What is occupational health?

Occupational health refers to the branch of medicine that focuses on the health and well-being of workers in the workplace. It involves identifying and controlling workplace hazards and ensuring that workers are not exposed to conditions that could harm their health or safety.

Occupational health professionals may work in a variety of settings, including hospitals and occupational health centres.  They may also work directly for employers to provide on-site health services and to develop policies and programs to promote a healthy and safe work environment.

Some of the key areas of focus in occupational health include:

  • Identifying and assessing physical, chemical, biological, and psychosocial hazards in the workplace, and implementing controls to reduce or eliminate those hazards.
  • Preventing and treating work-related injuries and illnesses, and helping workers return to work safely after an injury or illness.
  • Developing programs and initiatives to promote healthy behaviours and lifestyles among workers, and to prevent chronic diseases and other health conditions.
  • Assessing and managing environmental hazards in the workplace, including air and water pollution, noise, and radiation.

Overall, the goal of occupational health is to ensure that workers are able to work safely and that they are not exposed to conditions that could harm their health or well-being.

What is an occupational health assessment?

An occupational health assessment is a process of evaluating a worker’s health status and potential risks associated with their job duties. The assessment is typically conducted by an occupational health professional, such as a physician or a nurse, and may involve a variety of tests, examinations, and interviews.

The purpose of an occupational health assessment is to identify any health risks or concerns that may be associated with a particular job or workplace. This information can be used to develop appropriate health and safety measures to protect workers and prevent work-related injuries and illnesses.

Some common components of an occupational health assessment include:

  • Health history: Reviewing the worker’s medical history and any previous work-related injuries or illnesses.
  • Physical examination: Conducting a physical examination to assess the worker’s overall health and any specific health concerns related to their job.
  • Laboratory tests: Conducting various tests, such as blood tests, lung function tests, or hearing tests, to assess the worker’s health and identify any potential health risks.
  • Worksite evaluation: Visiting the worker’s workplace to assess any potential hazards or environmental factors that may impact the worker’s health.
  • Job analysis: Analysing the worker’s job duties to identify any potential physical or mental stressors that may impact their health.

Based on the results of the assessment, the occupational health professional may make recommendations for preventing or managing work-related health risks, such as changes to work processes, modifications to equipment or workstations, or personal protective equipment (PPE).

What are the different types of occupational health assessments? 

There are several different types of occupational health assessments that may be conducted, depending on the specific needs of the worker and the workplace. Some of the most common types of occupational health assessments include:

  • Pre-employment health assessment: Conducted before a worker starts a new job, to determine if they are physically and mentally able to perform the job duties safely and effectively.
  • Periodic health assessment: Conducted on a regular basis (such as annually or bi-annually) to monitor the worker’s health status and identify any changes that may have occurred since the last assessment.
  • Fitness for duty assessment: Conducted when there is a question about a worker’s ability to perform their job safely and effectively due to a health condition or injury.
  • Exposure assessment: Conducted to evaluate a worker’s exposure to specific workplace hazards, such as chemicals, noise, or radiation.
  • Health surveillance: Conducted to monitor workers who are exposed to specific workplace hazards, such as asbestos, lead, or silica, to detect any adverse health effects as early as possible.
  • Ergonomic assessment: Conducted to identify and evaluate physical stressors in the workplace, such as awkward postures, repetitive motions, or lifting tasks, and to recommend ergonomic interventions to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries.
  • Psychological assessment: Conducted to assess the mental health and well-being of workers, particularly those in high-stress occupations, such as emergency responders, law enforcement, or healthcare workers.

Overall, the type of occupational health assessment that is conducted will depend on the specific needs and risks of the worker and the workplace.

How can occupational health benefit my business?

Investing in occupational health can help to improve the financial health of a company by reducing absenteeism, improving employee retention, increasing productivity, and ensuring compliance with health, employment and safety regulations.  These are the key factors that can benefit your business:

  • By providing employees with a safe and healthy work environment, occupational health programs can help to reduce the number of sick days taken by employees. This can lead to increased productivity and lower costs associated with temporary staff or overtime payments.
  • When employees feel that their health and wellbeing are valued by their employer, they are more likely to stay with the company long-term. This can help to reduce costs associated with recruiting and training new staff.
  • Occupational health programs can help to identify and prevent health problems before they become serious, which can lead to lower healthcare costs for both employers and employees.
  • Healthy employees are generally more productive than those who are unwell or suffering from chronic health conditions. Occupational health programs can help to improve the overall health of the workforce, leading to increased productivity and better business outcomes.

Employers who invest in occupational health programs are more likely to comply with health and safety regulations, which can help to avoid costly fines and legal fees.

How can Adept OH support my business?

Adept OH can support employees who have suffered an injury or illness to return to work as soon as possible, through rehabilitation and other support services. This can help reduce the impact of workplace injuries and illnesses on the business and its employees.  By providing expert advice and support on occupational health matters, Adept OH can help businesses to create a healthier, safer, and more productive workplace.

Why would I choose Adept OH to support my business?  

A business might choose Adept Occupational Health to support their business for several reasons, including:

  • Expertise: Adept Occupational Health is an experienced provider of remote occupational health services, which means that they have a extensive understanding of the occupational health needs of different businesses across various industries including healthcare, construction, manufacturing, transportation, agriculture, education; in both public and private businesses.
  • Compliance: Compliance with employment law and health and safety regulations is critical for businesses to avoid fines, penalties and reputational damage, as well as to maintain the safety of their employees. Adept Occupational Health can provide businesses with the guidance and support they need to ensure they are compliant with relevant regulations.
  • Cost-effective: Adept Occupational Health can offer ad hoc, cost-effective solutions to businesses, that allow them to access the advice they need, quickly and easily. By working with Adept Occupational Health, businesses can save money on occupational health services while still maintaining high-quality standards. We aim to give you the service levels you would expect from an in-house OH service and when you need this advice quickly.
  • Flexibility: Adept Occupational Health can support your business in identifying all of its occupational health needs. With access to an extensive professional network, Adept OH can help you to identify a full OH service tailored for your business.
  • Improved employee health and wellbeing: By working with Adept Occupational Health, businesses can improve the health and wellbeing of their employees. This can lead to increased productivity, reduced absenteeism, and improved morale among employees.

Overall, businesses can benefit from working with Occupational Health by accessing expert advice and support, ensuring compliance with regulations, saving costs, receiving flexible services, and improving employee health and wellbeing.