If you have a question about your individual circumstances, call our helpline on 0300 123 1190. Help shape its future, Leading the profession that’s shaping the future of work, Outlines the kind of occupational health services an organisation might offer and the role of confidentiality and consent in discussing an employee’s health. Once again, the employer and an OH service carrying out the assessment must ensure compliance with medical confidentiality, data protection law and, importantly, the Equality Act 2010. An employee must consent to the assessment and also to the sending of the report. They might agree that the employee needs: Depending on the health issue, the employee’s progress might need to be assessed again before a firm agreement can be made about their return to work or to full duties. The Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM) is the largest and oldest nationally-recognised professional organisation of individuals with an interest in health and work. The employee has the right to see the doctor’s report before it is sent to the occupational health adviser. MSc Some, particularly those working in hazardous or safety-critical areas, may have a team comprising full-time OH nurses, physicians, technicians and administrative staff. Its aim is to prevent work-related illness and injury and promote the health and wellbeing of all employees. We cannot respond to questions sent through this form. Outlines employers’ health and safety obligations in the UK, Explores mental health issues in the workplace focusing on supporting employees’ mental health, © Copyright Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development 2020, 151 The Broadway, London SW19 1JQ, UK Incorporated by Royal Charter, Registered Charity no. Advising on ergonomic issues and workplace design. Occupational health (OH) is about how work affects a person’s health and how someone’s health affects their work. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has identified two elements to occupational health for employers to concentrate on. Effective occupational health and safety is “vitally important” in enabling the UK economy’s recovery post-lockdown, according to this article. Within an organisation, OH professionals will liaise with HR and health and safety managers. This includes both physical and psychological health. The Access to Medical Reports Act 1988 (AMR) applies to such reports and has specific rules about consent. Assessing employees on long-term sick leave, advising on the likely timescale of the absence and promoting an effective return to work. London: The At Work Partnership. If you like, you can tell us more about what was useful on this page. SOM membership is for anyone working in and around occupational health. Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental Management. Helping employers fulfil their duties under the Equality Act 2010 (including disability, pregnancy and age discrimination). Many organisations, including some large employers in both the public and private sectors, outsource their entire OH function to one of the many commercial OH providers. Line managers must feel able to approach OH to discuss concerns and issues, although discussions about an individual employee’s health should be restricted to issues relevant to their fitness to work. Health questionnaires should be designed and interpreted by OH professionals. It is appropriate, however, to ask applicants if they need reasonable adjustments to the job-application process or interview (for example because they have a hearing or mobility impairment). Find your perfect qualification and study centre, or read our guidance to choose the right course for you, Achieve your CIPD qualification online with ultimate flexibility, Browse and purchase our range of textbooks, toolkits and e-books, Learn about the knowledge and behaviours needed to work in the people profession, Assess yourself against the CIPD Profession Map and view personalised development options, Get an internationally recognised qualification, All you need to know about being a CIPD student as well as access to a wide range of resources, The essential companion for busy HR professionals, Gain insight on issues that matter to HR and L&D, Our profession plays an important role in ensuring work benefits everyone. Holly House (South Block) St Mary's Hospital Parkhurst Road Newport PO30 5TG. Select the statement you most agree with: Supporting mental health in the workplace, Dealing with a problem raised by an employee, Please tell us why the information did not help, I cannot find the information I'm looking for. Commercial OH providers range from individual sole practitioners, who often provide services to smaller firms, to large sophisticated companies delivering multidisciplinary support according to the client’s needs. The factsheet concludes with a look at pre-employment health queries and what is legally permissible. It is a distinct speciality within the world of medicine, with its own particular aims and objectives as well as its own training and qualifications. Learn how to measure sickness absence, the main components of an absence policy, and how to address short- and long-term absence in an organisation. OH professionals are ideally placed to support organisations during the COVID-19 pandemic by making quick risk assessments to help identify an organisation’s needs to ensure ongoing workplace health and safety. Advising employers on preventing or minimising