Occupational health practitioners play a key role in supporting the effective management of health issues within the workplace. As occupational health professionals, we are concerned with the work-related impacts of an employee’s health, both in terms of how work or the workplace might impact on the employee, as well as how the employees’ health may impact on their work.
It is not the purpose of occupational health to provide diagnosis or treatment, but to provide support to employees, to interpret medical information and to present it to managers in a useful way that allows them to consider work-related issues, such as timescales of absences or adjustments, which may be made to support employees in their place of work. An independent occupational health assessment (also known as a management referral or sickness absence referral) is a work focused and objective evaluation that an employee undergoes with a qualified and experienced occupational health clinician to assess and document specific health concerns, issues, and future goals/management.
An employee’s General Practitioner (GP), whilst understanding the health issues and their patient, may not understand the work processes or the hazards present in their workplace. Occupational health clinicians are all are governed by the same moral, professional, and ethical codes of conduct to which all medical and nursing professionals must adhere. Therefore, the assessments are confidential, independent, and objective in nature.
Occupational health can provide advice across a range of areas, including, but not limited to: