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5 Common Misconceptions Around Occupational Health

The team behind your business is essential to your overall productivity and profitability, which is why prioritising their physical and mental health should be high on your to-do list.

The provision of and support from an occupational health team can help you do exactly that, but it’s not uncommon for business owners to have misconceptions about using an occupational health service.

Within this blog, we’ll cover 5 common misconceptions of occupational health services, what occupational health services can help with, and how they can benefit your employees and your business overall.

What is occupational health and what services are included?

Occupational health is a healthcare service dedicated to the maintenance of workplace wellbeing, both physical and mental. The services an occupational health team can offer include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Health Surveillance
  • Medicals
  • Drug and alcohol screening
  • Absence management
  • Workplace immunisation

It’s too expensive/not worth investing in

Many employers assume that the costs involved with supplying an occupational health service will be eye-wateringly high.

This isn’t always the case, as services can be tailored to your workplace needs and the type of work you complete. Provided on an ongoing and manageable basis, the costs can be factored into your monthly spend.

When considering occupational health support, it’s worth weighing up what the cost would be if you had several employees on extended sick leave at any given point.

Along with the fact that some employees who end up taking extended sick leave, won’t return to the business at all, meaning you’ll need to factor in recruitment expenditure.

Occupational health services can help you implement ongoing health checks, which can make it easier to identify health issues prior to the employee needing to take sudden or extended periods of sick leave.

So the cost of monitoring and working in a preventative manner could be considered as more efficient than managing the cost of several employees on sick leave and potentially pay for the recruitment of support and/or replacement staff.

My workplace is hazard free/office based, so I don’t need occupational health services

Occupational health support isn’t just for those operating in workplaces such as factories, building sites and outdoor settings. It can be used for those working within an office environment too.

When you think of an office space, it may be harder to identify possible hazards, but it’s worth noting that some of the most common workplace incidents are slips, trips, and falls – which can happen in any location.

It’s also worth noting that whilst your office may appear to be hazard free at the time of an assessment, a hazard could develop at any given time.

You can’t prepare for every eventuality, but having the support of an occupational health team, can mean you can offer your team support should something happen.

My workplace has a great health & safety record, so I don’t need occupational health support

Don’t take a good track record for granted, as we’ve highlighted above, things can change at any given point. The global pandemic highlights just how quickly an issue can develop and snowball.

It’s better to take a preventative measure and have something in place, rather than trying to fix it once something has happened.

Your employees are likely to feel more assured knowing there’s an occupational health service already in place to support them on an ongoing basis, should anything happen.

I’m a small business, so I don’t need occupational health support

If you’re a SME, you’re likely to have and rely upon a smaller team, which means there could be more determent to your business if several of your team members need to take sick leave. It makes sense to protect the team you have, especially if it’s small!

Having some occupational health provision can help businesses of all sizes save money lost due to sickness and absence. Whilst helping create a sense of safety and wellbeing for employees, which could contribute to and improve productivity.

My team are young and healthy – I don’t need occupational health support

Again, as we’ve highlighted, things can happen at any given point, but with a young and healthy team, doesn’t it make sense to try and keep them healthy? By implementing some occupational health services, you’ll be able to help employees to keep an eye on their physical and mental health. You’ll also be able to support them and signpost them, should anything develop later in life.

Need more occupational health guidance?

Agilis Health’s purpose is to protect, maintain and improve physical, psychological, and social wellbeing. We’re passionate about our purpose and our vast selection services, as well as the value they can bring employers and their employees. Please reach out if you’d like to discuss how we could support your business.