exposure of workers to hazardous agents – such as noxious chemicals or excessive noise. There are both legal and ethical issues on maintaining the of employee health confidentiality information. Occupational Health Staffing are looking to recruit an Occupational Health Advisor to work in Crewe, Cheshire on a temporary basis 3 days/week Not Fridays (From 08.00am - 4.00pm with 30 mins for lunch). An Occupational Health referral is recommended as early as possible, if you have concerns about an employees health and the impact it is having on their ability to undertake their role. Where consent is denied for something that may, for example, affect the employee’s safe operation of machinery, the OH professional may simply have to tell the employer that the employee is unfit for work. This can help the employer understand what their employee needs to: The employee does not have to agree to an occupational health assessment, but it’s a good idea as it can help them: It’s a good idea to check if your workplace has an occupational health policy. Who provides occupational health services? Occupational health is a type of medical service for: It can be used for both physical and mental health. Anyone undergoing an OH assessment should be clear about its purpose and what will be reported, for example to the employer or pension scheme. It is important an employee understands what to expect from an Occupational Health referral. Occupational Health is the promotion and maintenance of the highest degree of physical, mental and social well-being of workers in all occupations by preventing departures from health, controlling risks and the adaptation of work to people, and people to their jobs. There should be no 'surprises’. Occupational Health focuses on the impact of health on work and work on health. Occupational health is concerned with the interaction of health and work recognising that work can affect health and vice versa. Occupational health is a type of medical service for: supporting employees and employers helping wellbeing in the workplace It can be used for both physical and mental health. Assessing fitness to work regarding ill-health capability dismissal or ill-health retirement. Our dedicated assessment and sensory integration therapy centre is the first and only one of it's kind in Sussex. The Occupational Health Physician is a doctor who has a specialist qualification and is a member of the Royal College of Physicians. However, if the employee refuses consent, then the employer or manager is entitled to make a management decision without it, which could, of course, be to the detriment of the individual. Any formal referrals by a manager of an employee to OH should be made with the individual’s informed consent with open and full disclosure of the reason. Precision Health & Fitness has been created to give its clients an unparalleled experience. However, there might be occasions where the OH doctor or nurse needs to liaise with an employee’s GP on issues relating to fitness for work. An employer or manager will sometimes request OH to assess an employee’s fitness for work and produce a report. There are occasions where OH or HR require a medical report from an employee’s GP or treating physician (such as a consultant psychiatrist or orthopaedic surgeon). However, it’s generally considered good practice that a third-party organisation is contracted if the employer introduces drug and alcohol testing to minimise the potential impact of loss of trust. However, OH reports are covered by similar duties of confidentiality and consent under professional codes of practice and data protection law with associated guidance from the Information Commissioner. Occupational health (OH) is the promotion and maintenance of the physical, mental and social health and wellbeing of workers in all occupations by ensuring that the highest standards of health and safety are achieved, controlling risks, preventing work-related ill health and providing specialist rehabilitation advice. Carrying out specific assessments to determine fitness for work in safety-critical environments – such as transport, food safety and clinical healthcare. Helping compliance with other health and safety regulations, including duties to report occupational injuries and diseases under. Performing statutory health surveillance where this is required by law, such as when workers may be exposed to hazardous substances, noise or vibration. MSc. What is occupational health? Occupational safety and health (OSH), also commonly referred to as occupational health and safety (OHS), occupational health, or occupational safety, is a multidisciplinary field concerned with the safety, health, and welfare of people at occupation. Occupational health services will help keep your employees healthy and safe whilst in work and manage any risks in the workplace that are likely to give rise to work-related ill health. But to ensure high-quality OH provision that meets appropriate professional standards employers can look for services accredited with the SEQOHS (Safe, Effective, Quality Occupational Health Service) scheme. Occupational Health The Occupational Health Service at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) provide expert knowledge, advice and support to managers on an employee’s health or other problems that affect them whilst at work. The AMR applies where the doctor is responsible for the ‘clinical care’ of the worker, so doesn’t normally apply to reports written by OH. The role will involve: Health surveillance, Face fit testing, Case management, Parking Available. It encourages safe working practices, analyses ergonomics, monitors employee health, and helps the management of sickness absence. Developing a healthy workplace culture and adopting a systematic approach to OH will contribute to an organisation’s success. At Heales Medical, we go far beyond the traditional Occupational Health role of helping clients with workplace health issues and meeting their statutory responsibilities We believe that a properly planned and managed Occupational Health strategy is an investment that can revitalise and re-energise your main asset - your work force! Our returning to the workplace guide, and toolkit produced jointly with the Society of Occupational Medicine, Mind, Acas, Business in the Community, are to help employers manage this phase. Only large organisations are likely to employ their own in-house OH professionals. Occupational health seeks to promote and maintain the health and wellbeing of employees, with the aim of ensuring a positive relationship between an employee's work and health. SOM membership demonstrates a commitment to improving health at work, enhancing our members’ reputation and employability. What is occupational health and what are its benefits? Others may employ one or more full-time OH nurses, possibly supported by a part-time occupational physician carrying out medicals and other assessments. Occupational health in the time of coronavirus. FOM. This factsheet outlines the role of occupational health services and the professional groups providing specialist services, from doctors and nurses to physiotherapists and psychologists. We are also a recognised training centre for Occupational Health Nurses, linking with major Universities across Scotland. Of course, this is the role of OH services to support employees in remaining at work or returning to work earlier – and thus contributing to the employees’ physical and psychological wellbeing. 1079797. Using a ‘biopsychosocial’ approach to recovery from sickness to help recognise the psychological, social and work issues that can act as barriers or facilitators to returning to work. The occupational health adviser carries out an assessment of the employee and reports back to the employer. The exception to this is by court order or ‘disclosure in the public interest’ where the individual has refused consent to disclose information and there’s a genuine risk to the safety of others. Introducing programmes to support the wider health and wellbeing of the workforce. The occupational health adviser might ask the employee about: Sometimes the occupational health adviser might need to get more information from the employee’s doctor. Those in healthy and safe work (the majority) will live much longer than those out of work. Coronavirus (COVID-19): latest advice for employers and employees. Many commercial OH providers will be qualified to undertake such assessments if there is no in-house resource, and the work can readily be outsourced to them. The two most visible are OH doctors and nurses, who should have specialist qualifications in either occupational medicine or OH nursing. The NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Occupational Health Service provides specialist advice to support you at work on all matters relating to your health & wellbeing. We provide a full range of competitively priced travel vaccines and consumables. Occupational Health. Managers should be aware that any conversations they have with OH might be noted in the OH records. Organisational development and design roles, Getting, developing and keeping the right people, HR-inform: practical HR and employment law resources, Building the best HR teams around the world, Championing better work and working lives, our stance on employee health and well-being, SEQOHS (Safe, Effective, Quality Occupational Health Service) scheme, associated guidance from the Information Commissioner, questions concerning the health of job applicants, Discrimination law and occupational health practice, Majority of UK workers don’t have access to occupational health. Under the Equality Act, questions concerning the health of job applicants should not be asked until a job offer is made which could depend on successful health clearance. Occupational health is often known as OHS. Undertaking ‘stress audits’ and advising employers on measures to control risks to mental health, such as excessive pressure at work, bullying and harassment. Occupational Health The University has a duty to care for staff health and safety at work and recognises that having a healthy workforce enables it to achieve its overall objectives. The OH service will, however, be able to advise on the legitimacy and practicalities of drug or alcohol testing, the development of policy and on contacting respected third-party testing firms. Members are part of a multidisciplinary community – including doctors, technicians, nurses, health specialists and other professionals - with access to the information, expertise and learning needed to keep at the forefront of their role. Both in-house and commercial services can be accredited. Occupational health services are there to support people in the workplace, to help to ensure that workplaces are safe and healthy and to address health problems when they arise. It’s inappropriate for managers to have ‘off the record’ discussions about an employee’s health and it’s