SOM members have the opportunity to join Special Interest Groups (SIGs). These tackle pressing issues facing occupational health today and provide SOM members with opportunities to explore areas not necessarily covered through their training. They are an opportunity to agree best practice, enable networking and provide an invaluable source of expertise.
Here are some of the activities of SIGs:
- SOM Construction worker health assessment group - developed guidance here and held a launch webinar in December 2021 - recording here. The guidance will be reviewed in 2022 - please let us know if there are any improvements that are needed to the document. The group noted that mental health of construction workers is a key issue (see here) and CICV collated useful resources here.
- SOM's Disability Assessment SIG aims to build recognition of this area of clinical practice e.g. by offering placements. A welcome letter is sent to all new starters in Disability Assessment from the group explaining its role as part of the wider functional assessor and occupational health family.
- SOM's GP interest group in health & work - offers a forum to discuss areas of mutual interest such as placement and work shadowing opportunities; support to GPs achieving DipOccMed and sharing resources of interest. GPs are welcome to sign up to the free OH GP Bulletin which provides key updates on work and health issues. Note the Podcast on GP fit note completion issues here.
- SOM's HAVS SIG has produced best guidance available here. A guidance document Remote assessment of HAVS and CTS is available for SOM members only. A new guidance document Carpal tunnel syndrome and work with hand-held vibrating tools was released in January 2022. A HAVS Staging guidance document was released in July 2022.
- SOM’s Occupational, Health and Work Psychology SIG aims to further the wellbeing of individuals and society at large through the application of occupational psychology. It focuses on protection and promotion of workers’ health through the application of psychological theory and evidence e.g. via disseminating best practice. It has produced a guide on Evaluating and supporting Neurodifferences at work here. Terms of reference of the SIG are here. SOM also hosts events with the British Psychological Society.
- SOM's Occupational Health Technicians SIG has agreed a scope of practice of Occupational Health Technicians and Career Path of OH Technicians. In 2021, SOM worked with Occupational Health Technicians to define their skills and, following a review by SOM Council 2021, they are invited to self-assess against a matrix here (please review and then get signed off by your supervisor who should ideally be an Occupational Health Adviser or Occupational Medicine Physician). The Group has also agreed a code of conduct and Escalation Criteria.
- SOM Vocational Rehabilitation SIG. A presentation on Vocational Rehabilitation is available here.
Other SOM groups meet on issues such as Mental Health, Travel Medicine, OH Marketing and Leadership. SOM also hosts a CESR support group (register here) and MFOM revision sessions for members.
SOM also hosts wider groups, that include non SOM members, such as:
- a MSK at Work Network group.
- a Sleep and Work steering group - members include The Sleep Council; ROSPA; SOM members; Mind; British Society of Lifestyle Medicine, and the British Psychological Society (a presentation on sleep and work is here).
- The independent Academic Forum on work and health - see here.