Occupational Health

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Introducing Torquay Doctors and Craignish Doctors

Occupational Health Services for Fraser Coast Business and Industry

As a company, it is vital to prioritise the health and safety of your staff and to create a safe work environment. It is also critical to the long-term success of your business and can:

  • Help you retain your staff
  • Improve staff safety
  • Improve staff productivity
  • Reduce injury and illness in the workplace
  • Reduce the costs of injury and workers’ compensation
  • Reduce time and productivity lost due to injury and illness

Key findings from Safe Work Australia’s Analysis of ABS Work-related Injuries Survey Data 2021-22 revealed that 31% of the working population that experienced a work-related injury or illness received worker’s compensation for the illness or injury. More significantly, 1.9 million weeks of work was lost in Australia as a result of serious compensation claims.

The good news is that Torquay Doctors and Craignish Doctors can play a crucial role in managing workplace injuries, assisting in recovery and helping with return to work programs. We pride ourselves on developing relationships with local business and industry to encourage the provision of high quality health care for workers. Our General Practitioners work together with companies and their employees to minimise lost time from injuries, and we work with employers to find alternative duties for injured staff where ever possible.

According to the WHS Radar National Report published in April 2023, the top 3 enablers of good WH&S practices are:

By engaging Torquay Doctors and Craignish Doctors to supply Occupational Health services to your workers, you will be actively demonstrating your commitment to WH&S success and greater employee care.

 

Our Occupational Health offerings include:

 

For further information or to arrange an onsite meeting to discuss your specific Occupational Health needs please contact Mel Becker: HERE.

Aviation Medicals:

Torquay Doctors and Craignish Doctors has a Designated Aviation Medical Examiner (DAME) on site, appointed by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia (CASA).

An aviation medical ensures staff have the physical capacity to operate a plane safely and efficiently, and that they are flying within their capabilities. An aviation medical consists of various tests, including urine and blood pressure tests, eye examination, hearing tests and tests for cholesterol levels and blood sugar. An ECG to check the heart health may also be included. As well as the medical tests, staff will also be asked about any existing health conditions, so that the examiner can understand how these may impact the ability to fly.

What to bring to the examination? Any relevant medical records, any results of sight or hearing tests, copies of any relevant prescriptions and identification to allow your certificate to be issued.

Diver Medicals:

If you love diving or dive as a part of your work, having your dive medical up to date is essential. Underwater diving can be an exciting experience, if done correctly, in an individual that is deemed fit to dive. However, in an individual who is not suitable to dive or if diving is performed incorrectly, it may result in serious adverse health consequences, including death.

Torquay Doctors and Craignish Doctors understand the unique needs and requirements of diving enthusiasts. That’s why we have a dedicated GP who specialises in providing comprehensive diving medicals and is experienced in assessing the health and fitness of individuals interested in scuba diving, ensuring they meet the necessary medical criteria for safe and enjoyable diving experiences.

What to bring to the examination? Any relevant medical records, any results of sight or hearing tests, copies of any relevant prescriptions and identification to allow your certificate to be issued.

Drivers Licence Medicals:

The health of private and commercial drivers is crucial, as they must stay fit and sharp on the road. Torquay Doctors and Craignish Doctors provides a comprehensive medical assessment for driver’s licenses for both commercial and private drivers. To ensure that the drivers are fit for their job, the doctors conduct a few tests such as physical examination, vision tests, hearing ability, and if required blood tests too.

The National Medical Standards (private or commercial) and the guidelines Assessing Fitness to Drive are used to assess whether an employee has a mental or physical incapacity (a medical condition) that is likely to affect an employee’s ability to drive a motor vehicle safely. Torquay Doctors and Craignish Doctors are knowledgeable of the medical standards used to assess drivers for fitness to drive commercial vehicles. The doctors provide advice, based on the standards, about how an employee’s particular health condition might affect their ability to drive safely and how it might be managed. This guarantees the physical and mental well-being of the drivers for them to operate a vehicle safely.

Drug & Alcohol Testing:

The National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction’s (NCETA) analysis of the 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS) data highlights the large financial impact employee alcohol and drug use has on workplaces. The analysis found:

  • over 1.6 million days of work were missed each year due to alcohol use.
  • over 85,000 days of work were missed each year due to drug use.
  • riskier and/or more frequent consumers of alcohol/drugs have more days off per year.
  • when combined with days absent due to injury and/or illness sustained because of alcohol and/or drug use, participants reported missing almost 11.5 million days per year.
  • total alcohol and other drugs related excess absenteeism costs organisations over $3 billion dollars a year.

