Occ health: Signs of health-related decline in work performance

SIGNS OF HEALTH-RELATED DECLINE IN WORK PERFORMANCE (Useful when evaluating alcohol abuse but also other non-wellness/ ill-health)

ATTENDANCE
– Excessive absenteeism
– Excessive use of sick leave
– Frequent days off for vague ailments and unlikely “emergencies”
– Arriving late and leaving early; tardiness

– Absences while at work
– Unexplained or inadequately explained absences
– Frequent absences from the work area
– Extended lunch or break periods
– Does not return from lunch
– Leaves work early

PRODUCTIVITY
– Decline in quality of work
– Decline in quantity of work
– Increase in waste/scrap
– Erratic performance
– Work not completed
– Deadlines missed

THINKING
– Can’t express ideas or thoughts in a coherent fashion
– Seems confused
– Disorganised ideas and speech
– Lack of concentration
– Can’t perform simple calculations
– Uses poor judgement
– Unable to perform simple instructions
– Forgets details, work assignments, meetings and appointments
– Illogical or nonsensical explanations
– Difficulty in planning work

EMOTIONAL BEHAVIOUR
– Irritability
– Sudden outbursts of emotion
– Shows inappropriate emotion
– Mood changes

ATTITUDE
– Secretive, avoids observation
– Loss of motivation
– Loss of interest in work

SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR
– Change in relationships with co-workers, friends, supervisor, subordinates
– Change in circle of friends
– Isolation from former friends
– Unusually withdrawn or unusually talkative
– Frequent complaints about personal problems
– Overreaction to real or imagined criticism
– Blames others for own performance or behaviour problems
– Deterioration in interpersonal communication

PHYSICAL CONDITION
– Significant changes in personal hygiene and/or appearance
– Unusual untidiness
– Can’t sit still, visibly shaking
– Blank stare, sleepiness (nodding), alcohol on breath
– Visible physical deterioration

SAFETY AWARENESS
– Minor accidents and injuries on and off the job
– Inattention to work safety rules (e.g. smoking near flammable material)
– Behaviour inappropriate for work environment (e.g. talking loud when quietness is required)