mobile: +45 41610795
Tel: +45 53771415
Visit Our Website: www.ditarbejdsmiljo.dk
In 1939 the first known Occupational Health Nurse in Denmark Agnes Henriksen was employed at the chocolate manufacturing company Galle & Jessen.
The concept of a factory nurse, as they were called, came from England, USA and the other Scandinavian countries. Unfortunately Denmark was not very progressive and only 6 other companies had employed a factory nurse.
During the 1950ies Agnes organised meetings at her private home for the seven nurses working in industry at the time. Recognising the necessity for formalised education the small group worked energetically to establish a relevant program Their efforts proved successful, and in 1954 a training course was established at the State Clinic of Hygiene. The program included work related diseases, prevention, health promotion and the administration of legislation.
In 1951 the most estimated women´s magazine of the times brought an article based on an interview with Agnes Henriksen. The article was illustrated with photographs from her office and the factory. In the interview Ms. Henriksen discussed her daily work and how the job had been created.
In the beginning she spent most of her time treating small injuries. Later she developed her work function to include what today is called the psycho-social area. Counselling soon became a central element covering not only the working life but also social issues outside the factory.
Another important area was the hygiene, both the personal and industrial hygiene. As TB was a severe health threat at the time, high standards were necessary, especially at a factory producing chocolate and confectionery.
Agnes Henriksen also visited the workers with long sickness, providing her with knowledge of family and social situations. The Company provided a car at her disposition to carry out the visits.
Ready for home visits
Accidents and injuries statistics were monitored and results used as criteria for preventive strategies. In the interview focus is on the importance of professional nursing care with special emphasis on psychosocial health, two key areas of OH nursing still prevalent today.
From 1966 the Danish Nurses Organisation initiated the possibility to obtain financial support to participate in relevant eduction programmes and congresses and to arrange training programmes.This development became the foundation for the current Danish Society of Occupational and Environmental Health Nurses FaSAM.