WHAT IS “Synergee”?
Synergee, derives from
the term which means that, in any one system or interaction,
the unified whole is greater than the sum of the separate
parts. This refers to the universal truth that co-ordinated
teamwork is a powerful mechanism for achieving success. This
is the essence of Synergee. The overall approach and the
productivity tools that are the core of this management
system are primarily designed to maximise the capacity of
Synergee is subdivided into three programs:
SaftiCare: is a structured
approach to the design and implementation of an
Occupational Health Programme, aimed at reducing health
risks to employees and reducing employer liability.
an approach to the establishment of on-site clinic
facilities with a view to the delivery of work-site
based primary health care.
OptiCare: is a
wellness approach to worksite healthcare, including
executive health and other products based on health
the program areas is achieved by using
(Computerised Health and Environment Surveillance System) addresses five main disciplines
Primary Health Care.
Health Promotion and Corporate
“Occupational Health should aim at the promotion and maintenance of the highest
degree of physical, mental and social
well-being of workers in all occupations; …”
Joint ILO/WHO Committee on OH (1950)
What is Organisational Health
Issues about health impact organisations on a
regular basis. HR finds these areas complex, technical and
expensive. The Organisational Health model provides an
integrative set of tools to deliver efficient and effective
health services to an organisation.
Organisations who wish to help deliver world class
services realise that health related issues in the work
place are ever present, often awkward to manage and more
complex to deal with due to the technicalities and the
personal nature of the problems. The balance between
pro-active, preventive campaigns which show little return in
the short term (much like training), and reactive programmes
also needs to be balanced. This approach provides a set of
tools to companies allowing for an integrative approach to
health management. The integration of components of the
organisational health model, make dealing with complex
issues such as HIV/AIDS, comprehensive stress and wellness
programmes more practical.
Health is no longer a soft issue that can be
managed in an ad hoc fashion. There are a number of key
drivers which are impacting on organisations. A strategic,
co-ordinated approach offers HR and organisations the
Reduction in non-occupational
health care costs
Contributing to enhancing
human relations & labour policies
intra-departmental health issues such as stress and
Reduce the impact of
occupational injury & diseases
Provision of health inputs to
the product offering to ensure safe use and customer
confidence (product stewardship).
What are the Health Drivers
Herewith a short list of the many statutes that
impact on health delivery and operational issues at work:
Occupational Health and Safety
Act (OHSA) and Regulations.
Compensation of Occupational
Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA).
Employment Equity Act and it’s
Codes of Practice.
Labour Relations Act.
Basic Conditions of Employment
Health care (medical schemes)
now cost on average 10 - 12% of the total wage bill.
Productivity issues – fewer
people providing same or greater levels of outputs,
therefore the value per employee grows.
Lack of risk management to
minimise losses through ill health, nor is risk management
contributing to minimise labour turnover or productivity
Expanding liability and
accountability of organisations for health related issues.
reputation that the organisation will remain sustainable
in the face of threats such as HIV/AIDS.
Social transformation and greater
expectations on employers.
People with poor access to
health care are being employed.
World of Work is undergoing a
revolution leading to increased levels of stress (as are
our domestic lives)
Greater access to illegal
What is the “Organisational
As health become more urgent and
complex in organisations, an integrated approach becomes
more important. The model integrates the key areas of health
delivery in the work place. Numerous industrial and
commercial organisations have adapted the model to meet
their own health related needs.
This illustration below
demonstrates the 5 core components of organisational health,
with the main elements of each. These components are
of work-related injury and illness prevention, incorporating
the disciplines of Occupational Hygiene, Safety and
Medicine, through various strategies, including risk
assessment and risk control by means of engineering away
hazards, and monitoring for early signs of failure of these
controls. Examples include:
Identification, evaluation & control of risk in the
workplace to minimise or prevent exposure.
with recruitment where appropriate ensuring fitness to
for signs and symptoms of illness associated with exposure
to hazards (e.g. physical, chemical, biological,
Primary Health Care
The delivery of first-level medical interventions,
including curative as well as preventive, for injured and
ill employees at work, and is implied to be an on-site
activity. Examples include:
Primary level medical care
(minor ailment consultations and management)
Medication management (stock
control, dispensing, etc.)
