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NEWSFLASH


BSC WELCOMES HEALTH AND


WORK SERVICE The British Safety Council has welcomed the launch of the Government’s Health and Work Service, which will offer non- compulsory medical assessments and treatment plans to those sick and off work for more than four weeks. The scheme will apply to England, Wales and Scotland.


At present, staff who are off work for more than four weeks are considered to be long-term sick and entitled to Statutory Sick Pay of almost £90 per week from their employers. This will not change. Under the scheme, employers or GPs will be able to refer employees for a work-focused occupational health assessment.


This is intended to identify the issues preventing an employee from


returning to work and draw up a plan for them, their GP and their employer, recommending how the employee can be helped back to work more quickly. This may include fitness for work advice, medical care, working from home or retraining.


The scheme, which it is estimated will save companies up to £70million a year in reduced sickness pay and related costs, is not compulsory. Workers will be allowed to refuse to be assessed or to follow any course of action or treatment recommended.


Alex Botha, Chief Executive of the British Safety Council, said: “This latest initiative is a valuable contribution in helping to address the issues preventing employees returning to work. It is important to remember that prevention is better than cure. So the focus should remain on preventing sickness absence in the first place.”


www.britsafe.org


SAFETY MANAGERS MOVE TO ADDRESS EYE PROTECTION


ISSUES Research into safety eyewear, conducted by Specsavers Corporate Eyecare, has highlighted the concerns held by safety managers and the importance of specialist fitting. A staggering 78% of employers disclosed that they worry staff remove safety eyewear if it is not comfortable. The results go on to show, however, that safety managers are working to address the issues and ensure employees are provided with appropriate eyewear.


While many safety frames are CHERRIE RECEIVES


BEDFORD MEDAL Professor John Cherrie has been awarded the Bedford Medal by BOHS, the Chartered Society for worker health protection, for his vital work as a leading researcher in occupational hygiene. The Thomas Bedford award is named after the first President of BOHS, Thomas Bedford CBE, and


www.tomorrowshs.com


was first awarded in 1978. The award marks outstanding contributions to the discipline of occupational hygiene, either in the general field or in work for the Society.


As Research Director at the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) in Edinburgh and Honorary Professor at the University of Aberdeen, John has offered expert direction in occupational hygiene and is arguably Britain's leading researcher in the field.


available to be ordered from a catalogue, 87% of safety managers stated that they believe it is important to physically view and try on a range of safety glasses, in store. They see the benefits of this as being the ability to try different styles for comfort and fit (73%). They are also aware of the benefits of seeing and feeling the quality of the frames (55%), as well as the weight (31%).


Perhaps surprisingly, the vast majority (88%) of safety managers attach importance to the aesthetics of safety eyewear. Much of this is linked to the idea that employees are more likely to actually wear safety glasses if they like the way they look.


www.specsavers.co.uk/corporate. 7


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