not the role of OH to find a spurious health reason for a dismissal when the issue should be dealt with by management. An employee will always need to agree to their GP providing information to OH (see below). A more extensive health questionnaire (or even medical examination) should in general only be needed where there are specific health requirements – such as safety-critical work, healthcare and food preparation. Only relevant information should be requested (not the whole GP/medical record) and again the employee must consent. KLOSS, D. and BALLARD, J. Smaller organisations might not have an occupational health policy or scheme. Providing confidential health advice and counselling to employees. There’s more on how employers should be dealing with the crisis in our Responding to the coronavirus hub. Others include OH physiotherapists, occupational psychologists, occupational hygienists, ergonomists and OH technicians. Forward-thinking organisations recognise that managing their people is just as important as controlling financial and capital resources. This factsheet was written by Dr John Ballard FFOM (Hon), editor of the journal Occupational Health [at Work] and last revised by the Society of Occupational Medicine. Advising on temporary or permanent changes to the work or workplace (‘reasonable adjustments’) to enable someone with a physical or mental health condition or disability to work effectively and safely. back to: home | health & medical | medical. If there is any conflicting advice, they should talk with their employee and come to an agreement on the best course of action. Occupational Health Team. With the focus now on returning to the work, there’s a danger that organisations may either not provide adequately for the health and wellbeing of their staff and risk potential prosecution, or adopt inappropriate or unreliable measures to help employees back to work safely. OH providers can be found via the Society of Occupational Medicine, the NHS Trusts who provide external OH services or via SEQOHS (Safe, Effective, Quality Occupational Health Service). SOM membership demonstrates a commitment to improving health at work, enhancing our members’ reputation and employability. For more on issues related to OH, see our factsheets on health and safety at work, absence measurement and management, wellbeing, mental health and stress. Occupational health With sickness absence costing as much as £522 per employee, it’s widely accepted that a healthy workforce is critical to the success of any organisation — (CIPD, 2016) The Health Management Advantage We offer a confidence in delivering a quality service underpinned by robust, certified systems. If an employee is unhappy with how occupational health has been used, they should raise the issue with their employer. Having access to specialist occupational health practitioners is key to unlocking the benefits for employees and organisations. It may often be in the best interests of the individual for information to be disclosed, for example, to be able to make a ‘reasonable adjustment’ to help overcome the occupational effects of a disability, but their consent is crucial. Tel: 01983 534209. The occupational health adviser will check with the employee first that they can show their report to the employer. It’s inappropriate for HR, health and safety and line managers to have access to employee health records, and information about an employee’s health should only be disclosed to them with the individual’s express and informed consent. This could be through their company’s own occupational health service or an outside agency. Generally, OH doctors and nurses do not ‘treat’ patients – an exception being immunisation of healthcare workers – and do not duplicate the work of general practitioners (GPs). The health assessment should be fit for purpose and only ask for information relevant to the job. Non-healthcare managers (including health and safety practitioners) should not be involved in the interpretation or even the initial screening of pre-employment health assessments. Assessing where a person’s work has affected their health and what action should be taken both to support the individual and prevent recurrence in other workers. It stresses that confidentiality and consent are central to the relationship between occupational health professionals and employees, and it's essential that employers uphold the legal and ethical guidelines surrounding that confidentiality. The aim of occupational health is to prevent work-related illness and injury by: Occupational Health Consultancy improving health and wellbeing in your workplace. Undertaking and interpreting pre-employment or pre-placement health assessments (see below). Jigsaw Occupational Therapy Limited is a specialist provider for children and young people living in the South East of England. Did you get the information you need from this page? Whether the employee gets paid for attending occupational health appointments is down to your workplace policy, so it’s a good idea to check. Occupational health focuses on both the mental and physical wellbeing of employees in a workplace. This factsheet outlines the role of occupational health services and the professional groups providing … It is intended as a resource to be used directly by HR practitioners or to be used by occupational health advisors to help explain their role to HR or line managers. The reason is that before the legislation came into force, an employer could