The workplace is an ideal setting for health promotion. The regular medical examination of workers enables us to screen for numerous diseases, spread good practices and correct lifestyles, and obtain a favourable risk/benefit ratio. The continuous monitoring of the level of workers' wellbeing using a holistic approach during medical surveillance enables us to promptly identify problems in work organisation and the company climate. Problems of this kind can be adequately managed by using a participatory approach. The aim of this paper is twofold: to signal this way of proceeding with medical surveillance, and to describe an organisational development intervention. Participatory groups were used to improve occupational life in a small company. After intervention we observed a reduction in levels of perceived occupational stress measured with the Effort/Reward Imbalance questionnaire, and an improvement in psychological wellbeing assessed by means of the Goldberg Anxiety/Depression scale. Although the limited size of the sample and the lack of a control group call for a cautious evaluation of this study, the participatory strategy proved to be a useful tool due to its cost-effectiveness.
Keywords: anxiety; depression; health promotion; medical surveillance; organisational development; participatory ergonomics; wellbeing; work-related stress; workplace.