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.
Our occupational health consultants provide independent, impartial advice and support to employers and employees on the effects of work on health and the effects of health on work. Employers need to ensure their employees a have a safe and healthy work environment. Employees need to be fit for work and healthy at work.
As part of a multidisciplinary team our OH consultants work alongside a range of associated healthcare professionals including nurses, ergonomists, hygienists, occupational health advisors, physiotherapists, psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists to deliver high quality occupational health services.
Occupational services we offer:
General occupational health
The general occupational services we offer to companies and employees are wide and varied. Some include:
- occupational health assessments such as fitness assessment referrals, work health assessments, pre- and post-deployment medicals
- programmes for all areas of health surveillance and screening as required under COSHH and other Health and Safety legislation
- absence management support
- occupational health psychology services including cognitive behavioural therapy for staff experiencing emotional difficulties such as stress, depression, anxiety, panic and post-traumatic stress disorder, related to work, personal situations or both
- occupational health physiotherapy services to treat a wide variety of musculoskeletal disorders including muscle, nerve, joint and ligament complaints resulting from or impacting on your work
- health promotions including immunisation programmes and back care awareness.
Sickness absence and ill health retirement
Occupational health helps employers to reduce sickness absence and increase productivity. Occupational health consultants are a useful and knowledgeable resource for sickness absence management and provide advice about employees’ fitness for work and support in the workplace to manage their sickness absence levels. Our occupational health team will assess staff members’ conditions in conjunction with their working environment.
Individuals may self-refer to our occupational health service to explore what support might be available and to access fast track services such as physiotherapy or counselling if required.
Occupational health may also be involved in the eligibility of ill health retirement and the formulation and submission of applications for the appropriate pension scheme for individuals with conditions that will prevent them from returning to work.
Fitness and suitability for work
Our occupational health consultants are able to offer an assessment of the work area in conjunction with an employee’s fitness to work. They will conduct fitness to work health assessments and provide advice on an employee’s suitability to work and also the appropriateness of the work area for the job that is required. The aim is to protect both the employee and employer.
Musculoskeletal overuse injuries
Musculoskeletal disorders affect the soft tissue of your body, such as the muscles, the tendons that connect muscles to bones, ligaments that connect bone to bone, nerves and blood vessels. They are considered work related if they are caused by or aggravated by work practices. Work activities which are frequent, repetitive or which involve sustained or awkward postures can contribute to these problems.
Work related musculoskeletal disorders commonly affect areas such as the back, neck, arms and hands. They are often referred to as repetitive strain injury (RSI), cumulative trauma disorders and occupational overuse syndrome. They include: Carpal tunnel syndrome (the compression of the median nerve in the wrist), epicondylitis (swelling of the tendon at the elbow), rotator cuff syndrome (swelling and tearing of the tendons around the shoulder), sciatic pain (pain radiating from the lower back to below the knee) and RSI (often associated with computer keyboard work).
Common treatment strategies include the use of manual therapy such as physiotherapy and exercise to alleviate your problem and postural training and exercise to optimise your muscle balance, posture and working practices.
Asbestos worker review
Asbestos is a naturally occurring toxic mineral and exposure to it can result in the development of serious illnesses such as malignant mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis.
Every employer must make sure that anyone who is liable to disturb asbestos during their normal work or who supervises those employees, gets the correct level of information, instruction and training so that they can work safely and competently without risk to themselves or others.
Our occupational health service offers support to companies through this process as well as being involved in asbestos worker medicals.
Hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS)
Hand arm vibration syndrome is caused by repeated and frequent use of handheld vibrating tools such as chainsaws, pneumatic and power drills. It can lead to permanent numbness and / or tingling of fingers, muscle weakness and in some cases, bouts of white finger.
Our occupational health team offer health surveillance and assessments to diagnose HAVS and preventative measures to protect workers and to help to prevent disease progression with the aim of keeping employees in work.