Occupational Health Services help to keep employees healthy whilst at work. They help you to manage the risks in the workplace that could give rise to work-related ill health.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) provides extensive information relating to Occupational Health in the UK. By having procedures in place, employers can help their staff to reduce sickness absence.
Statistics on the HSE website (www.hse.gov.uk) show that –
- One million workers take time off sick and most return within days, but:
- Around 17,000 people reach their sixth week of Statutory Sick Pay, and:
- At this point, almost one in five people will stay off sick and eventually leave work.
What can you do as a business owner to ensure you are providing the best protection for your staff?
Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP)
EAPs are a cost-effective way to provide support for employees and reduce absence from work. This is a low-cost solution from the range of Occupational Health Services available.
EAP’s are a confidential and professional support programme for employees. They cover issues such as stress (at home or at work), financial issues such as debt, family and relationship matters, bereavement, domestic violence and bullying and harassment.
Most offer telephone counselling with some face-to-face support counselling. Some offer pre-work screening and Day 1 stress intervention management. There are many providers of EAPs available in the UK market place. It is worth investigating the options depending on your business requirements and staff numbers.
Critical Incident Stress Management
For an individual, immediate and identifiable problem, you can arrange for a fully-trained trauma counsellor to be on site to deliver specialist group counselling for your staff. This ensures they get rapid emotional support with follow-up counseling for individuals as necessary.
Ad-Hoc Occupational Health Services
Referrals to occupational health nurses and physicians, night work assessments and return-to-work interviews.
A Health Assessment will give your staff a good insight about their health, following a series of tests and scans (different levels of assessment are available). This will provide you, as the employer, collective data reports providing valuable information relating to the health of your workforce. This in turn will allow you to make sure you have a good well-being strategy in place.
Industry Specific Occupational Health Assessments
- Lung function tests/spirometry
- Workplace hearing tests
- Drug and alcohol screening
- Oil and gas offshore medicals
- Hand and arm vibration syndrome
- Skin surveillance
As you can see from the information provided, the list of Occupational Health Services are extensive and new assessments are being introduced on a regular basis.
If your business has a specific requirement for Occupational Health or is looking for information on certain aspects of your own industry from a health perspective, then please do not hesitate to contact us. The cost of implementing a basic EAP for your staff is minimal. This could be your first step in improving the health and well-being of your employees. Key staff, after all, are perhaps your most valuable company asset.