Occupational Health: overcoming barriers to healthy working lives
Our health depends on many things - including the environment we work in. A healthy workplace benefits the people who work in it. But if a work environment or work role isn’t good for an employee, then their health and wellbeing can suffer. This can undermine both their performance and the health of your business.
OHSAS offer practical advice and support to help you make the working environment a better and healthier place for your employees. And where an employees’ health is a cause for concern, we’ll help you make the right decisions for them, your business and the people within it.
We offer a range of cost-effective, high-quality services tailored to your needs, including:
We provide robust, professional advice to help employers meet their legal duties while managing attendance and performance at work fairly and effectively.
Where an employee’s ability to work is affected by a health problem, our first priority is to help them remain in work and performing well. When an employee is absent, we help the employer offer the right kind of support to enable them to return to work and regain their work capabilities as fully as possible.
Health surveillance is required by law where the workplace could cause harm from noise, certain hazardous chemicals, toxic metals, asbestos, radiation or vibration.
We carry out regular checks on employee’s health to detect any signs of harm and monitor whether measures to protect people from potential health hazards are working. By detecting problems early, we can help an organisation take effective steps to prevent the situation from worsening or recurring.
Fitness for task assessments check whether employees are still fit to carry out particular tasks at work (such as driving a fork-lift truck). This helps ensure that an employee is not putting their own or other people’s safety at risk when they perform these tasks.
Sometimes employers are required by law to arrange assessments. In other cases, employers carry them out to safeguard the safety of both their workforce and the public.
Biological monitoring assesses whether exposure to certain hazardous substances at work is being safely controlled. Samples are taken from employees (usually of blood or urine) for laboratory analysis. We have considerable expertise in this specialist field and access only the best laboratory analytical services available.
It is a legal requirement for employees exposed to lead, asbestos and ionising radiation at work to have regular health checks. These must be carried out by a doctor trained and approved for this purpose by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). OHSAS has a team of HSE approved doctors able to do these checks, plus a doctor approved to undertake commercial divers’ medicals.
An increasing number of companies operate policies which require people in safety-critical roles to be subject to alcohol or drug testing. OHSAS has extensive experience in this sensitive field and access to laboratory analytical services of the highest quality.
We also carry out screening as part of a programme offering help and support to employees with acknowledged drug or alcohol problems.
Educating people on the steps they can take to improve and be responsible for their health can help to build a healthier and more effective workforce.
OHSAS provides health education programmes tailored to the needs of your organisation. These programmes can include:
· information leaflets and presentations on key health topics
· in-depth personal health risk assessments
· individual action plans for your employees
People with busy working lives may not always have access to GP services at convenient times and places. OHSAS can design and provide health screening programmes tailored to your organisation. This enables your employees to identify significant risks to health and take action to manage any risks identified.
People with significant disabilities or long-term health problems may need a range of support and assistance to remain in (or return to) work. In complex and challenging cases of this kind, the OHSAS Occupational Therapist service will give your organisation access to experts in workplace rehabilitation and help you meet your legal duties under the Equality Act 2010. Click here for further information.
Health problems involving muscles and joints are one of the leading causes of sickness absence. Often, these problems can be successfully treated by physiotherapy - especially if started quickly.
Long NHS waiting lists for physiotherapy mean that many people who could be restored to normal fitness end up needing long periods off work. OHSAS has established an extensive network of physiotherapists able to provide prompt and cost-effective treatment so that employees to return to work as quickly as possible. Click here for further information. (link to physiotherapy pages)
Mental health problems are a leading cause of sickness absence. There is strong evidence that early support from a counsellor or psychologist can assist recovery, avoiding the risk of long-term incapacity.
NHS delays in access to treatment can be a major problem. Through OHSAS, your organisation has access to an extensive network of well-qualified and experienced mental health practitioners who are able to provide support quickly - when it is most needed. Click here for further information. (link to CAPS pages)
Employers increasingly recognise that people are their business’s most valuable resource, and one that needs to be looked after. Performance in the workplace can be affected when people are struggling to cope with problems in their lives. Helping them deal with their problems effectively can benefit both your employee and your business.
Employee assistance services provide employee access by phone and/or internet to instant specialist advice and support. The service can help with a wide range of problems, such as debt, relationship difficulties, legal problems and child care issues. OHSAS recognises the value of supporting employees in this way and works with some of the leading service providers in the field.
The Health & Safety Executive views work-related stress as a risk that needs to be assessed and managed - just like any other area of health or safety at work. It expects employers to measure how work-related stress is affecting their employees and to identify the sources of stress so that action can be taken to reduce potential harm to individuals and the business.
At OHSAS we work with occupational psychologists who are expert in designing and running stress surveys. We work with employers to develop and implement plans for action based on survey findings.