What is occupational health?

Occupational health is a specialist branch of medicine that focuses on the physical and mental wellbeing of employees in the workplace.  It considers the impact of work on health and health on work.

Work related illness and injury can be prevented by:-

  • monitoring the health of the workforce
  • supporting the management of sickness absence
  • encouraging safe working practices
  • ergonomics (studying how you work and how you could work better)

There are legal duties on employers to prevent ill health which can be caused by work. The two main pieces of law are the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSW Act) and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSW Regulations) as amended.

Health risk management is about identifying and controlling health risks before they can cause problems.  The aim of occupational health is to prevent them by helping you to identify potential hazards and put appropriate safeguarding measures in place.  Our health surveillance services  monitor early signs of work related ill health in employees exposed to certain health risks.

Management of health-related absence is the responsibility of managers. Referral to occupational health can be an effective way of managing short and long-term health related absence which, if left unchecked can reduce the chance of an individual returning to their normal functioning and productivity.

The role of the Occupational Health service in relation to the management of health-related absence is to:

  • Provide advice to managers on fitness for work issues that is clear and actionable
  • Advise both employee and management on appropriate rehabilitation programmes/return to work strategies
  • Provide support and advice to employees regarding their specific health issues along with the promotion of health and wellbeing

The many benefits of proactively managing the health of your employees include:

  • Compliance with legislation and law
  • Reduced sickness absence
  • Speedier return to the workplace
  • Reduced staff turnover
  • Reduced recruitment costs
  • Reduced staff costs
  • Increased productivity
  • An enhanced feeling of wellbeing amongst staff

For more information, or to arrange a no-obligation onsite needs assessment of your occupational health requirements contact us on 01284 247040 or email OHAdminBury@workfit-uk.com.