What should I disclose to Occupational Health?

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Ruthie
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What should I disclose to Occupational Health?

Post by Ruthie » Sun Mar 25, 2007 9:23 pm

Firstly, its important to note that it is your legal responsibility to disclose your health information to occupational health. If you don't disclose and are later found out, it could have very serious ramifications and you could lose your job.

However, that said, the occupational health service is there to help and support you with your health at work, not catch you out, stand in the way of you getting a job or prevent you from working.

Sometimes people are worried about disclosing health conditions to occupational health. Will a history of whip lash, a slipped disc or a dodgy knee prevent me from getting a job? Will disclosing my difficulties with depression, stress, anxiety or eating disorder prejudice my application? However, you should remember that occupational health are not there to judge, but to support. Your supervisors and line managers do not see your occupational health information unless there are exceptional cirumstances.

If you have a health problem (whether physical or mental), what is more likely to happen, is that occupational health will help make some adjustments to make you safer, more comfortable and healthier at work. If you have bad eyesight, they might arrange for you to have a flat screen monitor for computer work. If you have back problems, they may assess your desk space and ensure you have a good chair that enables you to keep a good posture or ensure that you are not asked to carry especially heavy weights. If you have experienced mental health difficulties, they may want to ensure you know how to get support and help if needed.

If they are concerned that your health problems will impact you in the workplace, they may ask your GP or consultant for their opinion as to what difficulties you might experience at work.

Most people are a little nervous about disclosing things to occupational health, but when they do, are pleasantly surprised to find occupational health staff supportive and helpful. They're there for you, not to work against you!

Occupational health will not disclose information about your health to your manager or supervisor without your permission unless there is a danger to you or other people in your workplace because of it

In general, don't forget to approach occupational health with anything that concerns your health at work. If you need help and support, they can refer you to a counselling service. If a dodgy knee is making life uncomfortable, they can fast track a physiotherapy appointment. If you need a procedure and your health is impeding your work in the meantime (either directly or through the stress/anxiety of being on a waiting list), they can try to get you seen sooner. They also provide health checks, advice and vaccinations, including annual flu jabs. They may also have information about local gyms or swimming pools offering discounts to NHS staff - definately not something to be snuffed at!

Occupational health staff are lovely, genuine people who take care of your health at work and nothing to be afraid of! See it as a positive thing that they are there to support you :)

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Content checked by Will on 26/2/12.
Last modified on 26/2/12.

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