Several staff at Torquay Doctors and Craignish Doctors have completed HLTPAT005 Collect Specimens for Drugs of Alcohol Testing course. This is Nationally Recognised Training that has been designed for organisations who want qualified staff to collect and test, breath, oral-fluid, or urine samples for drugs of abuse. The course meets all legislative requirements for drug testing & alcohol testing in accordance with the following Australian Standards:

  • AS/NZS 4308-2008 Procedures for specimen collection and the detection and quantitation of drugs of abuse in urine
  • AS/NZS 4760-2019 Procedures for specimen collection and the detection and quantitation of drugs in oral fluid
  • AS3547:1997 Breath Alcohol Testing Devices for Personal Use.

Flu & Vaccination Clinics:

Employees are the most valuable asset to a business. Caring for your staff’s health and wellbeing and vaccinating your staff against the flu, will not only protect them, but protect your business against sick days, prolonged sick leave and consequently reduced productivity.

Torquay Doctors and Craignish Doctors can even provide on-site flu vaccinations for your staff members, if given enough advanced notice. Give your staff efficient access to the flu vaccine and limit sick leave. It’s a simple and efficient way to protect your team and keep the workplace healthy.

Torquay Doctors and Craignish Doctors can also provide COVID, shingles, pneumonia and Hep A/B vaccinations.

Health Education for Staff:

Do you want to convey an important health message to your workplace or to educate staff on a relevant topic, such as injury prevention, the importance of skins checks or the dangers of heat stroke? The staff from Torquay Doctors and Craignish Doctors can engage your staff on a broad array of health topics of your choice at your staff meetings, ‘tool box’ breakfasts or training events etc.

Medical Rehabilitation:

If you’re an employer and you have a worker who has experienced a work-related injury or illness, you must help them return to work safely if you can. You’re required to support your worker through rehabilitation, early and safe return to work. Research shows that this is a very important part of their recovery. This could mean making changes to their work while they recover. Your worker’s rehabilitation should start as soon as safe to do so after the injury has happened.

Each rehabilitation and return to work plan will be different so it is important that individual plans are created specifically for each worker. Suitable duties programs should be monitored and amended based on updated information from the treating doctor or following consultation with the worker and employer. A rehabilitation and return to work plan usually includes:

  • clear and appropriate objectives with considerations of how these objectives will be achieved
  • details of rehabilitation activities required to meet the objectives
  • time frames for expected stages of recovery and return to work opportunities
  • when and by who reviews will be undertaken to assess the injured worker’s progress
  • how and when relevant parties will be informed of progress and
  • if a suitable duties program or a return to the previous role is planned, how this will be achieved at the workplace and how the worker and employer will be advised.

 

The employer’s role in assisting the implementation of various stages of rehabilitation and return to work plans is vital to achieving a successful outcome. Support from the employer will assist the injured worker understand that their recovery at work is a priority as their contribution to the workplace is valuable. A planned approach demonstrates an employer’s ongoing commitment to achieving a successful return to work outcome for the injured worker. Assistance from the employer as a plan progresses may require the allocation of responsibilities to certain individuals at the workplace. This will ensure all elements of a plan are well implemented at the workplace. The best outcome from workplace rehabilitation is seen to be a return to the same job in the same workplace as prior to the injury.

Pre-Employment Medicals:

Pre-employment medical assessments are a workforce risk management tool used to screen individuals for risk factors that may limit their ability to perform a job safely and effectively.

Torquay Doctors and Craignish Doctors offers comprehensive and detailed pre-employment medical examinations, pre-placement and periodic medical assessments. Furthermore, our medical assessments can be tailored to suit your business needs. In summary, the health and safety of your staff is essential and is key to optimising company productivity.

Some of the benefits of asking staff to undergo a pre-employment medical include:

  • A safer working environment
  • Reduction in workplace injuries
  • Minimised downtime
  • Reduction in WorkCover claims and insurance costs
  • Matching the capacity of the employee with the role and
  • Overall recruitment cost and risk reduction.

A pre-employment medical could include:

  • Height, weight, body mass index (BMI)
  • Cardiovascular examination (heart check, blood pressure, pulse)
  • Full musculoskeletal examination including comprehensive range of movement
  • Central nervous system examination
  • Examination for hernias and other abdominal abnormalities
  • Urinalysis for diabetes or kidney / bladder disorders
  • Respiratory examination
  • Vision assessment including colour blindness
  • Audiometry (hearing test)
  • Spirometry (lung function test)
  • Drug and alcohol testing
  • Work fitness assessments

Rail Worker Safety Medicals:

Under the National Standard for Health Assessment of Rail Safety Workers, all rail operators in Australia must undergo a medical evaluation with qualified professionals. Rail Worker Safety Medicals are a medical assessment specifically conducted for rail safety workers under the national Standard for Health Assessment of Rail Safety Workers. This screening assessment ensures that rail safety worker’s health is at the satisfactory level required to safety perform the job.

