An Occupational Physician is a medical expert who is a member of the Australasian Faculty of Occupational Medicine (AFOEM).
Occupational Physicians have extensive qualifications (a 6-year medical degree and 4-year training program with the AFOEM) and provide advice on the clinical management of people who work. They have specialised knowledge and skills within two key areas of medicine – Occupational Medicine and Environmental Medicine.
Occupational Medicine takes a preventative approach to health and safety in the workplace by reviewing how a work environment can impact an employee’s health, and how an employee’s health can affect their work.
Environmental Medicine focuses on the human health impacts of industrial practices on the broader environment outside of the industrial site.
Occupational and Environmental Physicians (OEPs)
Occupational and Environmental Physicians (OEPs) provide specialist knowledge to ensure a healthy, productive workforce and connect a workplace with the diverse range of health services necessary to optimise the health and wellbeing of employees.
There are only 500 Occupational Physicians in Australia with the majority of them working in urban centres. Occupational physicians work in a variety of settings and collaborate with other health professionals to assist in the management of injured or ill workers.
KINNECT’s Occupational Physicians work alongside KINNECT’s other allied health professionals and are able to:
- Recognise and construct preventative strategies aimed at reducing workplace morbidity. Such strategies include the management of medical conditions, in particular those of a musculoskeletal nature
- Assist KINNECT’s allied health professionals in complex scenarios where appropriate and targeted management is crucial to a successful outcome
- Provide management to employees with chronic illnesses to assist them in remaining in the workforce for as long possible
- Diagnose complex medical conditions and determine cause and effect
- Provide and assessment of employees affected by acute exposure to environmental contaminants such as crystalline silica to advise on the best course of action
Our Occuapational Physicians
Dr. Graeme Edwards
Dr. Edwards is a Senior Consulting Physician with extensive experience in Occupational and Environmental Medicine. His experience of over 25 years includes working as a consultant and medical adviser for a wide variety of companies and industries.
Dr. Edwards’ qualifications include a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery and Bachelor of Medical Science from The University of Queensland. As part of his education, Dr. Edward’s wrote a thesis in Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology specialising in pain. His current work includes being a Queensland representative for The Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (AFOEM) Council and the Director of Work & Health Risk Management.
Dr. Edward’s recently represented the AFOEM at a silicosis working group in March 2019. The working group comprised of representatives from Queensland Health, the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy as well as a number of medical organisations. The group was developed to provide a response to the unfolding silicosis crisis1.
This response included a Queensland Government audit where hundreds of stonemasons were referred for lung testing. This testing was conducted by Dr. Graeme Edwards alongside other prominent Occupational and Environmental Physicians2,3.
Dr. Edwards will be providing KINNECT with Occupational and Environmental Physician services to complement our existing occupational medical service offering. Together with Dr. Edwards, KINNECT look forward to assisting more people remain healthy and safe at work.