This month’s news

HIV education

Standard Chartered bank has won a
European award for its employee HIV education programme. It won recognition
from the European Aids and Enterprise Network in its inaugural awards for good
practice in addressing HIV. Other winners included Lego of Denmark; IBM France
and BEHF of Austria.

MOT service

Independent OH specialist Cheviot
Artus has launched an occupational health "MOT" service for small and
medium-sized companies. It will provide a needs assessment, an advisory service
and pre-employment health screening.

Travel health advice

More than two-thirds of people
travelling do not seek health advice, and more than half of those visiting
countries with risks of hepatitis A and typhoid do so unprotected, according to
an awareness campaign spearheaded by the Association of British Travel Agents.

Power reduction

Electricity generator PowerGen has
won top prize from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, the Sir
George Earle Trophy.  The company
reduced the number of lost-time injuries by 30 per cent.

Fullest input

The Government wants the fullest
possible input from the OH profession as it seeks to improve health in the
workplace, Department of Health nursing officer Nola Ishmael told the
conference. "Far be it from me to do prescriptive work; the objective is
to get from you what is happening."

Poor track record

There is a weak track record of
clinical supervision on occupational health, despite its established presence
in other health professions, delegates heard. A workshop discussed the merits
of the practice, which is backed by the UKCC.

Spot the signs

Bullying cannot survive in a
healthy corporate atmosphere, Lyn Witheridge, chief executive of the charity the
Andrea Adams Trust, told a workshop. She said that OH specialists must learn to
spot early signs of bullying behaviour.

Catch it early

Early intervention in back pain is
the key to preventing long absences, research has shown. Prevention and the
prediction of risk are more difficult, said Tim Carter, chief medical adviser
in the Department of Environment Transport and the Regions.

Individuals’ rights

Ian Bourne from the
Office of the Data Protection Registrar outlined the scope of the 1998 Data
Protection Act, the rights of individuals under the act and some of the
specific implications for OH managers as a result of the act.

Blinkers off

Occupational health
managers should not be blinkered when it comes to recruitment, according to
Susan Lamb, a recruitment consultant with OH Recruitment. Outlining the
pitfalls and perils of recruitment for the OH manager, she said that job
advertisements needed to be attractive, but honest in order to attract the
right applicants. "My belief in picking winners is for us all not to be
too blinkered. If we are, we may miss gems." By the same token, she added,
applicants must also be aware of their capabilities. "No one should be
criticised for having aspirations, as long as they are realistic".

EFQM outlined

Susan Jackson,
excellence development facilitator with the Salford Royal Hospitals NHS Trust
outlined the European Foundation for Quality Management, (EFQM) Excellence
Model, which has been in place for six years at the trust. The self-assessment
framework started life within the private sector.

Harmful substances

There are proposed
changes to the approved list of occupational exposure limits relating to
potentially harmful substances, to comply with European Commission levels. The
Health & Safety Commission has published consultative document

Accidents campaign

The British Safety
Council and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents are campaigning
together to call for better training in occupational health and safety

External help

The HSE has published
"Need Help on Health and Safety?" a checklist, on health and safety,
aimed at assisting smaller companies to understand when they might need
external help.

Comments are closed.