Honda assesses staff illness and rehab

The Honda motor plant in Swindon has a comprehensive process for assessing the ability of employees to work and for rehabilitating them in the event of injury or illness.

The Honda motor plant in Swindon has a comprehensive process for assessing the ability of employees to work

The process starts with a rigorous pre-employment screening process and staff are then assigned tasks appropriate to their physical attributes.

Mike Weaver, manager, health, safety and environment at the company, which has between 5,000 and 6,000 employees, says: “You get good morale, very much less absence, and better quality. If you make a job difficult to do, sooner or later the quality will deteriorate.”

All employees receive private medical insurance (PMI) and the firm has around 20 healthcare staff onsite, including occupational health nurses and a team of outsourced physiotherapists.

Other help, such as osteopaths and counsellors, are enlisted as needed through the company Hanoun Medical and Managed Occupational Health.

Rehabilitation of injured staff is central to the Honda strategy and the process begins early.
“If someone has an MSD [musculoskeletal disorder], even if it is not caused by the processes here, it’s clearly in our interests to get them back to work as soon as possible. People who try to work through pain take a lot longer to get back to work,” adds Weaver.