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Worksite Health Promotions and Ethical Issues


Ethics are essential for the majority of work environments. In nursing, it is one of the most important aspects of practice. Patients expect nurses’ actions to be ethical. If nurses’ actions are unethical, they may bring physical, emotional, or psychological harm to patients, and this outcome should be avoided at all costs. While health promotion is a less risky aspect of nursing, several ethical dilemmas still exist. This paper will examine an article that concerns one such issue and will provide my thoughts on the issue as it relates to existing ethics theories.

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The presented article is focused on worksite health promotions and ethical considerations that come with them. The research was done through interviews with all the stakeholders involved in a specific worksite. They included: employers, employees, occupational physicians, providers, insurance companies, research and knowledge institutes, as well as labor unions. While all of the stakeholders believed that occupational health is defined by an ability to perform the required job, they differed in which risk factors affect occupational health. Employees and work unions stated that occupational health risk hazards come mostly from job-related factors. Employers and other stakeholders, however, saw employee-related issues such as lifestyle issues as the primary risk factors. This differing view between the parties may lead to a lack of concern for occupational health from either party. The authors state that all stakeholders should be given a voice in matters that concern worksite health promotion. They conclude that the issue could be solved through the examination of discourse between the parties (Berkel et al., 2014).

Personal Thoughts

Health professionals would have to play the role of negotiators on this issue because of the following factors. Both parties agree on the definition of occupational health. Therefore they both understand the importance of it, as well as what needs to be done to sustain it. Both parties may be open to new information if it is presented by an authority figure with clear evidence, such as a nurse. Neither of the parties is likely to be the first to approach the other, and due to the differing interests, the negotiations may be more difficult and less beneficial to the overall worksite health. By addressing all of the stakeholders with a combined list of risk factors and evidence that supports these notions, health care professionals should be able to achieve better health promotion on the worksite.

Ethical Theories and Codes

Theories such as the care ethics theory and utilitarianism support my notions due to their focus on providing favorable outcomes to every member involved in the action. Worksite health is dependent on all the stakeholders mentioned in the article. Therefore, to ensure its promotion, health care professionals must consider the views of all the stakeholders. When someone’s views are not addressed, the health promotion becomes less ethical (Melden, 2013). The ICN Code of Ethics for Nurses (“Code of ethics for nurses,” 2017) also supports this notion by emphasizing the provision of care and promotion of health concerning human rights.


Ethics are crucial in nursing. Even small issues in health promotion may lead to negative outcomes. Therefore, health care professionals should consider all ethical dilemmas when performing their duty. The relatively simple solution to the situation presented in the article suggests that not a lot of effort is required to avoid large issues.


Berkel, J., Meershoek, A., Janssens, R., Boot, C., Proper, K., & Beek, A. (2014). Ethical considerations of worksite health promotion: An exploration of stakeholders’ views. BMC Public Health, 14(1), 1-10.

Code of ethics for nurses. (2017). Web.

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Melden, A. (2013). Ethical theories. Worcestershire, UK: Read Books Ltd.

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