What is the Purpose of an Occupational Health Assessment?
If you are experiencing a long-term or serious health issue, your employer may request an Occupational Health Assessment for you. The purpose of the assessment is not to add to or replace your appointments with your GP, but to help your employer to understand the problems you’re experiencing, and how they affect your ability to work. Following the assessment, we’ll give your employer expert advice on what help they can give you in order to remove barriers to your successful return to work or, if you are still at work, ensure that you can continue to work safely.
If you’re suffering from back problems, for example, we might advise that your employer conducts an assessment of your work station to consider if there are any adjustments that could be made, or if any kind of specialist equipment is required. If you’re returning from a long-term absence, we’d be able to give your employer recommendations about options such as phasing your reintroduction to work or offering flexible hours so that you can make any necessary doctor’s appointments.
What Does the Occupational Health Assessment Process Involve?
The process varies slightly in the UK and Ireland due to Irish privacy laws. In the UK, the process starts with a company sending us a referral in which they tell us why they’re referring someone for an Occupational Health Assessment. Amalgamate then contacts the employee to obtain consent to go ahead with the assessment, and arrange a time for a consultation with an Occupational Health Practitioner. This consultation can be done face-to-face or over the phone, depending on what is most suitable for the specific situation.
During the consultation, the employee is asked questions in order for the Occupational Health Practitioner to understand the background of their case. The practitioner is aiming to understand what problems the employee might be having at work, or what barriers they might be facing that are preventing them from returning to work.
Based on this consultation, the Occupational Health Practitioner writes a report that outlines the background of the case as they have had it described to them. The report includes their interpretation of the case, and their recommendations for reasonable support or adjustments that the company could make. What is discussed in the consultation is protected by doctor/patient confidentiality, so the Occupational Health Practitioner will only include in their report the personal information that the employee has said they are willing to have included.
This report is then sent to the employee to read through so that they can check that it is an accurate representation of their consultation. If, for example, something the employee said has been misunderstood, or some factual detail is wrong, the employee can request a change. In this case the Occupational Health Practitioner would look over any possible alteration and check whether this has any impact on their recommendations.
The finalised Occupational Health Assessment report is then sent to both the employer and the employee. Sometimes we might also suggest that it would be beneficial to have a follow-up consultation with the employee to check their progress or assess whether their situation has changed at all.
How do I find out more?
If you’d like any further information on our Occupational Health Assessment process, call us on 0141 244 0181 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on our range of Occupational Health Services, visit this page.