How many medical specialists would be familiar with the tasks and working environment of a coal mine, an abattoir or a sugarcane processing plant?
Only those who have conducted site visits.
Phoenix Occupational and Environmental Physicians (OEP) offer this service to workplaces.
Why would we need a site visit?
A site visit provides first hand knowledge of the specific duties of a worker and the site where they are working. It involves the OEP conducting a focused walk through of a workplace.
Walk a mile in another’s steel caps.
Often a site visit will involve the OEP donning the same PPE as the worker. They may handle the tools or climb in and out the cab of the vehicle to get a real sense of tasks undertaken by the worker.
The OEP will have the opportunity to feel the weight, surface texture and awkwardness of moving items.
A site visit enables assessment of the need for strength, stamina and alertness in the role, as well as the physical and psychosocial environment. It can assess if the worker needs to operate in noise, dust, or humidity – while wearing PPE, and working at heights.
Other professional assessments -such a a good occupational hygiene monitoring report -are invaluable but teamed with a site visit means the OEP has the full 360 impression of your site.
Protocols or practical reality?
An organisation will most likely have protocols and risk assessments for specific tasks.
Sometimes how the job is described as being performed is different to how it is actually done.
It might be a shortcut. It might due to damaged equipment. It might be - there is a better way.
A site visit can give you these insights.
Fitness for duty / return to work / staying at work
When managing injuries or assessing fitness for duty an OEP needs to communicate occupational specific matters to the worker and workplace. Site visits enable insights that can assist this sensitive communication.
When an OEP conducts a site visit, they create a picture of the worker’s experience in the role, in their workplace. When choosing a specialist to look after the health of your workforce – would you select one who had actually been there or not?