LIFELINE OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH-Are pleased to announce we are now rebranding due to plethora of companies with 'Lifeline' in the title. As from 1st November 2011, we will become forever known as OH3 Ltd.

Health Assessments for Work Hazards

Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992, every employer must regularly and competently assess the health risks to employees from various hazards, and provide medical checks by law in many cases to ensures these risks are being properly controlled.

Hazards include -

  • noise
  • stress
  • COSHH substances
  • vibration
  • fumes
  • respiratory or skin sensitisers
  • workstation problems
  • Offshore/remote working

Noise

Since the Noise at Work regulations, there has been the need for companies to protect workers' hearing, monitor noise levels, designate hearing protection zones and ensure noise at work is reduced to the lowest practical level.

This year, new regulations deriving from the European Physical Agents Directive come into force, actually reducing further the noise action levels.

The old levels of 85dbA and 90dbA have reduced to 80 and 85, a lot more of a drop than it sounds.

This will place even greater pressure on employers to actively protect their workers' hearing, ensure hearing protection is worn and arrange a suitable programme of hearing checks on employees to ensure they are not deteriorating year by year, due to workplace noise.

OH3 Ltd will design and implement your hearing conservation programme quickly and effectively with minimal disruption to the important running or your organisation. We can run these over a week or two each year, or on regular days throughout the year, whichever is more convenient for you.

Hearing programmes can be run alongside other programmes such as resiratory or skin checks to maximise cost-benefit to your organisation.

Stress

Any of the comments below ring a bell?

  • ´Stress? It's just the new Bad Back!´
  • ´my employee says he's stressed due to work, but I know he's having problems at home.´
  • ´I don't know, one sick note says 'stress', then 'anxiety', and now 'depression'. Which one is it?´

Stress-related conditions causes major problems in the workplace, not least because of the interplay between work and home factors. Also, that people can be off for months and months.

Referral to OH3 Ltd means a supportive, caring consultation with an OH physician or nurse which can help the employee recover and rehabilitate back into work, either on its own, or via a referral to a counsellor or other psychological health specialist. Reports to the company, with the employee's consent, help you understand the causes, the severity, timescale to recovery and important measures you can take in the workplace to maximise the chance of successful return. You may also be concerned if the employee is 'up to the job' and is more suited to other work. You may wish to know how likely this depression is to recur.

OH3 Ltd reports are designed to help both employer and employee understand each other's needs better and make effective plans going forward. They also often reduce tensions and unnecessary legal action by employees when we are able to explain both the condition and also routine work practices to them, such as the need for their manager or HR to keep in touch with them periodically during the absence, so the company can help or support in any way it can. Defusing employee anger is often the first vital stage in rehabilitating the employee back into work.

Vibration

Mineworkers and shipyard workers have been able to claim for Vibration White Finger for many years now and have done so in their thousands. Other industries are only just realising how prevalent this condition is. Properly known as Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS), it is commonly found in any trade or industry which used to involve long or frequent period with chipping hammers, vibrating pokers, whacker plates, rock drills or many other vibrating tools.

The European Physical Agents regulations since June 2005 place a much higher duty on employers than before to reduce levels of vibration exposure and arrange suitable health surveillance for the protection of the workforce.

OH3 Ltd is happy to organise assessments of workers either with symptoms of tingling, numbness or whiteness in the fingers or without symptoms but who are or may be exposed to vibration at work, to enable them to work safely - from one-off individual assessments to hundreds of workers annually.

Respiratory Assessments and Occupational Asthma.

50 years ago, OH professionals were more concerned with preumoconiosis in miners and silicosis in quarrymen, but with the demise of these jobs and improved working conditions, these conditions have reduced greatly.

Nowadays, the lungs are at greater risk at work of developing Occupational Asthma, becoming sensitised to something at work.

Asthma continues to increase in the UK, and not just because it is recognised more by doctors. Occupational Asthma is thought to represent 10% of all asthma cases and is treatable, by reducing exposure to the causal agent, if caught early enough.

OH3 Ltd produce programmes of lung checks for workers in many industries to check for sensitisation or irritation from dusts, fumes and vapours. Common culprits are organic products such as flour or feeds and products or paints containing isocyates or epoxy resins. Almost anything can cause sensitisation and 50% of new cases involve compounds not previously described as causing asthma.