Occupational Health

What is Occupational Health?

Occupational health is concerned with how work and the working environment can affect an employee’s health and how the health of an employee may affect his/her ability to do their job. The principle role of the Occupational Health Service (OHS) is to provide advice to employees, managers and the Trust on issues relating to health at work and fitness for work.

Find more information here.

Confidential | Advisory | Impartial

To ensure your health, safety and welfare at work we provide the following services:

 

  • Pre-Placement Health Assessments
  • Health Screening
  • Health Surveillance
  • Immunisations & Vaccinations
  • Advice regarding Work Related Incidents
  • Staff Support
  • Management Referrals/Sickness Absence Assessments in Accordance with the Managing Absence Policy

    Management Referral Form

  • A self-referral service – this is available if any employee has concerns about their fitness for work or if there are work issues / conditions which they feel are having an impact on their health
  • Workplace Assessments
  • Workplace Health Education

Physiotherapy in Occupational Health

Occupational Health Physiotherapists specialise in the prevention, assessment and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions (back pain, neck pain, upper and lower limb injuries etc) that affect an employee’s ability to carry out their job.

As an employee you can access this service by having your manager complete and submit an Occupational Health referral form. After your referral is triaged you will be assigned a Physiotherapist who will provide you with the advice that you need to help reduce your pain and restore your function both at home and in the work place.

For more information contact brendan.mcconaghy@belfasttrust.hscni.net.

Psychological Services in Occupational Health

Psychological Services are a Clinical Psychology led team of staff working within OHS. The team is made up of staff who are trained to use psychological models and theories in order to work collaboratively with individuals and with teams. The team works alongside the other OHS staff to provide advice to employees, managers and the Trust on issues relating to health at work and fitness for work, and to promote a model of personal and team resilience and staff care within the Trust.

We can help with a range of psychological and emotional difficulties that have resulted directly from work (e.g., post-trauma symptoms following a work-related incident; work-related stress; anxiety related to sharps injuries, etc) and psychological difficulties which are impacting upon work above and beyond absenteeism.

More About This Service

Mindfulness Courses

Run by Psychological Services in Occupational Health, the Mindfulness course is an an eight-week Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy course. This course is open to any staff member of the BHSCT, regardless of whether they are attending OH Psychological Services. The course is limited to approximately 20 places, and run one to two times per year. Check out the latest news section for upcoming course dates.

Staying Safe in the Workplace

Some occupational health and safety information for you in your job:

Infection Injuries

  • Remember to wash your hands – this is the most important infection control principle
  • Ask your OH nurse about what vaccinations are required for your job
  • Use protective equipment appropriately e.g. gloves, masks, visors/goggles and aprons
  • Dispose of clinical waste safely e.g. sharp instruments in sharps boxes and soiled materials in the appropriate bag
  • Report sharps injuries to management immediately
  • Seek advice from OH if you have any health problems which may affect your fitness for work e.g. skin rashes, diarrhoea and vomiting

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all staff whose job involves contact with blood and blood stained body fluids, and where there is a risk of being bitten.

Manual Handling

Staff are required to attend manual handling training regularly. Remember the principles of good handling techniques for lifting:

  • Assess task prior to lifting and handling
  • Keep loads close to your body
  • Adopt a stable position with feet apart and knees bent
  • Ensure you have a firm grip
  • Don’t jerk, overstretch or twist during manoeuvre
  • Keep your head up when handling
  • Move smoothly
  • Don’t lift or handle more that can be easily managed

Sharps Injuries

A “sharps injury” is defined as any incident where the skin is punctured by an instrument or object that is contaminated with human blood, body fluid or tissue (including contamination of the eyes,
mouth, skin cuts or abrasions by splashes or spills)

Please familiarise yourself with the Sharps Injuries Policy for full details of actions to be taken.

  • First aid: Encourage your wound to bleed and wash with soap and water
    OR irrigate mucous membranes (eyes/mouth) with copious amounts of water/saline (not to be swallowed)
  • Report the injury to your manager and complete an incident form
  • Contact the Occupational Health Service immediately during normal working hours or your nearest BHSCT
    A&E department out of hours (See Sharps Injuries Policy / Care Pathway for details)

Skin Care

  • Prevention of skin problems is better than cure
  • Wear appropriate gloves if the job is wet in nature or when using substances that may irritate your skin
  • Apply moisturising (emollient) cream on each occasion after hands are washed and dried, at convenient times during the day and at the end of work
  • Report skin irritation or rashes to your manager immediately
  • Contact your OHS for further advice if required

Prevention of Tuberculosis

Staff who have regular contact with patients and clients are at potential risk of contracting tuberculosis (TB). Therefore such staff entering the health service are screened for immunity to TB.

Those who are non-immune are vaccinated, greatly reducing the risk of contracting TB.

Periodic reminders are also issued to all staff.

Contact Details

Occupational Health Service,
McKinney House,
Musgrave Park Hospital,
Belfast,
BT9 7 JB

Tel: 028 9504 0401 | Fax: 028 9066 2611
occupational.health@belfasttrust.hscni.net

Confidentiality

All Occupational Health notes and records are CONFIDENTIAL.

They are held in a separate system from all other Trust records.