TUC outlines steps to prevent workplace illness

A new
TUC reports identifies seven steps which employers should take to prevent
workplace injuries and illnesses.

In Rehabilitation
and Retention: what works is what matters
, the TUC calls on employers to:

·       
establish clear policies on rehabilitating their
injured workers;

·       
separate sickness absence management from disciplinary
processes;

·       
work with unions and the workforce to develop policies
on rehabilitation, and be open about the implementation of those policies;

·       
respond actively to sickness absence, by staying in
touch with workers off sick and referring them for medical checks early;

·       
adopt a multi-disciplinary approach to rehabilitation,
involving senior and line managers, personnel and health professionals;

·       
making the initial presumption that sickness absence is
work-related (and investigating possible causes) unless proved otherwise; and

·       
provide access to good occupational health facilities.

The
TUC said 14.5 million days of sickness absence caused by work-related illness
are taken a year, at a cost to the British economy of £14bn annually.

The
TUC research finds that even in workplaces where unions are recognised, only
one in 12 had achieved best practice on rehabilitation. Two-thirds of the
businesses surveyed couldn’t even manage good practice. In construction, only
one in 12 companies had good practice.

The
research, which was funded by the Department of Work and Pensions, asked union
reps in 1,200 workplaces about what was done for people whose ill-health or
injury affected their ability to work, and identified what makes a good
rehabilitation and retention system.

www.tuc.org.uk

By
Quentin Reade

 

 

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