last updated:22/11/2017 @ 10:07 am

Good Occupational Medical Practice 2017

To emphasise that occupational physicians share many obligations in common with other doctors, the original words and passages of Good Medical Practice (displayed in black), and selected abstracts from supplementary guidelines of the GMC (displayed in red), are retained and presented. Where appropriate, extra commentary, written specifically by the Faculty of Occupational Medicine, then follows in a distinguishing (blue) typeface.
ForewordIntroductionDomain 1: Knowledge, skills and performanceDomain 2: Safety and qualityDomain 3: Communication, partnership and teamworkDomain 4: Maintaining trustAfterword

Apply knowledge and experience to practice Part 2

Good clinical practice in the occupational health setting should include:

  • assessing adequately the patient’s health, based on the clinical and occupational history, and clinical signs, an understanding of the work (including contemplated work) and workplace, and if necessary, an appropriate examination of the patient, and any relevant medical reports and tests;
  • assessing competently the interaction between workers and their jobs – including personal and occupational factors that may adversely affect their ability to safely discharge their duties or adversely affect the health and safety of others;
  • organising investigations important to the assessment of occupational risks, potential occupational illness, or fitness for work;
  • recommending specific occupational interventions where indicated;
  • taking suitable and prompt action when necessary;
  • providing patients with the information they need to protect themselves against occupational risks and in a way that is easily understandable;
  • apprising the patient of other sources of help and advice (such as the Health and Safety Executive, human resource managers and safety representatives);
  • referring the patient to their general practitioner when indicated;
  • collecting enough information to make a competent assessment of the risks from work, including relevant information on groups of workers;
  • assessing the workplace, where appropriate, in order to gain an understanding of the work environment, the nature and demands of the work, and the risks to health;
  • according high priority to the health and safety of individuals in the workplace;
  • advising workers, managers, and employee representatives on the measures required to control the health risks arising from work activities, especially any obligations which are statutory;
  • advising on health surveillance when indicated (e.g. to protect workers’ health, to confirm the adequacy of control measures, or to fulfil a statutory obligation) and interpreting the findings;
  • assessing competently a worker’s functional capability for work, including any impairments or disabilities, and considering these in relation to relevant fitness standards and options for reasonable adjustments to their work, rehabilitation, redeployment or ill-health retirement;
  • advising competently on relevant health and safety and equalities legislation, including the Equality Act, Data Protection Act, Health and Safety at Work Act and secondary health and safety regulations;
  • encouraging employers to accommodate workers with disability, and advising employers and employees on any statutory requirements and sources of assistance relating to disability;
  • encouraging employers not to discriminate unfairly against employees with illness or health-related problems;
  • ensuring adequate and balanced consideration of the medical evidence pertaining to individual employees;
  • ensuring adequate and appropriate communication with managers, so that workers’ health problems and health and safety issues can be handled in an effective and balanced way.

Note that good occupational medical practice generally includes protecting the health of groups of workers, as well as individuals; and encompasses advice on health and safety arrangements and policies, as well as consultations with individual workers. Indeed, for some specialist practitioners this may represent most or all of their practice.