Occupational Health: Core Areas of Knowledge and Competence, Part 2

OHA’s can contribute by assisting managers to manage sickness absence more effectively. The nurse may be engaged in helping to educate line managers and superiors in the way to best use the ALSO service, in how to refer staff, what type of information will be expected, what to expect from occupational health. By growing transparent referral procedures, making sure that medical confidentiality is maintained and that the workers’ rights are honored the OHA can do much to ensure that employees referred for examination due to sickness lack are comfortable with the process. https://www.globalarabs.com/

OH nurses, with their close relationship with workers, knowledge of the working environment and developments in ill-health in the company are often in a good position to advise management on stopping sickness absence. In my experience referral to Basic Practitioners have a limited use for work related issues, and gain best results by as well as keeping the DOCTOR aware, referring to a specialist occupational physician. 

Organized rehabilitation strategies, can help to ensure safe go back to work for employees who have been absent from work due to ill-health or injury. The health care worker is often the key person in the therapy programme who will, with the manager and specific employee, complete a risk assessment, devise the rehab programme, monitor progress and communicate with the consumer, the OH physician and the line manager. Nurses have become involved in bringing out proactive rehabilitation strategies that try to find early changes in health before such conditions bring about absence from work. Improving and preserving working ability benefits many groups, the person, the business and society, as costly absence and other health care costs are averted.

In many cases the OH nurse has to work within the business as the clients advocate in order ensuring that operators appreciate fully the value of increasing the fitness of the workforce. OH nurses have the skills necessary to undertake this work and may develop areas of special interest.

The work-related health nurse may develop pro-active strategies to ensure that the workforce maintain or restore their work ability. New workers, old workers, women returning to work following pregnancy or personnel who have recently been unemployed for a long term time frame may all profit from health advice or a planned programme of work hardening exercises to help maintain or bring back their work ability even before any health problems arise. Increasingly the issues confronted by industry are of a psychosocial nature and these can be even more advanced and costly to deal with. OH nursing staff, working at the company level, are in a good position to offer advice to management on strategies that can be followed to increase the psycho-social health and wellbeing of staff.

Health and safety

The OHA can have a role to try out in growing health and safety strategies. Where large, or high risk, organizations have their own in-house health and safety specialists the OHA can work closely with these specialists to ensure that the nurses experience in health, risk evaluation, health surveillance and environmental health management is totally utilized into the health insurance and safety strategy. Occupational health nurses are trained in health insurance and safety legislation, risk management and the control of workplace health risks and can therefore call and make an useful contributions to the entire management of health and safety at work, with particular concentrate on ‘health’ risk examination.

Hazard identification

The health care worker often has close contact with the staff and is aware of becomes the working environment. Mainly because of the nurses experience in the effects of work with health they are in a good position to be engaged in hazard identification. Hazards may arise due to new processes or working procedures or may arise away of informal becomes existing processes and working methods that the nurse can readily identify and examine the likely risk from. This activity requires and pre-supposed regular and recurrent work place visits by the occupational health doctor to maintain an up to date knowledge and awareness of working procedures and practices.