Encouraging healthy workplaces

THE head of a national body dealing with health in the workplace has paid a fact-finding visit to a Suffolk occupational health firm.National Director for Health and Work Professor Dame Carol Black visited the offices of Gipping Occupational Health at Mendlesham Green to see how the private sector delivers occupational health in the workplace.

THE head of a national body dealing with health in the workplace has paid a fact-finding visit to a Suffolk occupational health firm.

National Director for Health and Work Professor Dame Carol Black visited the offices of Gipping Occupational Health at Mendlesham Green to see how the private sector delivers occupational health in the workplace.

The professor, who has been asked by Government Ministers to implement a strategy for health, work and wellbeing, met with the firm's managing director, Judith Howard-Rees, who made a presentation and took her to see a local client in a mobile occupational health unit.

While with the client, a local engineering firm, she met its management team and representatives from Newton HR and Intateam Risk Management Health & Safety Consultants, who work closely with Gipping OH Ltd.

She saw first-hand how the multi-disciplinary team implements best practice, and discussed Government policy, the NHS community services and the provision and use of sick notes, pre-employment health screening and sickness absence management.

“Appropriate occupational health, safety and human resource policies, procedures and practices play an important part in protecting and promoting the health of people at work, thus contributing to the health of the economy. This is why the Government has raised health in the workplace up the agenda and why this visit is important for both businesses and practitioners alike,” said Ms Howard-Rees.

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“Having the opinion of an employer gave balance and an added dimension to Carol Black's experiences in Suffolk.

“There is, however, still a long way to go before private occupational health specialists and public health services, safety practitioners, human resources managers and business work together in an integrated manner for all parties to benefit.

“This visit was a key step in the journey towards integration that is now fully acknowledged by Government Ministers.”