Common Occupational Health Needs

15th October 2018

Each and every organisation has an individual duty to look after their employees, regardless of their sector, size or otherwise, and this is where occupational health plays a very important role. Occupational health services all have the core goal of looking after the health, safety, and well-being of the wider working population. You wouldn’t be alone in thinking that occupational health is all about making sure employees have the right protective equipment, yet occupational health goes way beyond this. Occupational health providers, such as ourselves, look at everything from mental health, policy writing, to working safely and productively. Take a look at some of the services your business might require to operate safely and effectively below.

Drug & alcohol abuse

It’s not surprising that drug and alcohol abuse has a direct effect on an employee’s ability to effectively, and safely carry out their job. If one of your employees is under the influence of any sort of substance, it will not only mean that their performance is severely hindered, but absences become more commonplace, and the likelihood of them being involved in an accident increases. One occupational health service that you might look at is drug and alcohol testing and policy writing. An occupational health provider can help you put a drug and alcohol policy in place to better control, and reduce the risks of substance abuse within the workplace. Once you have your drug and alcohol policy in place, you can better inform employees of the guidelines, and enforce the policy, should you face and drug or alcohol-related issues in your business.

Testing your RPE

Face fit testing is probably an occupational health service that you’re much more common with, especially if RPE is commonplace within your workplace. According to the Health & Surveillance Executive (HSE), face fit testing is recognised as the only means of protection from fumes and dust in hazardous environments. Put simply, if you’re exposing your employees to contaminated air, gases, fumes, low oxygen levels or any other environment that pose hazards to workers’ health, you must supply adequate and suitable RPE to protect them, and control this hazard. However, simply supplying your employees with RPE equipment is not enough. It is important you use a face fit testing service where occupational health specialists give your employees an adequate choice of RPE masks and models, making sure these fit properly and that they work to properly protect the individual from harmful chemicals, fumes and dust.

Health surveillance

Ask yourself this question. Are you exposing your employees to any of the following?

  • Noise or vibration
  • Ionising radiation
  • Solvents
  • Fumes
  • Dust
  • Biological agents and other substances hazardous to health
  • Working in compressed air

If the answer is yes, health surveillance is a service that is required by law for your business. As an employer, it is your responsibility to look after the health of your employees, and reduce the risk to health as far as is reasonably practicable. Health surveillance is a service available to detect ill-health effects at an early enough stage to put measures in place to reduce the risks to your employees.

However, it goes further than putting safeguards in place to protect employees. Health surveillance is an education service, raising awareness across your workplace on the importance of using protective equipment that is supplied to them. Make health and safety part of your workplace culture.

Your employees’ state of mind

Feeling good, and performing well at work goes far beyond physical factors and protective equipment. An employee’s state of mind and health and wellbeing is proven to have a direct effect on their motivation and productivity levels at work. A health and wellbeing program looks at the physical, social, intellectual and emotional factors affecting employees, to identify steps and measures that can be put in place to improve employees’ health and wellness. Therefore, if you’re passionate about looking after your employees’ wellbeing, helping them to perform better and more efficiently, you should take a look at this service.

Hopefully, this post has given you some ideas as to why your business needs occupational health services and informed you of the great benefits the services can bring. If you’re still unsure about what services your business needs, you can look into the services we offer in greater detail here. Or, why not get in touch with our occupational health specialists? We’re here to protect your business.

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