Health Conditions

Signs and Symptoms

“Health condition” is an umbrella term used to describe illnesses that affect the ability of the body to function. These conditions may be temporary, episodic, remissive, degenerative or terminal.

Each person’s experiences and symptoms will be unique to their condition however, all health conditions affect the individual’s capacity in the workplace.

Examples include;

» Alcohol and drug dependency
» Asthma, emphysema and respiratory disorders

» Cancers including brain, breasts, lung, pancreas, skin, bowel, ovarian, and renal

» Chronic fatigue or chronic pain syndrome

» Crohn's Disease
» Heart and artery diseases
» Cystic Fibrosis
» Diabetes
» Endometriosis
» Hepatitis C
» Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism
» Immunodeficiency
» Kidney disorder
» Liver disorders and cirrhosis

It is also essential to consider how workplace environments can cause health conditions. For example, extensive exposure to smoke and chemical fumes can lead to respiratory disorders or aggrevate pre-existing conditions such as asthma.

For additional resources and support, visit Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Affect on Daily Life at Work

» The employee’s health condition may affect their physical capacity e.g. their stamina and strength. » This may impact their ability to stand for long periods or lift heavy objects

» The condition may affect their mental health, leading to self-isolation, low moods or poor concentration
» Your employee may take additional sick days depending on fluctuations in their condition, mental health or medical appointments
» They may require additional breaks to take medicine. For example, a diabetic employee self-administering insulin.

Workplace Support

» Ensure you understand the condition and their capacity to work
» Be familiar with any medication they’re taking, its side effects and provide safe disposal facilities
» Maintain a positive attitude so they can feel comfortable communicating fluctuations in their condition
» Facilitate flexible hours, workloads and deadlines
» Ensure you’re aware of emergency contacts and when they should be used.

Cancer is the leading cause of death in Australia with 50000 deaths estimated in 2019

Cancer Council