Working and Endometriosis White Paper
We welcome Safe Work Australia’s (SWA) new resource 'Supporting workers with endometriosis in the workplace'.
We’re often asked to help organisations and workers who have a health issue. Health issues such as endometriosis (or diabetes or another condition) which aren’t strictly work-related can still impact the worker and workplace, and endometriosis is an example of this.
The clearly written fact sheet from SWA provides further insight:
“People respond in different ways to their disease. These individual differences may affect a workers’ capacity to perform work safely, potentially creating risks to their health and safety, and the health and safety of others. For example, there may be an increased risk of serious accidents due to reduced attention levels and fatigue, particularly in organisations where working with heavy machinery or manual handling is required.”
"Not all workers suffering from endometriosis will require increased time off, but by talking to your workers and asking how they are coping, you can assess if they need additional support so they can do their work safely.”
A plan as individual as you
People with health conditions may benefit from individualised plans.
At Phoenix Occupational Medicine, our Health Management Plans are one way an organisation can respond to support workers. Our health professionals can develop a plan with the worker, their treating doctor and facilitate the appropriate sharing of information with the employing organisation.
Not all workers will want to discuss private information, however, individuals can feel confident that their privacy will be managed when our health professionals are involved.
As well as Health Management Plans, other strategies to support workers can include:
- Training the ‘People in Charge of People’ –frontline managers can play a key role in opening a conversation in a sensitive manner. Building a supportive culture and reacting appropriately to concerns raised by workers may make sharing of sensitive information more likely.
- Flexible work arrangements and job modifications.
- Policy and procedures - developing,implementing and promoting policies and procedures in relation to health conditions such as endometriosis, can assist in raising awareness and understanding of the diseasee