In the workplace, there may be hazards that have the potential to cause harm to employees, such as injury and ill health in relation to their occupation and work environment.
Health-related challenges in the workplace brings about financial and other associated costs, and it is therefore important for organisations to ensure that the workplace is a healthy and safe environment for their employees.
Occupational Health (OH) is a medical service that looks at how a person’s work can affect their health and how the person’s health may impact their work, with the aim to promote and maintain the physical and mental well-being of the employees at work for a healthy, motivated and productive workforce. It covers the spectrum from primary prevention of work-related ill health, through coordinated health and safety intervention programmes, to assessments for fitness to work, to ensure the health and safety of the employees in the workplace.
Our Occupational Medicine doctors serve as the link between the employee, employer and medical care providers, and strive to play the role of medical advisor to organisations, providing professional advice on medical matters relating to the work environment and their staff.
Occupational Health provides an aspect of holistic care by catering to an element of most people’s lives – the work element, ensuring that employees with injuries or illness can return to work safely and efficiently through proactive injury and illness management.
At CGH, our Occupational Medicine doctors take a whole-of-institution approach, working closely with the different clinical specialties and allied health experts to provide coordinated, multi-disciplinary care to facilitate the employee’s safe return to work.
Mr T works in a warehouse where he packs items for packaging and palletising. One day, Mr T got into an accident on his motorbike and suffered a fracture on his left wrist. He underwent surgery and his Orthopaedic Specialist gave him three weeks of Hospitalisation Leave (HL), followed by two months of Light Duty (LD) since he was not able to lift heavy items as required in his jobscope.
As there was no light duty work available in the warehouse, Mr T’s supervisor assigned “administrative duties” to Mr T in the office. As Mr T was not equipped with the relevant computer skills to perform the administrative duties, his supervisor requested that Mr T go back on hospitalisation leave. However Mr T was reluctant to do so, as that would exhaust his hospitalisation leave.
Referral to Occupational Medicine (OM) Specialist
The company’s Human Resources team referred Mr T to an Occupational Medicine (OM) Specialist for an assessment on his fitness to return to work on light duty. Following a medical consultation with Mr T, the Occupational Medicine specialist held a discussion with the supervisor, advising the company on the specific type of work that Mr T would be able to perform. The supervisor was able to identify a temporary role for Mr T in another section of the warehouse for him to help with the picking and packing of smaller items into larger bags before the bags were handed off for palletising and shipment. The smaller and lighter items allowed Mr T to take on the role and handle the items without aggravating his hand injuries.
Mr T was glad that he could return to work in a role that he felt confident in performing, and continue contributing to his company. The organisation was also assured that Mr T could recover safely at work.
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