ask any number of questions which might reveal an applicant’s health condition or disability and could (consciously or unconsciously) make a decision not to shortlist the individual based on stereotypical assumptions before the individual had been given the opportunity to demonstrate their capability to do the job. The first and most important element is the effect of work on employees’ health and the health of others. Members and People Management subscribers can see articles on the People Management website. OH encompasses a range of professions from different disciplines. Occupational Health Nurse - Full Time - NHS Band 6 - Portsmouth An opportunity has risen for an OH qualified nurse to join a multi-disciplinary team within an Occupational Health Safety and Wellbeing service, based in Portsmouth. An occupational health assessment is a useful addition to a doctor’s medical report because it’s more focused on: The employer should consider the recommendations of both the occupational health and doctor’s reports. Those with no existing services can easily establish an affordable ad hoc service or may judge that now is the time to establish an ongoing service. In this case, the employer should take the advice of both the employee and the employee's doctor. Occupational Health and Safety Management. Having access to specialist occupational health practitioners is key to unlocking the benefits for employees and organisations. Treatments recommended by an OH service to help absent employees return to work are free from income tax or national insurance up to an annual cap of £500 per employee. Association of Occupational Health Nurse Practitioners (UK), Commercial Occupational Health Providers Association, Royal College of Surgeons (advice on returning to work after surgery). The range of OH services an organisation decides to offer will depend on the nature of their business, but can include: OH professionals may also advise employers on issues such as employees' alcohol and drug misuse, signposting individuals for external support in dealing with addiction, and offering confidential advice. Some examples of things you might work on include: 1. helping someone adapt to life after major surgery 2. helping people suffering from mental illness get back into everyday activities such as work or volunteering 3. helping elderly people stay in their own homes by providing adaptations such as level access showers or stair lifts Variety is one of the most exciting things about being an occupationa… Fully qualified professionals provide their expertise to ensure any aches, pains or conditions you may have are dealt with as quickly and safely as possible. Organisations with existing OH services may need to extend them to help make additional assessments to decide if employees should remain away from the workplace, what adjustments may be required and how they could return to workplace safely. Through its collective voice, SOM advances knowledge, raises standards and increases awareness to influence the future of occupational health. If individuals move from work to worklessness, their risk of mortality rises and if they move back into work, it falls. CIPD members can use our online journals to find articles from over 300 journal titles relevant to HR. NHS Highland Occupational Health and Wellbeing Service is recognised for Occupational Medicine training by the Faculty of Occupational Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians (FOM). Occupational health seeks to promote and maintain the health and wellbeing of employees, with the aim of ensuring a positive relationship between an employee's work and health. As the Faculty of Occupational Medicine advises: ‘The most transparent method of avoiding surprises is to explain the content of the report during a consultation and to offer to show the worker a copy before sending it to the recipient’. address any problems that could cause further health or absence issues, when an occupational health referral or assessment can be made, what both the employer and employee need to do, any concerns they have about returning to work, how the job might affect the employee’s health, a referral for an appropriate course of therapy, for example physiotherapy or counselling. The evidence review of Waddell and Burton has conﬁrmed that being in work is generally better for health and wellbeing than being out of work. Occupational health is a specialist branch of medicine that focuses on the physical and mental wellbeing of employees in the workplace. Our members benefit from career development opportunities alongside practical, day-to-day support and guidance, through local and national networks that are open to all. Explore our stance on employee health and well-being in more detail, along with actions for Government and recommendations for employers. For example, evidence suggests that there is a link between stock market price growth and having a great employee wellbeing programme. Please do not include any personal details, for example email address or phone number. Others will engage the services of a provider as and when needed. When an employee is off sick for a long time or is returning from sickness absence, their employer might want to get occupational health advice. Research shows that good health is good for business and better workplaces have better financial results. (eds) (2012) Discrimination law and occupational health practice. 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