There are three different types of Rail Workers Safety Medicals. Each of the three types of assessments are based upon whether the employee is performing safety critical or non-safety critical work:

Category 1: Applies to rail safety workers who perform safety critical work and whose ill health may result in sudden incapacity or collapse leading to a serious incident affecting public safety or the rail network. The Category 1 Rail Workers Safety Medical includes:

  • Questionnaire for Psychological Health
  • Epworth Sleepiness Scale
  • Alcohol AUDIT Questionnaire for alcohol use
  • Hearing Assessment
  • Vision Assessment
  • General Health Assessment
  • Drug and Alcohol screen (breath and urine analysis)
  • ECG (heart check)
  • Blood test.

Category 2: Applies to rail safety workers who perform safety critical work where sudden incapacity will not impact on the safety of the public or the rail network. The Category 2 Rail Workers Safety Medical includes:

  • Audiometry
  • Vision testing
  • Musculoskeletal assessment
  • General medical examination
  • Drug and alcohol screening.

Category 3: Applies to rail safety workers who perform non-safety critical work and whose health and fitness does not impact directly on the rail network. However, they are required to protect their own safety and that of other rail workers. The Category 3 Rail Workers Safety Medical includes:

  • Hearing (up to 2000 Hz)
  • Vision
  • Mobility
  • Drug and Alcohol screen.

Skin Checks:

Skin checks conducted in the workplace offer numerous benefits to employees. The foremost advantage is early detection of skin cancer. Skin cancer, when identified early, has a much higher chance of successful treatment. By undergoing regular skin checks in your workplace, you increase the likelihood of catching any potential skin cancer at its earliest stage, leading to better outcomes and potentially saving lives.

Additionally, workplace and corporate skin checks provide an opportunity for education. Skin health awareness is vital for individuals to understand the risks, recognise suspicious spots or moles, and take necessary precautions to protect themselves from harmful sun exposure. Skin checks not only detect cancer, but also empower individuals to make informed decisions about their skin care routines and sun protection measures.

To maximise the effectiveness of workplace and corporate skin checks, it is recommended to undergo an assessment annually. Regular check-ups ensure that any changes or new developments in skin are monitored closely. A yearly schedule maintains continuity in skin health surveillance, enabling early detection and timely intervention if necessary.

Workers Compensation Management:

Employers have a legal obligation to maintain a safe workplace and protect employees from injury, whether it’s a physical or mental health injury. According to the work health and safety (WHS) laws, if any work-related accident or injury happens while an employee is at work, employees should have access to first aid and workers compensation, as well as rehabilitation to help them return to work.

Workers compensation is a type of insurance that ensures employees don’t experience any financial issues because of an accident or injury that happens while performing their duties at work. This includes compensation for injuries that occur during or as a result of an employee’s course of employment, or injuries that arise because of activities that are required or organised by a workplace (such as work-related events like Christmas parties, or travel for work).

Workers compensation covers:

  • physical injury
  • mental health injury
  • diseases that an employee may have contracted during their employment
  • injuries while travelling for work (in some states)
  • recurrence of an existing disease or condition as a result of work
  • aggravations of an existing disease or condition as a result of work.

The team at Torquay Doctors and Craignish Doctors are experienced with all WorkCover paperwork and all standard and long WorkCover consultations are booked directly to WorkCover.

Workplace Injuries:

What are Workplace Injuries?

Injuries at the workplace are common and may be debilitating. While it is the employer’s responsibility to provide a safe working environment, injuries at the workplace can still occur due to:

  • Slips, Trips, and Falls
  • Repetitive Motions
  • Hazards from machinery
  • Falling from a height
  • Burns
  • Air And Waterborne Contaminants
  • Fires and explosions

Torquay Doctors and Craignish Doctors offers a full range of workplace Injury treatments and management tailored to the individual patient’s needs.

We have a fully functional treatment room where Doctors and Registered Nurses who can assist and monitor and manage common workplace injuries and conditions including:

  • Soft tissue injuries like Minor cuts and Bruises
  • Fractures, Dislocations, Sprains and Strains
  • Spinal & Lifting Injuries
  • Burns & Other Trauma
  • Repetitive Motion Disorders,
  • Illness Due To Inhalation, Touching or Ingesting Noxious Substances,

Torquay Doctors and Craignish Doctors understands the importance of good communication with employers to minimise lost time from injuries, and we work with employers to find alternative duties for injured staff where possible. We utilise a team approach to rehabilitate injured workers for a speedy return to work.

For further information or to arrange a meeting to discuss your specific workplace’s occupational health needs please contact:

 

Melissa Becker, Practice Development Manager

Torquay Doctors and Craignish Doctors / Hervey Bay Health Hub

Email: HERE/ Telephone: 07 4347 8162