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OH Service - What is Occupational Health? Legal Aspects Occupational Health function and outcomes Where to go for further information. Introduction

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Presentation Transcript
slide1

OH Service - What is Occupational Health?

Legal Aspects

Occupational Health function and outcomes

Where to go for further information

slide2

Introduction

With rising costs of sickness absence, increasing costs of stress-related illness and litigation and economic pressures of recruitment and retention, the health of individuals at work is vital to the well-being of both employees and organisations.

slide3

What is Occupational Health?

    • Occupational Health looks at the influences of health on work performance and of work practices on health.
  • Across the board OH support defined as encompassing:
    • -hazard definition
    • -risk management
    • -provision of information
    • -modifying work activities
    • -providing training on OH related issues
    • -measuring work-place hazards
    • -monitoring trends in health
slide4

Legal Aspects

  • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974:
        • · sets out employers duties to employees and public
        • · outlines employees duties whilst at work
  • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
        • · clarify employer’s role in managing health and safety under 1974 Act
slide5

OH can improve employee welfare in the following areas

· DDA 

· Pre-Employment Assessment 

· Health Surveillance

· Workplace Visits

· Stress Management and Counselling 

· Health and Safety Training

· Health Promotion

· Sickness Absence Monitoring 

slide6

Disability Discrimination Act 1995

-Requires employer not to treat employees/prospective employees who are disabled less favourably than those not disabled

-Definition of a person with a disability:

“ Someone who has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on his ability to carry out normal day to day activities”

slide7

Disability Discrimination Act

  • -Recognising the disability- clinically recognised illness.
  • -Reasonable adjustment- work content/work pattern/work equipment
  • -Legislation on age discrimination 2006
  • ·Most litigation based on “no reasonable adjustment”
  • ·Many workers over 50 years may have some form of disability as covered by DDA
slide8

Pre-Employment Assessment;

  • · Type/level dependant on prospective employees’ occupation
  • · Confidential health questionnaire and follow-up medical report if necessary.
  • · Specific tests may be necessary
  • · Identify health problems that could affect ability to do job
  • · Ensure work is suitable for applicant
          • - possible restrictions
  • - adjustments under DDA
slide9

Possible Pre-Employment outcomes;

· Fit for job

· Current health issues may affect attendance in short term

· Fit for job but health issues may need above average sick leave

· Job could adversely affect applicant’s health

· Applicant could be a risk to Health and Safety of self/others

slide10

Stress Management

Stress may be defined as:

“Imbalance between demands made on an individual and the individual’s perceived ability to cope”

slide11

Work-Related Stress;

- Culture

- Demands of job

- Control

- Role

- Relationships

- Change

- Support

Legal aspects

- “Foreseeability”

- Breach of Duty of Care unlikely if confidential advice offered

slide12

Stress- what Does it Cost Us?

      • - 1 in 5 people in UK suffer from high levels of work- related stress
      • - 13.4 million days lost
      • - Half a million UK workers affected
      • - Costs of stress-related absence £7 billion or £310 per employee
      • - Average spend per employee on prevention £25
      • - 1992-1997 stress claims increased by 90%. Costs increasing
      • - largest growth area for sickness absence- often long term 6-12 months plus
slide13

Occupational Health involvement

-risk assessment of jobs by manager and OH

- counselling

- selection of/provision of EAP’s

- sickness absence management

- phased return/work adjustments

slide14

Sickness Absence Management

How Big a Problem? CBI Survey 2002 “Counting the Cost”

- 40 million working days lost due to illness/injury

- 23 average days lost due to illness/injury 2001-2002 (14 days 1995)

- Costs £12 billion annually (£434 per employee)- includes salary, NIC, pension, bonus, temp staff, management time.

- 70% costs due to long-term sickness

slide15

Managing Short Term Absence

  • CBI Report “Pulling it All Together” 2001
  • Showed what works is:
  • -training line managers
  • -return to work interviews by MANAGER (OH referral if necessary)
  • -accurate monitoring by MANAGERS
  • -written absence policy
  • -absence trigger points e.g. 4 spells in 12 months or 2 spells in 3 months
      • MANAGER IS RESPONSIBLE
      • -advice from/referral to Occupational Health as required
slide16

Managing Long term Absence

  • - discover true medical position
      • -consent form
      • -OH referral
      • - GP/Consultant report
  • - early intervention/contact e.g. if Med. 3 received for 4 weeks
  • - regular contact by manager
  • - consult with employee with report (OH/Manager)
  • - phased return
  • - change of work patterns/job content/temp alternative work
  • - permanent alternative work (DDA)
slide17

Occupational Health Intervention

  • Has benefits for both employees and companies.
  • By protecting and promoting health of individuals at work, companies will;
      • - Keep motivated healthy staff
      • - Reduce costs of absence and under-productivity
      • - Comply with legislative requirements and reduce the potential for litigation