QNJAC publishes guidance on occupational health management
NEW guidance developed by a working party of the Quarries National Joint Advisory Committee (QNJAC), the tripartite industry health and safety body, has been published on the Committee’s web site at: see below.
The guidance is based on the popular ‘Health Surveillance Guide’ developed in 1998 and published in hard copy by the Quarry Products Association on behalf of QNJAC. However, the new document goes much further, placing health surveillance in its context as part of a managed strategy to reduce the toll of ill health on quarry workers.
Under the Government’s ‘Securing Health Together’ (SH2) strategy for occupational health, the following national targets, running to 2010, have been set:
- a 20% reduction in the incidence of work-related ill health
- a 20% reduction in ill health to members of the public caused by work activity
- a 30% reduction in the number of work days lost due to work-related ill health
- everyone currently in employment but off work due to ill health or disability is, where
- everyone currently not in employment due to ill health or disability is, where necessary
As well as topic-specific information on health risks such as vibration, dust, legionella and stress, the guidance includes sections on managing sickness and absence, and on rehabilitation to encourage back to work those who are absent due to injury or sickness.
The new guidance forms part of the QNJAC’s response to the national occupational health strategy and is intended to present good practice in occupational health management for the whole industry to achieve.
Occupational health is likely to play a central role in the next stage of the Hard Target initiative (2005–2010), to be agreed this autumn. In order to measure the industry’s achievement by 2010, all employers in the quarrying industry are being encouraged to use the guidance as a benchmark, and to act on any aspects of occupational health management that they have not so far implemented.