What is it?
An Occupational dictionary (also known as a Job Dictionary) is a key human resources management and injury management tool with wide ranging application and far reaching implications for business success. When founded on accurate job and task data, an Occupational dictionary is critical for assisting individuals and employers to identify potential health and safety problems and to develop, implement and manage programs that maintain the work ability and health of workers.
What is it used for?
Identified uses of or applications for an Occupational Dictionary include:
- Job and task design and legal compliance
- Staff recruitment and selection based on job requirements, including the development of hiring parameters and qualifications [eg. Identification of the physical and other demands of the work, experience and education needed to successfully perform the duties)
- Allocation of workers to suitable work
- Description of job for new or transferring employees
- Determining, developing or Implementing modified work or reasonable accommodations for workers with disability and limitations
- Basis for development of functional job related pre-work screens
- Workload and performance management, including identification of key performance indicators (KPI’s)
- Wage and salary decisions and career development
- Staff training and training needs analysis
- Guiding decisions on purchasing equipment and facilities
- Reliability assessment (error assessment/prediction) [Rausand, M. 1998]
- Accident investigation
- Ageing workforce management
- Risk management
- Organisational and safety culture development
What we offer
To achieve its potential, an occupational dictionary must be built on a job and task analysis that is focused on data collection with an understanding of and commitment to, ergonomic principles, risk management, the biosychosocial model and a focus of disability prevention [see key concepts below]. We offer a unique, industry leading and evidence-based assessment and reporting system that guarantees this focus and achieves the required outcome. Our service is delivered by appropriately trained and qualified professionals, experienced in ergonomics and task analysis [refer to bio of leading resource]. The accurate and relevant job and task information contained within the occupational dictionary helps to embed Work health and safety [WHS] management into all operational aspects of an organisation.
Key Concepts for Occupational Dictionaries and WHS
1. Ergonomics is a whole of system approach, focusing on “ interactions among humans & other elements of a system and design, to optimise human well-being and system performance.” (International Ergonomics Association Council, 2000). This approach includes the understanding, relevance and application of anthropometric data and ergonomic guides [eg. safe weights, forces and reach distances]. The ergonomics framework (adapted from Grey, S., Norris, B., & Wilson, J. (1987) includes the people, tasks, equipment, environment, work organisational and company culture. Occupational dictionaries and risk assessments must include an analysis of job and task demands, hazards and risks with consideration of all factors within the ergonomics framework. Risk management and ergonomic solutions to identified problems focus on job and task design or redesign.
2. A risk management approach is relevant to both injury prevention and injury management. It is hard to focus on improving safety with work performance if you don’t actually know what demands are involved with the work performed and what risks are associated with these demands. A detailed analysis of job and task demands allows adequate identification of risk exposures encompassing all relevant physical and psychosocial factors. Only then can effective risk management become a realistic and ongoing prospect for organisations. (Ref: AS/NZS ISO 31000 2009)
3. The biosychosocial model recognises that multiple factors influence health, safety, injury, disability, pain, function and return to work and dictates that occupational dictionaries and risk management processes must consider physical and psychosocial job demands and hazards. (Ref: Butler and Moseley, 2003)
4. Safety culture relates to the values and beliefs of individuals and organisations. It results from a combination of organisational “cultures” which includes: (1) An informed culture; (2) a reporting culture (3) a just culture; (4) a learning culture. These aspects of safety culture require an understanding and application of job and task information. A key element of safety culture is the manner in which an organisation disseminates the correct information about risks and hazards. An occupational dictionary is the foundation for the development of a positive organisational and safety culture. It helps an organization to focus on shared and individual responsibility, healthy work design and healthy choices and behaviours.
5. Ageing workers face specific occupational health and safety concerns. Strategies to minimise age-related problems and help older workers maintain their health and productivity, begin with young workers and continue throughout their working lives. The workplace affords the best community opportunity for health promotion and maintenance in working adults. [Ref: The ageing Australian workforce – APA Position Statement]. Physiotherapists are able to positively impact on the health outcomes and productivity of working Australians by working with individual clients of working age, workgroups and employers through a range of strategies and targeted interventions. An occupational dictionary is recognised as an important tool to help address issues relating to an ageing workforce. APA specialist and titled Occupational Health Physiotherapists have a high level of expertise and experience for assisting individuals and employers to identify potential health and safety problems and develop, implement and manage programs to maintain the work ability and health of ageing Australian workers.