Any employee who experiences poor health, an injury or even family problems should be able to seek help, advice and support from an employer’s occupational health provider. Not all employers will have access to such services, however and can only rely on information supplied to them by your GP, if you agree to this, in order to support you to return to or stay in work.
So, what exactly is occupational health and how can it help?
It is a specialist branch of healthcare that concentrates on both the physical and mental health of all those employed in the workplace. For Occupational Health Cardiff, visit https://www.insightoccupationalhealth.co.uk/
The purpose of providing occupational health services is to assist with preventing lost working hours and work-related injury or illness. Those who work in occupational health aim to do this by:
- Promoting and encouraging the best and safest working practices
- Promoting ergonomics in the workplace, which involves processes to help you work better
- Monitoring the ongoing health of a workforce
- Assisting in managing sickness leave
- Assist an employer in setting policies and improving health and safety compliance issues
- Carry out health assessments prior to the commencement of employment
- Help to encourage and support health education programmes
- To offer an advisory service and counselling to staff for non-health related problems
- Providing the employer with guidance around appropriate adjustments in the workplace for those returning to work after illness or injury, for example.
How do you access occupational health?
This will depend greatly on the size of the organisation you work for. There are many professionals that can provide occupational health expertise, including a nurse with specialist training, a doctor or any one of the following:
Professional Occupational Therapists
Specialist nurses and doctors trained in occupational health
These services are most often supplied at an employee’s place of work. For smaller employers who don’t offer a dedicated service, travel to external providers for your appointments might be necessary.
Many organisations that are small to medium-sized won’t have a big enough workforce to justify the cost of a dedicated occupational health department. This is why many such organisations use an external provider when the need arises and any of their staff need support, medicals or any other occupational health assessments.
Any member of staff should be able to ask for the assistance of occupational health services and be comfortable approaching their employer to see what services are available and how they can access them.
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