Occupational Health: News in brief

Healthier staff canteens


UK contract caterers are making “significant progress” in improving the healthiness of food in workplace canteens, the foods watchdog The Food Standards Agency has said. An audit of 12 contract caterers and two food service providers found that millions more workers now had greater access to healthier options every day.


Shorter absences avoid longer-term sick leave


Repeatedly going in to work when ill significantly boosts the chances of having to take long-term sick leave later on, research in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health has suggested. The study of 12,000 Danes found that short periods off sick might allow workers to cope better with the stresses of a demanding job.


COHPA conference day


The Commercial Occupational Health Providers’ Association (COHPA) will be holding its annual conference on Thursday 17 September at the offices of Atos Healthcare in London. The members-only conference will include an update on the government’s plans for electronic fit notes and a Fit for Work Service. More details can be found on the website.


New director of quality appointed for NHS Plus


NHS Plus has appointed a new director of quality. Consultant occupational physician Charlie Vivian will lead the development of a quality and governance model for NHS occupational health departments, NHS Plus said. He joins from the NHS in Gloucestershire, and up to 2007 he was director of clinical governance at Adastral Health.


Miners able to claim for osteoarthritis


Thousands of miners suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee will be able to claim help from the government, the Department for Work and Pensions has said. Osteoarthritis of the knee will be added to its list of “prescribed diseases”, meaning sufferers will be able to apply for state compensation through the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.

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