An operational location health risk assessment (OL-HRA) tool has been created that the health and human resources departments of an oilfield services provider use to determine the health risk level of each operational location. Results are compared before and after systematic, coordinated implementation of the OL-HRA tool with respect to preventing incorrect assignments for an employee's fitness-to-work to a location's medical environment.

Fitness-to-work is managed by the company's health department, and assignment to work in the 85 countries where the company operates is managed by the human resources department.

Employees with potentially serious health/medical issues discovered during periodic fitness-to-work medical assessments are sometimes found to be unfit to work in assignments located offshore, on vessels, or even in office jobs located in remote locations or in locations where health care facilities are deemed to be substandard. These individuals are referred to as restricted 1 (R1). These individuals may, however, still be medically fit to work in locations where good-quality medical facilities are readily available.

Although it is evident that all vessels and offshore installations are by definition R1 locations, meaning that an R1 person cannot be assigned to work in these R1 locations, the vast majority of company operational locations around the world were not clearly identified as to whether they were R1 or non-R1 locations.

To ensure that employees with pre-existing health conditions could be assigned to adapted operational locations, it was deemed essential to develop a tool that could be used by both the health and human resources departments to assess the health risk level of each operational location.

The OL-HRA tool is used by each operational location's health, safety, and environment (HSE) manager and the company's approved health care professional to obtain a health risk level for the location.

Before the implementation of this OL-HRA tool and its systematic and coordinated use by the health and human resources departments, more than 1,000 R1 employees were assigned to R1 locations with an inappropriate medical environment for their specific health concerns.

The OL-HRA tool has not only improved management and assignment of employees who have a potentially serious health/medical issue, it has also decreased the number of hospitalizations and evacuations among high-mobility employees while reducing the company's health-related expenditures.

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