This section provides healthcare professionals with an A to Z of information, from asthma, to MSK and mental health in the workplace. Click on the right on this page for specific information about menopause in the workplace or click here. At the bottom of this page there is information about occupational health policy engagement.
Occupational health (OH) is a rewarding and interesting career and one that allows a good work/life balance. Interested? Visit our Careers page. The OH world is friendly and there are more people than you think willing to help and support you!
Being a member of The Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM) supports your career in OH. For more information click here.
As a start, the World Health Organization (WHO) has produced a publication on disease prevention through safer workplaces, which discusses OH risks by disease type. WHO OH activity is summarised here. SOM membership gives you access to the latest research via its Journal of Occupational Medicine. Also, take a look at Health and work: what physicians need to know and the OECD policy brief Promoting Health and Well-being at Work. Finally, we often forget that healthcare professionals are human too, and are just as prone to illness as anyone else. They take care of us, but who takes care of them? In this video, Professor Debbie Cohen explains why we need to adapt treatment to suit the challenges that come with treating healthcare professionals, and what the occupational medicine community is doing to ensure these competencies are developed and promoted.
A to Z below:
Agriculture and fishing
Alcohol and drugs in the workplace
Toolkit - Work-related asthma and occupational asthma:
- GP and practice nurse guide to occupational asthma
- Employers' guide to occupational asthma
- A worker's guide to occupational asthma
Other asthma resources:
- Asthma: diagnosis, monitoring and chronic asthma management (NICE)
NICE page on asthma. Includes diagnosis, monitoring, and management for patients that suffer from asthma.
- Royal College of Physicians management and prevention of occupational asthma guidelines. Diagnosis, prevention and management of occupational asthma (RCP London)
- Asthma UK: See Asthma UK description in "Are you an Employer" websites.
- British Thoracic Society Clinical Statement on occupational asthma here.
- Occupational asthma and work guidance here.
Choosing OH software
Read the SOM guide to choosing OH software here.
Chronic fatigue syndrome
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guideline on the diagnosis and management of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) here.
Time to act on climate and health paper here.
Consensus statement for health professionals
Acas and BEIS disability hub - clear advice and guidance on disability employment rights for both employers and workers
E learning on health and work
How to get the most out of the fit note - BJGP article here.
Enabling alternate health care professionals to issue fit notes here.
Fitness to drive
Hard metal workers
UKHCA Hearing Protection Fit Testing Guidance here.
FOM updated guidance for healthcare professionals here.
European Menopause and Andropause Society (EMAS) position statement here.
The benefits of improving mental health in the workplace and how to support mental health at work are outlined here.
An article discussing why it is important to be able to discuss mental health in the workplace here.
A write up of the 2017 mental health event that SOM held with the BPS is here.
A write up of the 2018 SOM/BPS mental health event is here.
Read the report 'What could make a difference to the mental health of UK doctors?'
Read the leaflet for OH practitioners 'Looking after your mental wellbeing'
NICE mental health at work guidance here.
WHO: Mental Health at Work factsheet here.
Mitigating the Psychological Impact of COVID-19 on Healthcare Workers: A Digital Learning Package here.
Caring for the carers (the following is free and available to use):
Under Pressure research programme
NHS employee suicide: a postvention toolkit here.
MSK Health Toolkit for employers and further education institutions here.
Occupational Health search area at https://www.evidence.nhs.uk/search?q=Occupational%20health
And guidance at https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/indevelopment/gid-ng10090
FOHN career framework here.
The Pain at Work Toolkit for Employees with Chronic or Persistent Pain: A Collaborative-Participatory Study here.
Miscarriage Association resources:
- Miscarriage and the workplace
- Human Resources: information and support
- Employers and managers: information and support
Quality in OH
SOM Presentation on report writing - by SOM Honorary Clinical Strategic Adviser, Christine Poulter, at Health at Work
Supporting trans employees
Work modifications guidance
Occupational Health Policy Engagement
The SOM and FOM responded to the Government’s Green Paper on Work, Health and Disability. Read the response here:
SOM hosted a Consultation Meeting to discuss the Government’s Green Paper on health, work, and disability, see details here:
A report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on occupational health and its current state recommended for Health Education England to fund training posts to meet the increasing need of OH practitioners:
The Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices was an independent review discussing different forms of work and how they relate to employee rights and responsibilities:
FOM and SOM also Responded to the Government’s Industrial Strategy Paper - here:
Read the full response
HR and Occupational Health Roundtable with SOM / CIPD and FSB, 8th Feb 2019. Read the notes here: