This week’s news

Vibration syndrome

The management of hand-arm vibration syndrome in the workplace was the
subject of a presentation by Fiona Middleton, senior occupational health nurse
at Mitsui Babcock Energy. She described the history and presentation of the
condition and explained how it was managed by her own department at Mitsui
Babcock Energy.

Call centre stress

Stress in the call centre environment was the topic discussed by Sally
Davies, an occupational health adviser at Standard Life, who described the
initiatives being taken to reduce the levels of stress-related illness in
Standard Life’s customer call centres. Measures taken range from the provision
of alternative therapies to training in stress reduction techniques and the use
of ergonomic principles in the design and layout of offices.

Privacy rights

The Human Rights Act covers rights broad enough to cover every aspect of
public and private life, said employment lawyer at Scottish and Newcastle Toni
McAlindon. Privacy rights are likely to be of particular concern in the workplace,
especially with regard to areas such as blood and urine testing.

OH in Spain

Occupational health services in Spain were studied by Fiona Begbie, a
lecturer at the Robert Gordon University who won the Mair Scholarship 2000. The
role of the occupational health nurse in Spain and the provision of
occupational health services there threw up some interesting similarities to
and differences from the British model, she found.


The TUC is committed to action on rehabilitation, according to David
Bleiman, President of the Scottish Trades Union Congress, who spoke at the
conference. This should be achieved partly through extending the legal duties
on employers and partly by a social partnership approach, involving all the
relevant stakeholders.

Heart of the Borders

A multi-disciplinary approach to addressing coronary heart disease in the
Borders region of Scotland, was the theme of a presentation by David Dalgliesh,
pharmacy adviser at the Borders Primary Care NHS Trust. The scheme, Hearts in
the Borders is aimed at training all health professionals to make a difference
to the health of the Borders population, with an emphasis on lifestyle

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