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The Role of the Health and Safety Practitioner in Workplace Health and Wellbeing. Professor Neil Budworth Corporate Health and Safety Manager E.ON UK. Stand up Bingo – (Or the Derren Brown Test). Predictions. Between a 1/3 and 1/2 will sit down on the back pain question

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The Role of the Health and Safety Practitioner in Workplace Health and Wellbeing


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    1. The Role of the Health and Safety Practitioner in Workplace Health and Wellbeing Professor Neil Budworth Corporate Health and Safety Manager E.ON UK

    2. Stand up Bingo – (Or the Derren Brown Test)

    3. Predictions • Between a 1/3 and 1/2 will sit down on the back pain question • Of the remainder about 1/2 will sit down on the stress question • Of the remainder 90% will say that hey work for organisations with more than 100 people and I will have less than 10 people standing • Everyone will think that OH is under resourced

    4. Predictions - Round 2 • 60 -70 % will have access to OH services (majority large organisations) • Of the remainder about 80 % will think that Safety Professionals have a greater role to play in supporting health • All bar 1 or 2 people will think greater access to Physio would help • Everyone will think that OH is under resourced

    5. The current problem • What’s happening to address it • What does this mean to us ? • The role we can play and what is happening now

    6. £ 864 Million

    7. The Cost to the UK of Health Related Worklessness £ 100 Billion

    8. Every week - Forever

    9. Cost – To the UK • 2 Million people suffer from work related ill health • 2.65 Million people claim incapacity benefit • 40 Million working days lost each year 600,000 People start to claim incapacity benefit every year half of these come from employment

    10. Why this Growth ?

    11. The Current Problem– Occupational Health Resources • There are :- • 1,500 Occupational Physicians • 2,195 Members of the Society of Occupational Health Nurses BUT 35,000 members of IOSH 100,000 NEBOSH Certificate holders

    12. The Current Problem– The Role of the GP • Average appointment time 7 minutes • Available options – Sick note or no sick note • Knowledge of the working environment / activity • Ability to access suitable therapies Recorded Reasons for Absence - None - TaTT

    13. Musculo Skeletal Disorders • Back pain affects all industries, not just a few high-risk sectors. • In 2003/04 an estimated 4.9 million working days (full day equivalent) were lost due to back pain caused or made worse by work. • There are in the region of 330 000 claiming Incapacity Benefit due to MSDs • Mental Health: • Approximately one third of working days lost due to work related ill-health or injury are due to stress, depression or anxiety. • 40% of the overall Incapacity Benefit caseload is due to mental health– an increase of 12 % since 1997

    14. These problems are not medically ‘severe’ • Most of us experience at least one of them at times • Usually there is no serious disease or lasting harm • Most episodes settle quickly, even if symptoms may recur • Most people with these problems could remain at work or soon return Why then do so many people become long-term disabled?

    15. There is no good medical explanation • Often something has gone badly wrong with the way they’re handled • The longer people are off work, the less likely they are to get back, ever

    16. Fact or Fiction • A simple bruise could cripple you for life FACT • Non specific back pain is in effect bruising around your spine. If you rest too long and avoid activity in case it causes more damage your back will get weaker and become more likely to get hurt which causes you to rest more etc etc.

    17. No Early Intervention - EG Back Pain • no expert advice in the workplace • no access to OH professionals • no quick therapy options • no rapid referral options • no access to rehabilitation Varied understanding of “health and work”

    18. Chances of Return to Work Following Long Term Absence At 3 Months 75- 90 % At 6 Months 50 -60 % At 9 Months 25 – 30 % Over 1 year < 10% After 2 years the individual is more likely to retire or die than return to work

    19. What is Being Done About the Problem ? • Dame Carol Black’s Review • The Government Response

    20. The Black report • Supporting the health of working age people requires the co-ordination and integration of a range of professional disciplines • A new Fitness for Work pilot scheme drawing on the biopsychosocial model, to provide OH support under the NHS banner, should be considered • Services which range from physiotherapy to counselling on matters such as debt and personal relationships should be included • The business case for wellness programmes in the UK needs developing • Demographic, societal and economic factors increasingly underpin wellness programmes in many leading UK employers

    21. The Government Response • Creating new perspectives on health and work • Electronic ‘fit note’ • A National Education Programme for GPs • Health, Work and Wellbeing Co-ordinators • National Centre for Working-Age Health and Well-being • Improving work and workplaces • The Business HealthCheck tool • National Strategy for Mental Health and Employment • Further NHS Plus development • Occupational health helpline for smaller businesses • A challenge fund • A review of the health and well-being of the NHS workforce • Supporting people to work • Piloting early intervention services • Access to Work

    22. We Need to Change the Way We Think !

    23. What Are Your Views of Occupational Health ? WRONG !

    24. More Likely - This

    25. What Are Your Views of Health and Safety?

    26. From • Manufacturing • Machinery • Inspections • PPE • Clipboards • Policemen • Men • To • Graduates • All workplaces • Facilitators • Key performance indicators • Management systems • Cars • Non traditional risks – stress • Research / Evidence led • Health and Safety Directors

    27. The role we can play and what is happening now

    28. An Aunt Sally - Consider Back Pain ? Frequency of Contact • Safety Professionals • Daily / Weekly • Occupational Health Nurses • Monthly / Yearly • Occupational Physicians • When required Long Term Chronic Complex Case Easy Simple fix Complexity of problem

    29. Where do we fit in ? – What is our Role ? Frequency of Contact • Safety Professionals • Daily / Weekly • Occupational Health Nurses • Monthly / Yearly • Occupational Physicians • When required Complex Chronic Cases, Very specialist medical support required More complex Cases, specialist Support / Case Management Early Identification Simple fix Rapid referral Long Term Chronic Complex Case Complexity of problem

    30. Our Role Depends on Two Things Where we are in the process What support there is in place

    31. Our Role - Prevention CARE4S • Communication • Assessment • Engagement • Education • Evaluation • Early action • Referral • Support

    32. Our Role – During Absence AIR • Advocate • Communication channel • Chase modifications • Make case for recommendations • Keep cases on the agenda • Investigate • Review

    33. Our Role - Rehabiliatation LARKS • Liaison • Adaptations • Risk assessment • Keeping the issue on the agenda • Support – for management team

    34. How is IOSH Supporting this Role ? • The IOSH DWP Pilot Course • The OH Toolkit

    35. Occupational Health Toolkit • Bringing best practice together in one place • Responding to government agenda • Helping us to play our part

    36. Summary • There is an epidemic of work related ill health • Dominated by Musculoskeletal disorders and mild to moderate mental health issues • Massive cost both to individuals and to the UK • Early informed intervention is critical to stopping this epidemic • Safety and Health practitioners are ideally placed to make a difference • Pilot work is underway with IOSH and DWP to see what we can do • We have to embrace change and do things differently

    37. Thank you – Questions ?

    38. Frequently Asked Questions • Why should we do this ? - We’ve got enough on our plate ! • We are not medical professionals what can we add ? • What do our OH colleagues think of this ?