Occupational health needs to work with managers at an organisational level
if it really wants to effect change, a leading OH professional has said.
Dr Olivia Carlton, head of OH at London Underground, said one of her main
frustrations had been not having an input into corporate training, where many
of the key OH messages could be best delivered.
"That’s when you really begin to make an impact at an organisational
level, which is what we’re beginning to achieve. I can’t tell you how exciting
it is when you start to get out of that ghetto of ‘off you go for a
medical’," she told Occupational Health.
Carlton has been head of the 50-strong department since 1994, which now
serves the health needs of about 25,000 people at a cost of £2m a year.
The OH service consists of a medical advisory service, a counselling and
trauma service, a drug and alcohol service and access to occupational hygiene.
Getting this sort of commitment requires convincing management that OH is
not just a box that needs to be ticked off.
"It’s about getting people to understand that the way we manage people
matters. There are things we can do about the way we manage people throughout
the organisation that can improve health and safety," she argued.