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HES prize for physiotherapist

December 3, 1999, 14:00 CET

Physiotherapist Joseph Odijk has been awarded the Statoil chief executive's prize for health, the environment and safety today, 3 December.

The 41-year-old Dutch citizen won the HES award for his contribution to reducing sickness absence in the group.

He has headed the local care project in production services and catering over the past two years. This programme has aimed to reduce high levels of sickness absence in the catering sector.

In order to help people on sick leave to return to work quickly, Mr Odijk has put the emphasis on being present rather than being absent.

The person concerned is contacted at the earliest possible stage to consider various opportunities for returning to work, in consultation with their personal physician, the social security office and the company medical service.

This can take the form of an active or graded medical certificate, for instance.

The local care project's principles were introduced in the catering sector on 1 January this year, and have yielded very good results.

Statoil's Gullfaks C platform in the North Sea has reported a "historic" reduction in sickness absence, with the number of people on long-term sick leave reduced from 20-30 in earlier years to three-four.

"Mr Odijk's work has great transfer value for the group, and he provides an example of the way a commitment by individuals can give very good results," the HES prize jury writes.

It also notes that the physiotherapist has established successful collaboration both internally and externally, and that he can point to good results in a field where documenting genuine improvements is not always easy.

The prize was presented by chief executive Olav Fjell, who also chaired the jury.