Location: Global
Industry: Energy
Service: Consultancy

Development of Fit To Work Guidelines at global and local level

Background

We were contracted to develop the corporate FTW Guidelines for the client’s global operations. The documentation was developed using a mixture of field-based and desk-top investigations and research.

Challenges

  • Availability of client staff to attend for interviews for us to carry out the JDAs;
  • Availability of providers in remote locations to carry out Occupational Health Medicals. Although reliable providers were available in the cities, for logistical reasons the client wished to have occupational health provision closer to the operational sites. Due to the fact that no reliable providers were available in the area, we made a recommendation to the client to set up in house OH provision services. We carried out a separate project for the client to implement this recommendation.

Solutions

  • We formulated a tailor-made questionnaire to be used during field visits in Algeria and in Head Office. Each questionnaire was aimed at capturing the physical and mental demands of each position interviewed. A general assessment of the risks associated with the position was also carried out via a Health Risk Assessment.
  • An analysis of the results of just over 30 questionnaires received following two site visits to the client’s installations in Algeria and six interviews performed during a visit to the the client’s headquarters was carried out. Summaries of all positions interviewed in Algeria as well as Head Office were developed for ease of reference.
  • The information acquired from the two field visits allowed us to identify six main ‘employee groups’ for which specific position-related tasks may require a particular approach in determining fitness to work. Although some positions were note encountered during the site visits (e.g. off-shore workers and crane operators), these positions were also included in the corporate FTW Guidelines given their existence at other the client installations. Information regarding the necessary FTW assessment and standards to be implemented for such positions was obtained by performing desktop research and analysis of overarching policy and guideline documents produced by international organisations, most importantly, the UK Offshore Oil and Gas Industry Association and the Oil Industry International Exploration and Production Forum (E&P Forum).
  • Given that each of these employee groups was located in either a remote or a non-remote site, a baseline package of medical tests to be implemented at pre-employment stage and at subsequent FTW assessments was devised for these two locations.
  • Additional tests and training requirements for each of the six client’s employee groups were then determined and a description of medical packages was formulated in the corporate FTW Guidelines.
  • The FTW criteria to be fulfilled by all workers, whether based in a remote or non-remote location, and by the various employee groups were developed. This required an analysis of documents including the “Guidelines for Medical Aspects of Fitness for Work Offshore: Guidance for Examining Physicians”, the “Health Management Guidelines for Remote LandBased Geophysical Operations” (which are often applied to remote site work) and other similar policies. A summary of the physiological standards to be fulfilled by each employee group was also developed and provided as an annexe.
  • In developing the FTW Guidelines, we developed a number of documents, including templates that can be filled out in various situations depending on the nature of the FTW assessment, and guidance regarding the types of tests that can be used in different assessments. A document for HR personnel who are responsible for referring the client’s employees for‘medicals’ with the company doctor, was also developed to ensure that the instructions on the use of different forms and guidance documents is as clear as possible.
  • Given that the overarching FTW Guidelines provide a standard to be applied globally, a need was felt to complement this document with country-specific health risk assessments (HRAs). Each HRA contains information on the local hazards and risks that should be considered whenever employees are being deployed to such locations, and also outlines some of the most pertinent national legislation and policies that may impact on the FTW assessment process. HRAs for Algeria and Head Office Country were carried out and country specific adaptions of the protocol were provided.
  • An audit of the providers that could provide the services to the client in Algeria was carried out and recommendations were given.
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