What is Occupational Health and Who Does It Benefit?
Employees are a company’s biggest investment but when a team member misses work, it leaves a gap in the workflow. While employees taking sick days is a fact of life, preventative action can be taken. With more than three million workers suffering from an injury or illness related to work every year, American businesses are losing billions and employees may not feel safe coming to work.
Occupational health is the industry dedicated to supporting businesses in maintaining safe, healthy workplaces. But what is occupational health services on a deeper level, and what are the benefits of investing in occupation health?
What is Occupational Health?
The occupational health definition is centered around preventing workplace injuries and illnesses. While following health and safety regulations is obligatory by law, occupational health aims to take matters one step further. A major part of a successful occupational health program is identifying potential risks before an illness or injury occurs.
The industry is a combination of preventative and reactive action. The best way to define occupational health is through the following goals:
- To encourage safer working practices to prevent accidents and illnesses.
- Support employees in using ergonomically correct techniques.
- Monitor overall workplace health and narrow down potential areas for improvement.
- Support employees who have sustained injuries and illnesses in returning to the workplace.
As you can see from the occupational health and safety definition, this industry covers a broad range of functions with the same goal: creating a safe and supportive environment for employees.
Occupational Health Examples
Occupational health service has a wide mandate to overcome health challenges in the workplace and help to treat any existing health problems. But what is occupational health in the real world? Some major occupational health examples include the following:
- Absence and Disability Management: Occupational health will take charge of evaluating whether someone is fit for work. It could also include behavioral health.
- Coaching: As part of a commitment to preventative action, an occupational health program may provide employees with tools and coaching to help improve their general wellness.
- On–Site Clinics: On-site clinics may include access to telemedicine and behavioral health experts. These are designed for all employees who are struggling with an injury or illness, but they are also useful for preventative care.
- Worker’s Compensation: Treatment plans for injured workers. Depending on the company, access to physicians and psychologists could be available.
There is no single answer for “what is occupational health?” and there’s no universal checklist for how it might be implemented. Employers have significant flexibility when it comes to the services they provide. Ultimately, it should be about meeting the needs of your specific team members.
How Occupational Health Benefits Businesses
Implementing an occupational health service delivers several benefits for businesses. There are massive benefits that can more than repay the initial investment.
Every time an employee is out of the office because they are injured or sick, businesses lose precious time and resources. This impacts everyone from top to bottom. It’s estimated that 104 million production days are lost every year as a result of workplace injuries. This not only has a tremendous impact on the bottom line but also puts additional strain on team members who need to pick up the slack and fill in the gaps.
Avoid Incurring Liability
Employers have a legal obligation to remove health risks and implement safe working practices. Failure to do so could incur regulatory fines and lawsuits. Meet your statutory responsibilities by focusing on an occupational health program now. The consequences of not doing so could cause long-term harm to your organization.
Improve Staff Retention
Employees are increasingly selective about the companies they work for. Staff retention is a major challenge for businesses, and health benefits are a big attraction for the best talent. By demonstrating that you care about the health and well-being of your employees, you are sending a positive message and are more likely to attract top talent and keep them for longer. Investing in your workforce makes it more likely that they will stick with you long into the future.
How Occupational Health Benefits Employees
When most people talk about occupation health, they speak exclusively from the perspective of the business. However, these programs also benefit employees. Employers considering investing in the health of their workforce must keep these employee benefits in mind.
Minimize the Risk of Injury and Illness
Workplace injury and illness are a form of hardship for employees. Tens of thousands of employees suffer long-term and chronic injuries every single year. This destroys their quality of life and makes it difficult for employees to work at their best. Occupation health programs empower them to reduce the risk of injury and illness through proactive action.
Improve Wellness Beyond the Workplace
Wellness services at work extend far beyond the confines of the office or factory. They benefit employees in every facet of their lives. Annual physicals, wellness recommendations, and healthcare coverage are among the benefits that can help prevent chronic issues down the line.
Bolster Employee Morale
Finally, employees want to know that they matter to the organizations they work for. Low morale and feeling like you’re just another cog in the machine is not an environment that motivates employees. When employers invest in occupational health, workers receive the reassurance necessary to know that they are being taken care of. As any business owner knows, high morale among the staff leads to more productivity, a positive working environment, and, ultimately, staff retention.
Invest In Your Workforce Today
Knowing what occupational health is can help you to move your business forward. Employers must increasingly consider how they can create a better working environment and take care of those who work for them. Start now and invest in the health and wellbeing of your team. Learn more about how a collaborative care system can take your company into the future by requesting a free demo from Eden Health today.