Occupational Health is a term used to refer to a specialist branch of medicine that focuses on the physical and mental well-being of employees in the workplace. Not all employers would have an Occupational Health team within their staff however, they would have options and access to external Occupational Health services on an ad-hoc basis as and when necessary.
The aim of Occupational Health is to prevent work related illness and injury and they do this by monitoring a number of things including encouraging safe working practice, looking at how people work and whether there could be any improvement made, monitoring the health of the workforce and supporting the management of sickness absence.
Who Provides Occupational Health Services?
This will depend on the size of the organisation you work for and could be provided by an Occupational Health advisor, a nurse with occupational health training and a part time doctor or through a range of specialists such as:
Physiotherapists, psychologists, hygienists, ergonomic experts, occupational therapists, specialist occupational health doctors and nurses.
Why Occupational Health is important for business
Occupational Health helps businesses to meet their legislative requirements • it looks carefully at health and well-being of employees within the workplace • helps to reduce the risks related to their health • assists in maximising productivity • helps you to provide an environment beneficial to the health and well-being of your staff.
What does Occupational Health cover?
There are a number of services that are available under the Occupational Health banner including:
- New Starter health assessments
- Management referrals
- Vision and Hearing tests
- Fit for work health assessments
- Lung function testing
- Alcohol/ Drug testing
- Absence Management
- Workplace Immunisation
The services you choose to use may be Onsite or Online depending on what your business requirements are at any point in time.
Occupational Health services are in general provided on an ad-hoc basis (as and when needed) by your business. They are an invaluable tool that helps you as the employer to ensure you provide all the assistance you can to help maintain a happier and healthier workforce.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) provide a wealth of free guidelines and resources for employers which outline your responsibilities to your staff. These are updated on a regular basis and are available to download and explain in detail what you need to know in relation to the health and safety of your employees. The HSE’s mission is to prevent death, injury and ill health in Great Britain’s workplaces and to comply with current legislation, Occupational Health services may help you to fulfil your duty of care to your staff.