Engagement on health


Information on our occupational health programme's key events and a sample of the presentations.

One key way in which we promote our health programme is by arranging and delivering presentations at key events.

Launch of annual health and safety report 2017-18

The launch event for ORR's annual report on health and safety performance for 2017-18 included a presentation on progress by the industry in moving towards healthy design on silica dust, diesel fumes, and hand arm vibration syndrome in the supply chain.

The presentation illustrates the importance and benefits of embedding healthy design in projects and procedures, as well as some of the challenges facing the industry on health.

Railway Health & Wellbeing Conference 2016

The industry health conference on the 22 November 2016 brought people together from across the industry to promote how all parties can work together to provide effective health and wellbeing management within rail. It was acknowledged that health risk is referred to as the poor relation of health and safety, there is much to be done. This branch of healthcare is concerned with the relationship and interaction between health and work. But, good work is good for you! And, good health is also good business.

Promoting improvements to job design was very much a central theme of the conference. An effective occupational health programme protects workers against work- related health risks, ensures the fitness of workers to work safely and effectively and reduces absence due to work related and non-work related illness. Emphasis was placed on the need for employees to "buy in" to the health policies that are put in place for their benefit. Further, that good health cannot be delivered without appropriate terms and conditions of service – this means that there has to be linkage with HR. There is still scope for delivering a better balance of safety, health policies and wellbeing.  Effective leadership is key to delivery of the industry health strategy.

Third annual trade union safety representatives conference - health and wellbeing

On 6 November 2013 ORR hosted its annual union safety representatives' conference in conjunction with RMT, ASLEF, TSSA, and UNITE. The conference theme was health and well-being. Around 120 delegates heard from RSSB on its Workforce Health and Well-Being project, including work to develop resources to help line managers and safety reps better understand and put into practice meaningful health risk assessments.

The presentations and workshop sessions prompted lively discussion on a range of topical health issues, including the role of occupational health providers, as well as managing risks from fatigue, stress, asbestos, silica in ballast dust, and suicide. A key theme throughout the day was the importance of safety reps being involved in, and working with company managers, to deliver improvements in health risk management for workers.

Occupational health - the financial case

ORR's event in November 2012 on 'Occupational Health – The Financial Case', focussed on the financial case and benefits from excellent management of occupational health. The presentations clearly showed the core messages of ORR's health programme, that modestly funded health management, properly targeted, benefits both the individual and the business. A number of common themes emerged from the good practice case study presentations and discussion, including:

  • More visible leadership at senior level is key to the rail industry moving towards excellence in managing health;
  • Better and continuous employee engagement on health (building 'social capital' within the business), building trust with workforce, is critical to success;
  • A more proactive, preventive approach to health risk management is needed, with the focus on the whole organisation and the way work is done, as well as on individuals;
  • Where ill health happens, early intervention (including referrals to occupational health services) is important to  increase early return to work and lessen  business costs;
  • Scope for better use of health and wellbeing data, including sickness absence, data on  those who continue to work and the number of returns to work on restricted duties;
  • Understanding of the costs of ill health to business is needed to target health interventions and to estimate their effectiveness; and
  • Share what works – 'pinch with pride', and collaborate – 'participate with pride' to improve your reduction in costs.

Presentations from the event

Occupational health presentations