In the developing as well as developed countries, occupational health problem issues are the most neglected issues in the industries. In epidemiology, risk factors identification and current advancement in the technology, has contributed to the reduction of current health problems globally. However, increased job demands have increased the job related stress and health issues in the workplace. The environment of the workplace is an important contributor to the worker’s well-being and mental ill health problem. In the pharmaceutical industry of UK, there is great number of the sales employees as compared to the general staff that is about 5 to 20 % of total workforce (Lockwood, Marinoni & Ando, 2012). The prime responsibility of the sales staff is effective promotion and marketing of the existing and new products. For such employees, the occupational health services provision represent a challenge as sales staff spend most of their working hours in isolation or driving (Lockwood, Marinoni & Ando, 2012). Now the industries are identifying the importance of healthy, fit and fulfilled employees in this field and the occupational health care providers play important role in minimization of the ill-health and injuries to this work force. Due to the development of the information technology and increase in working trends, there is development of remote working that is employee’s job outside the organization premises (Lockwood, Marinoni & Ando, 2012). The recognition of the occupational health problem related to the peripatetic staff is essential because this will support the development of the strategies and policies to address the health problems by health professionals.
This essay will highlight the main occupational health problem associated with the remote working staff of the pharmaceutical industry from the business nucleus. This paper will also address the ways by which a significant and comprehensive health service can be provided to these employees.
Risks that are associated with the sales force when there is an assessment of the occupational health problems are divided into five categories that are driving for the business of the company, stress, workplace violence, use of mobile phone and ergonomic issues. Among them, in the report will discuss the issue of the accidents caused due to driving during business hours of the (Smith, 2011). There are convincing evidence that the car drivers of the companies are at greater accidents risk than the general population. One of the researches revealed that drivers of the company were more likely to be involved in the accidents. In UK, the Union Congress trade estimated that out of 1200 about 300 drivers were killed on the roads of Britain annually during driving for the company’s business and this estimation was much higher than the employee's number that were met with accidents in the employer’s premises. The reasons for this increase in the accidents rate are various (Hannah & McNidder, 2013). Researchers indicated that this was because of solid demands on time that finally affect the decision making process regarding the speed and overtaking of driving. The other researchers stated that increased liability for the company’s car drivers extended over non-working drivers because of the driving style not due to the time pressure. The researcher concluded that this type of accidents dependents on the vehicle type and purpose of its use. The behaviour pattern that is categorized by the competitiveness, excessive impatience, hostility and pressure related to time is the reason for the accident’s higher risk (Hannah & McNidder, 2013). It was noticed that the time pressure is most significant risk factors for the near accidents when the other factor such as gender, age, urban driving and annual mileage were under control. The busy sales force’s implication that is working in the competitive field having large geographical cover should be esteemed and there should be recognition of the benefits of providing education and the training of these employees for the improvement of the driving and the stress management (Hannah & McNidder, 2013). Sleeping during driving was account for the considerable accidents proportion under repetitive driving conditions. It had been observed that the driver’s sleepiness is due to the journey duration and for the protection of the professional legislation, there should be duration limit for the driving. The consumption of the alcohol and nocturnal snoring on the driver fatigue increases the potential for the accident by 30% (Smith, 2011). This factor reinforces the education need about the requirement of the journey plan, driving dangers while sleepy, at nights or a shift following and about the benefits of the regular breaks. In addition to above, the drivers regularly drive their vehicles even in adverse weathers that can also increase the risk of the accidents (Smith, 2011). In May 2000, transport department of the UK, health and safety executives and the local government established the inter-agency Work related Road safety task group (Smith, 2011). This group was established to found the main reasons, methods, and policies for the prevention of these incidences and planning of the minimum health and safety management standards. Their finding is as follows:
Men are most often involved in the road accidents and most of them are severe accidents. The age group 16to20 and 21to 24, the fatality rates in the male population were more as compared to the fatality rates in female. The accidents nature is different in men and women case as men are more possible to met accidents that were related to the violation of the traffic rules. In the cases of men, they were more likely, about three times more reported cases of driving after drinking and less use of the seatbelts (Smith, 2011). Men also counted for the majority of the aggressive drivers. In the cases of women, they were mostly involved in the accidents that occurred due to judgmental errors that resulted in lesser driving confidence. The older drivers were at lesser risk than the younger drivers (Smith, 2011). The personality characteristics were related to the increased risk such as sensation-seeking and the risk taking the attitude that is often associated with the accidents. The major life events and the stress were associated with frequency of the increased accident. The task group revealed that the findings had employer’s implications (Sathiyasusuman, 2011). The task group recommended that there should be benefits awareness of the procedures and policies related to occupational road safety, recruitment, in particular, safety culture, training, stress management and stress management. In addition to above, the task group demonstrated the good practice models that are related to risk management in the road safety and showed that how both small and large organizations, with a variety of the driving vehicles and activities, can implement the significant procedures with maximum benefits. The recommendations are as follows.
