16 April 2012

What is occupational health and how can it help your people and productivity?

Taylor-Mohrs is an occupational health practice in Bristol. Our new blog has been designed to cover topical issues in occupational health and provide helpful insight that can be used by HR professionals and business owners.

For our first article we are exploring the very essence of what we do. What exactly is occupational health and, why it is so important for the productivity of your workforce?

What is occupational health?

To quote the CIPD, occupational health is a “specialist branch of medicine focusing on health in the workplace." It’s scope covers the physical and mental well-being of all employees and occupational health practitioners also assist employers in managing absence situations - both short and long term. Indeed the CIPD cite occupational health as “the most effective approach for managing long-term absence."

Costs and leading cause of absence

According to the 2011 CIPD absence survey, the average employee takes 6.5 days sick leave annually and costs the employer £659 (with costs higher in the public sector) while the CBI Absence Survey says the annual cost of absence to the UK economy is £17 billion. In 2011, stress became the biggest contributor towards absence levels for the first time.

The business case for occupational health involvement 

At Taylor-Mohrs, we believe that investing in the wellness and health of employees is just as important as plant, machinery and financial assets. In business terms, occupational health is an investment that will produce a significant return in terms of reduced sickness costs (and employer liability for work related illness), optimised staff performance and an enhanced employer and customer reputation. Without a healthy workforce the productivity, morale and engagement of staff suffers - which ultimately impacts a business where it really hurts - in the balance sheet.

How we can help

Occupational health specialists such as Taylor-Mohrs can support organisations by carrying out medicals for new starters and existing employees, advising on work-related illnesses and accidents, and monitoring the health of employees. We can also advise on fitness for work issues and persistent cases of absence and help you design an absence policy. If employees know that absence will be noticed and investigated, they are less likely to take time off work without a genuine and reasonable cause.

Our work is impartial and, while we are often engaged by employers, our advice and interventions help both employer and employee and we strive to create solutions that make practical sense for both.

We are happy to answer any questions you may have on the topic and, if you’d like to get in touch, please contact us at info@taylormohrs.co.uk or 0117 906 4227.