Occupational Health appointment - whats this all about?

Hi

I have had RA with secondary Sjorgrens for a number of years but only had a confirmed diagnoses in the last 6 months. During this time i have managed to continue working .

I have been so lucky with my meds the hrdroxy and MXT have worked well and I am feeling so much better no real side effects.

As far as work is concerned really there hs been nothing to note, I informed my line manager who has been verbally supportive of me and who has been understanding about my blood tests and hospital appointments.

A month ago i was so poorly i was signed off for a week and my fit note mentioned RA. Now my company want me to go to see OH and my appointment has arrived I was wondering if anyone else has experiences of OH assessments?

I am concerned as to what this means is it really about making my working conditions easier for me or is there another agenda? I know that sounds cynical but i can't help wondering.

8 Replies

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  • Hi,

    Some years ago now I was also called up to see the County OH and had the same worries as you.

    It turned out to be quite a positive experience, I'm pretty sure that they needed to be certain that I could manage without danger to myself and others but having established that they also ensured that correct seating, desk height etc. was available for me.

    I'm sure that there is nothing to worry about.

    Judy

  • Hi creaky yep Judy is right that's all it will be about ...I've been and yes they do the best for you and where you work so be honest what you need and what suits you - it is as Judy said it a positive thing ..I am going in the next couple of weeks as I'm an LSA and work virtually full time at the mo and with two kids and all the chaos in the evenings of kids clubs, dinners, homework, bath time etc etc I am knackered so am looking to reduce my hours to mornings. Hope you get on ok :) Claire

  • Oops meant to say to Hankie ...Judy is Creaky ...doh dam that brain fog lol ..

  • Hi, like claire andJudy say they want to make sure that everything possible is being done to help you. I'm also a teaching assistant, in a reception class and I had a telephone interview. I had already temporaily reduced my hours and resposibilities so they recommended I carry on at least until the meds kick in, they explained in the report sent to the head teacher a bit about RA and the meds and their side effects and also advised that i have an "adult" sized chair, although cant say that i sit down much !.

    Tracy

  • Hi, I've had a lot of support from my work OH department, they arranged for my work station to be assessed so I now have a better keyboard that doesn't put as much strain on my wrists. They also arranged for me to see the work dr and counselling service and they have also issued me with a disabled parking permit for work so I don't have to walk far. I haven't heard of them having any other agenda than offering support and it's normally their job to help you to keep working.

  • Hi please don't worry about being referred to OH. I had several referrals in my previous job and found them extremely helpful. They were always on my side and detailed what changes to duties and workplace etc I needed. I was fitted for a marvellous chair that allowed me to stretch my spine so I didn't stiffen and an ergonomic mouse and different desk. Also was allocated a rare and precious parking space. Hope your experience is as positive as mine x

  • Hi there!

    As mentioned above, it can be a positive experience.

    Your employers are just covering their behinds, so you can use it to your advantage;

    Its up to you how much you mention at the appointment... base answers on your worst day.

    OH will make recommendations to your employers about your abilities and what (if any) "Reasonable Adjustments" will be required... See Equality Act 2010 which takes over from the Disability Discrimination Act.

    I dont know how far down the line you are but if needed OH may recommended that your employer provides a level of "Disability Sick Leave" which will not count towards Disciplinary Proceedings.

    Also, if you dont already know your employer is under an obligation to make reasonable adjustment to make things easier for you... The DWP used to have a section that dealt with work place changes called "Access to Work".

    If needed ATW can come to your work place and assess you equipment to help you work...

    In my case they came to work viewed me about by normal duties and made recommendations as to what special equipment was available and Recommended for me.

    My employers were then under a duty of care to provide me with a height adjustable desk to stop me from bashing my arthritic knee on the small low ones, plus I got a bigger screen and special keyboard.

    My employer was not enlightened enough to listen to their own OH reports and treated me very badly until I found out my rights.

    Good Luck with your appointment... I you need more info on any of the above just get in touch.

    Best Regards,

    Farjer

  • Nice to know that there are still some employers who take there duty of care to employees seriously. You may find the following link useful:

    nras.org.uk/about_rheumatoi...

    Good luck