There should be the motivation of the employers for the introduction of the road safety policies that support the reduction in the accidents and the associated losses.
These procedures should employ for addressing of the road safety that is work related which includes risk assessment, incidents reporting, driver’s training, use of the mobile phones, breakdown assistance/guidance, vehicle maintenance, alternative transport means, awareness campaign and incentives programs (Quartey, Wang & Kim, 2011). Policies are operative more when they are co-ordinated by the safety and health specialists in corporation with the risk/insurance management staff and fleet managers (Sathiyasusuman, 2011). There should be a commitment from the senior managers and employee’s inclusion when there is the development of risk assessment and procedure to accurate the data for the measurement of the improvement is the vital components of the significant system.
The employer’s scrutiny is essential, along with road accidents regulatory reports that occurred at work under injuries reporting, Diseases and dangerous occurrence regulation 1995 (Quartey, Wang & Kim, 2011).Moreover, the task group proposed that employers that have substantial driver’s numbers should submit the safety case to HSE for the operating license. This duty or responsibility would parallel the need for the other hazards organizations (Pandve, 2008).
It is concluded the occupational health problem is the major issue in the developed as well as the developing countries. In the pharmaceutical industries, due to the development of technology and the job demands, the sales staff count increased very much and there are a number of the health issues that are related to the sales force. The sales staffs contribute about 5% to 20% of total staff as they work on the promotion and marketing of the new and existing product . The health issues associated with the sales staffs are driving, workplace violence, stress, ergonomic issues and use of the mobile phones. Among them, the issue related to the accident during driving for the business work is the main as it is the cause of the maximum accidents at work. These road accidents occur due to strong delivery on time, stress, alcohol consumption, risk taking and the sleepy during driving. The different organizations come together for the reduction of health problems and recommendation of the prevention measures that are training, education, and break after driving, substantial driver’s numbers and so on. These recommendations should be followed by the employers for the road accidents prevention.
Hannah, M., & McNidder, R. (2013). Using IFF Kitbag to Support Staff Working in Mental Health Teams. Health And Social Care Chaplaincy, 1(1), 55-60.
Lockwood, C., Marinoni, G., & Ando, G. (2012). PHP8 A Survey of “Joint Working” Between the Pharmaceutical Industry and the National Health Service in the UK. Value In Health, 15(7), A290.
Pandve, H. (2008). Emerging public health issues due to climate change. Indian Journal Of Occupational And Environmental Medicine, 12(3), 142.
Quartey, G., Wang, J., & Kim, J. (2011). A review of risk measures in pharmacoepidemiology with tips for statisticians in the pharmaceutical industry. Pharmaceutical Statistics, 10(6), 548-553.
Sathiyasusuman, A. (2011). Mental health services in Ethiopia: Emerging public health issue. Public Health, 125(10), 714-716.
Smith, D. (2011). From “Occupational” to “Industrial”: Issue 1 of theAMA Archives of Industrial Health, January 1955. Archives Of Environmental & Occupational Health, 66(3), 183-187.