Tusla - Ireland's Child & Family Agency

Occupational Health Service

Due to the on-going COVID-19 crisis, where appropriate Occupational Health appointments will be facilitated by telephone or video link

                          
     
  

       

Occupational Health Team

Occupational Health Physician:

The Occupational Health Physician is a doctor who has a specialist qualification and is a member of the Royal College of Physicians. Occupational Health Physicians use medical expertise to assess fitness for work, advise on workplace adjustments, prevent ill health and promote health and wellbeing. They play a key role in rehabilitation by advising on optional treatment strategies. 

Occupational Health Nurse:

The Occupational Health Nurse is a nurse with additional qualifications who specialises in the provision of occupational health services in the workplace. They provide advise and support on the management of health and wellbeing in the workplace. They are specially skilled in the areas of health leadership and management, fitness for work, health risk management and employee wellbeing.

Occupational Health Administrator:

Occupational Health Administrators provide a key support in the position of occupational health services. They commonly have additional medical administrative qualifications, and are essential in providing necessary administration support for scheduling and delivery of clinics in a confidential and supportive manner. 

FAQ's

Can I refer myself to avail of Occupational Health Service?

As staff member you can decide independently that you wish to attend the service, however your line manager (or next senior Manager such as Regional HR Manager) must submit the referral form. The report will be sent to your referring manager this is to ensure appropriate supports can be offered to staff in a timely manner.

Please consider the nature of the request prior to requesting a referral, in some instances (e.g. stress, anxiety) to our counselling services may be an appropriate option (email eap@tusla.ie for more information).

The Occupational Health Service does not diagnose or treat health conditions, staff should consult with their general practitioner for advice and treatment for all health issues.

Why have I been referred to the OHS?

Your file has been referred to the OHS by your manager for the purpose of an independent review of your health in relation to your work.

Will I have to present for assessment?

Sometimes it is not necessary and OHS can make a decision on whether it is necessary for you to attend, or if a paper based decision can be made about your fitness for work.

If required to attend for assessment, who am I about to attend?

You will attend an Occupational Health Practitioner, either a nurse or a doctor, whose area of interest and qualification is work, health, ability and disability and any circumstances where work and health interfere with each other.

What happens if I decide I don’t want to attend?

Most people are happy to attend OHS and find the consultation very helpful and supportive. If you decide not to attend, your manager will be informed of your decision. Your case will be further progressed by your manager without the benefit of medical advice. We ask all staff to notify the service provider in advance if they cannot attend at their appointment. Staff who refuse to attend Occupational Health maybe considered to be in breach of the Managing Attendance Policy and therefore they will not be entitled to avail of its benefits.

What is involved in an Occupational Health Assessment?

It is likely the Occupational Health Practitioner has been sent a referral note by your manager asking him/her to address certain issues relating to your health and fitness for work. The Occupational Health Practitioner will start the assessment by discussing your role in work and your occupational history and will then proceed to Occupational Health Service FAQs assess the reason for your referral, the nature of your medical complaints and associated work absence. At the end of the history taking, if it’s appropriate, the Occupational Health Practitioner may do a physical examination.

What about the confidentiality of my medical history?

Everything that goes on in the assessment is entirely confidential, between you and the Occupational Health Practitioner. You can tell the Occupational Health Practitioner anything you like during this assessment and you may be reassured that nothing will be disclosed to any other party without your consent. In the report to the manager the OHS will not disclose personal or confidential information. The OHS does however provide an opinion and relevant details including fitness for work and necessary restrictions and accommodation in the workplace.

What do I need to bring with me to the appointment?

Please bring with you the name of any medication you are taking, details of your GP and hospital specialist, copies of any letters written to your GP by the specialist, if you have them. If you have attended the HSE’s occupational service during this employment you may wish to request a copy of your file to bring with you. You will need to request this directly from the relevant HSE Occupational Health Service location.

What will be in the report?

The Occupational Health Practitioner will write a report to your manager that will include recommendations regarding your fitness for work and likely timescale of return to work and any adjustments/restrictions required. This will help your manager to know how to accommodate your needs in the workplace.

Can I have a copy of the report?

Yes, you can request a copy of the report by applying to the Occupational Health Service by completing the appropriate consent form in line with GDPR.

Can someone come with me to my appointment?

Yes, you are welcome to take a friend or relative with you if you like.

If incident occurs resulting in serious injury or potential exposure to blood borne contagion (e.g. bite, needle stick injury) what should I do?

The staff member should attend to the nearest Emergency Department/ Local Injury Unit. Line manager may request follow up appointment be made to Occupational Health Service for fitness to return to work assessment, if required.

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