The Importance of Well-Managed Occupational Health for Businesses

Closeup of hand pointing towards 'work safety' text on screen

Prioritising the good management of occupational health and safety is a key aspect of running a business successfully, perhaps now more than ever. In the current times of economic hardship, poor workplace health management is hardly something employers can afford. In addition to saving your organisation costs, well-managed workplace health and safety is also linked to improved performance, profitability, and employee retention.

Benefits of Investing in Occupational Health

Regardless of the size of your organisation, investing in occupational health can provide it with a range of significant benefits, including:

  • Cost savings: effective occupational health programmes help businesses save costs both directly and indirectly by reducing absences, presenteeism and employee turnover
  • Increased productivity: healthy workers take less sick leave and are more likely to perform to their best ability
A group of employees in an office expressing team spirit
  • Business reputation: organisations which invest in their workforce’s health are more appealing to both potential employee candidates and investors

Key Health and Safety Legislation

The main pieces of legislation setting the standards for health and safety at all UK workplaces are the following:

Health and Safety at Work, etc Act 1974 (HASAW)

Based on common sense and the idea of safe practice, HASAW puts the responsibility on employers to manage their workforce’s health and safety at work as far as is ‘reasonably practicable’ by:

  • Supplying and upkeeping safe systems for work
  • Providing employees with adequate training and information
  • Maintaining safe and suitable equipment and ensuring its safe operation
  • Supplying adequate welfare provisions
  • Providing a safe work environment
  • Ensuring the safe handling, transportation, and storage of materials
  • Communicating with safety representatives
  • Providing adequate protective equipment where needed
Construction employee wearing hard hat and earplugs

Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

Also called ‘Management Regs’, this piece of legislation is centred on employers’ duty to effectively assess and manage risks, requiring them to:

  • Carry out risk assessments to manage risk at the workplace
  • Take action to ensure risks are avoided or eliminated
  • Appoint individuals at the workplace responsible for overseeing health and safety
  • Ensure an adequate health and safety policy is put in place
  • Provide employees with training and information regarding health and safety

Ways to Improve Health and Safety at Your Business

If you’re unsure where to begin in regard to improving health and safety at your workplace, the following easy steps can help start you off:

1. Create a Health and Safety Policy

The first step towards managing the risks at your workplace is creating an adequate health and safety plan. Make sure to communicate it to all your employees so that everyone can work together to create a safer work environment.

2. Assess and Inspect the Workplace

To effectively implement your new health and safety approach, you need to inspect your workplace and assess the risks. An occupational health and safety professional can help you with this as they will be able to identify all potential hazards.

3. Investigate Every Incident

In case an incident happens, it is important to investigate it even if it did not cause any serious injury. In this way, you’ll be able to find out why it happened and to take steps to prevent it from occurring again in the future (potentially avoiding more serious consequences).

4. Support Mental Health

Middle aged male having a conversation with therapist

Over half of all 1.8 million occupational illness cases in the UK are related to stress, depression, and anxiety. Clearly, there is serious reason for concern over workplace mental health which seems to be rapidly worsening. There are various ways to address this as an employer, but perhaps the most important one is to ensure that your employees feel comfortable enough to talk about their mental health and seek help in case there is an issue.

5. Invest in Training

Identifying a competent individual to oversee the health and safety at your workplace will help you stay compliant with the Health and Safety at Work, etc Act 1974. You don’t necessarily need to hire someone from outside the company- it is perfectly fine to appoint an employee internally, as long as they have received the correct training.

Meduc8ion’s Occupational Health Technician Training Course

Aimed at those with no occupational health qualification, but who contribute to the health and safety practices at their organisation, Meduc8ion’s Occupational Health Technician Training Course is designed to provide delegates with the knowledge and skillset they require to practice basic health and safety procedures.

The activities that participants are able to undertake upon completion of the course include basic environmental assessments as well as routine health screening functions, and those can be practiced either as a lone practitioner or as part of a multidisciplinary occupational health team.

The course is suitable for managers, supervisors, designated first responders within an organisation, on-site nurses, health and safety professionals, and those appointed to perform health and safety procedures within a company.

If this sounds like the right step for you or your organisation, click the button below to book your place on our fantastic course! In case you require more information, please don’t hesitate to email [email protected] or contact us on 01455 245740.

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