Thursday, September 12, 2013

Study seeks ways to reduce sick leaves

When an employee goes on sick leave, the absence of collaboration may cause permanent problems, studies have shown.

In order to help employees return to work successfully, the British government has instituted a "fit note" from the employee's doctor to replace the old sickness certificate.

A doctor's fit note can help those
on sick leave return to work.
In the fit note, GPs are encouraged to suggest adjustments in the workplace that will help employees return successfully.

The success rate of the new system is in question, however, and a new study aims to discover the best way to use the doctors' fit notes from the perspectives of employers, GPs and patients.

The research, led by The University of Nottingham and commissioned by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) aims to produce recommendations for the appropriate implementation of fit notes as well as informing training for employers and GPs in their usage.

Employers previously said the government's fit note was failing in returning employees to work successfully, in contrast to 71% of workers who agreed that the tool had been helpful in getting them back into the workplace.

The GP fit note was introduced three years ago. However, research into long-term work incapacity demonstrated that the longer people were on sick leave, the less likely they were to return to work.

The study is underway and a final report on both phases will be submitted at the end of September 2014.

Source: Workplace Savings and Benefits

Better air for a healthier workplace

Many reasons for absenteeism of employees can be traced back to poor indoor air quality at the office.

High levels of dust, bacteria, viruses, fumes, mold spores and other contaminants can affect employees' health and well-being.

Air cleaners with HEPA, activated
carbon and UV help provide cleaner air.
Employers can remedy the situation by

  • Making sure the office is well ventilated
  • Separating office printers and work spaces
  • Switching to non-toxic cleaning products
  • Placing portable air purifiers at strategic places in the office (these air cleaners should have a HEPA filter, a large activated carbon filter as well as UV germicidal filtration for maximum efficiency)
  • Educating employees about the ways they can help keep indoor air clean

Electrocorp has designed a variety of high-efficiency air cleaners for the office and other work spaces.

Custom-built air purifiers are available. The PrintSafe, for example, comes with a direct intake hood for large printers, which helps remove airborne chemicals, fumes and particles before they can spread in the workplace.

Contact Electrocorp for more information.

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