Managing the occupational health needs of more than 3,000 policemen and
women, as well as the needs of their civilian workmates, requires the skills of
a protector, arbitrator, educator and challenger and a lot of professional
resilience, said Sharon Samworth, OH adviser for South Yorkshire Police.
In her presentation to the conference, Sickness absence – an OH manager’s
perspective, Samworth explained that the Government won’t put money into
recruiting staff to cover for those who are still employed but off sick. This
makes managing sickness absence within the police force a vital role for OH.
Working within a culture where it’s often believed that "if it wasn’t
for OH, there wouldn’t be any sickness absence", OH must help its officers
maintain a good work-life balance.
Good people management within the police force is not "soft and
fluffy" she said, relating how it is a constant battle to get police
officers to take care of themselves, and counts it as a personal achievement to
have persuaded a "time served cynical" CID officer to come for