Book review: Fitness for Work – The Medical Aspects

Edited by: K T Palmer, RAF Cox and I Brown, Faculty of Occupational Medicine
Publisher: Oxford University
Price: £45.00 (paperback)
£89.50 (hardback)
ISBN: 9780198568223

This book focuses on fitness for work issues, addressing the effects of a comprehensive range of medical conditions on employment and capacity for work.

The reader will find practical guidance on the employment potential and assessment of anyone with an illness or disability, continuing in the tradition of earlier editions of this book. Each chapter covers a medical system, and an occupational physician writes in context with a clinical specialist in the field.

There are some new chapters in this edition, notably ‘Ill Health Retirement’ and ‘Health Screening’. Also new are the appendices addressing hand-arm vibration syndrome and returning to work after intensive care treatment.

Each chapter is self-contained and can be read individually. For the jobbing OH specialist practitioner, this is an up-to-date, evidence-based and well researched ‘one-stop shop’, which can be used equally well to clarify a medical point or to thumb through when seeking confirmation of practice standards, or as a signpost leading to further enquiry.

There is more discussion in this edition of the ethical and legal aspects of ill health at work and, where available, the evidence base and guidelines behind the findings. It also reflects on the recent government focus on a more holistic approach to health issues in employment, including initiatives encouraging people to return to work and stay at work.

This edition of the book also includes more diagrams, graphs and supporting text. These set out the important elements the writer wishes to emphasise, providing easy access to a wealth of useful guidance, codes of practice, and ‘best practice’ standards.

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