First contact trauma
Benefits Management & Curative Care
This includes matters such as pension or provident
fund provision, statutory entitlements, such as sick leave,
prenatal leave, medical aid,
hospital insurance and other negotiated benefits.
Input, administrative support and advice on:
Recruitment assistance (people
are fit for the job)
Medical aid benefit design
Medical adjudication of
benefits – ensuring that employees get benefits to which
they are entitled.
Provide input to trustees and HR to make decisions
(medical, health & productivity issues)
Deal with medical issues & interpretation of the
rules. (Medical adjudication).
Employee Assistance Programme
The delivery of support services for employees that
are functioning sub-optimally due to physical, psychological
and social problems, and include counselling, training,
rehabilitation, and the mobilisation of statutory bodies
where necessary. Examples include:
programme for employees where stressful situations are
impacting on performance.
Referral system for stressed
Training managers to manage
such employees effectively, so that there are alternate
ways of managing poor performance besides discipline.
Input, administrative support
and advice on:
Health Promotion & Wellness (HP)
This refers to the coordinated activities that aim
for a state of health that exceeds the absence of disease,
and seeks to achieve optimal mental, social and physical
function. Examples include:
Voluntary Medical Testing to
identify early adverse effects of lifestyle (executive
medicals, wellness screening).
Self Management programmes,
including exercise, nutrition, stress management, etc.
Who will benefit from Synergee?
An underlying philosophy of the programme design is
to employ current understanding of occupational health
science, using practical, valid tools and methods, to
deliver programmes efficiently and effectively. This enables
the medical professionals (nurses and doctors)
involved to focus on their clinical skills rather than
administrative red tape, maximising their capacity for
making good decisions based on objective evidence. It also
improves their efficiency, enabling them to reach
performance targets comfortably.
Perhaps the greatest beneficiaries of the
Synergee approach are the company custodians of the
Occupational Health Programme. These include the
managers responsible for Health and Safety, and
their delegated subordinates (risk officers, human resource
officers, training officers, etc.). They are reassured that
a formal process is in place, with defined steps that follow
a predetermined course, and that the requirements of South
African law will be met. Task accountabilities and programme
objectives & outputs are clear unambiguous. The programme
will not ramble without direction.
The programmes are sensitive to the needs of
employees, the subjects of the occupational health
programmes, and employee representatives,
because of programme transparency and clarity of purpose.
Also, there is a focus on the clear communication of results
and their implications and recommendations, cognisant of
current fair labour practice.
Users that effectively employ the programmes will
inevitably become the industry leaders in Occupational
Health. The reason is simple – the principle of setting,
meeting and re-setting standards is a central theme
throughout the Synergee range – not just South African
standards, but world-class benchmarks established through
self-refinement. This continuous cycle of research,
development and improvement seeks best practice performance,
so that even when performance is adequate, new avenues are
Logical and systematic
approaches to designing, implementing and managing your
occupational health programme.
Step by step instructions
through documents recorded in a procedural format. These
serve as a Policy & Procedure instrument, as well as a
training and reference tool.
documentation, including an electronic Labour Law Library,
Internet “Hot Site” lists, useful electronic information
brochures (local plus international).
Ongoing support and update
What makes Synergee unique or different?
Occupational Health Management System is the first and
only commercially available occupational health management
system in South Africa. It was established because of a
desperate need for a clear and practical implementation
instrument to assist professionals to achieve their
It is the product of years of
practical and academic research, as well as continued
refinement in the field. Due to
standards, it is designed for application in
any Industry and Country.
The programmes include real
and practical tools required to accomplish the required
tasks, and instructions on their use. These are packaged
in a well-organised and accessible format.
The programmes provide a
continued back-up resource to users, to provide answers to
the many questions, which arise during programme
implementation. They continually explore new and better
methods to achieve the programme objectives, as well as
stay up to date with industry trends.
Programmes are built “from the
ground up”, and design “begins with the end in mind”.
Hence, the components flow and integrate smoothly, with
linked inputs and outputs.
The programmes are designed to
facilitate, not replace. They will integrate with whatever
programme is in place.
is better than cure.
The objective is
Synergy, not conflict.