The health and safety of employees is something that you need to take seriously. Controlling the risks associated with the workplace and the jobs is important, but you have to understand that the health and safety of your employees is not just restricted to the workplace or the job that they are performing.
As an employer, you need to understand that their wellbeing and general health are also important factors. You need to figure out if an employee is suited for a particular job, or if you need to make any adjustments to the workplace in order to accommodate them in a better manner.
Understanding the Importance of Occupational Health
Occupational health is a common term that focuses on several disciplines that are focused towards the safety and the overall well-being of the employees in the modern workplace. The primary focus lies on educating employees about their health and mitigating the chances of injuries caused in the workplace.
The aim is to reduce work-related illnesses and injuries and to promote the overall health of employees. Occupational health focuses on ergonomic analyses, checking employee health, and has a major focus on promoting safe practices for working. Occupational health also focuses on managing the sick leave taken by employees.
Simply put, this is designed to help employees support the wellbeing of their workers. There are numerous health checks set in place, and support is offered by healthcare experts and professionals to help employees stay mentally and physically fit.
What About an Occupational Health Assessment?
Occupational health assessments are becoming more and more popular, and many workplaces are adopting them. The occupational health assessment is simply defined as a medical assessment that is conducted by a certified health professional. These assessments are designed to determine the mental and the physical health of an employee and then give recommendations to the employers.
Instructions are also provided to the employee on what they need to do in order to make the working space safer and more conducive for employees. The health assessment is designed to mitigate the chances of any work-related injuries that may occur. In most cases, these assessments are designed to figure out whether an employee is specifically suited to the performance of a particular job.
These assessments are also designed to figure out any pre-existing conditions amongst employees that may lead to a higher risk of hazards. There are several different kinds of health assessments that you should know about. Most of them depend on the kind of job that a person is taking up. Here are a few.
One of the most common occupational health assessments is a pre-employment health assessment. This one is simply a screening that is performed by a healthcare professional to determine whether an employee is fit for their duties and the job. Most employers generally request such assessments before they bring an employee on, but after they have made the offer the job.
This is an essential part of the risk assessment process and the specifics of the assessment are generally variable, primarily dependent on the kind of occupation. For instance, when a police officer is undergoing a health assessment, there are different elements that will be assessed as compared to someone who has applied for a desk job.
What Does it Consist of?
The pre-employment health assessment primarily consists of some common elements. Here they are:
- The employee is required to fill out a health questionnaire. This questionnaire includes detailed information about the health issues that the employee has faced in the past, primarily those that are likely to be relevant to the completion of their duties on the job.
- A detailed discussion is held regarding any pre-existing medical conditions of the employee with a doctor. This is the opportunity for the employee to tell the doctor about any medical ailments or problems that they suffer from.
- Health checks are then carried out by the doctor, especially related to any risks that the employee is expected to face in the workplace. For instance, they will be told about the exposure to hazardous substances in case that’s a possibility on the job.
- Furthermore, a physical ability test is going to be carried out as well. Think of it as a fitness test used to determine whether an employee will be capable of performing well on their job. For instance, if an employee is applying to become a firefighter or a pilot, they are going to be given a fitness test to determine their performance on the job.
In some cases, a mental checkup might also be required. These are designed to determine the mental health and overall well being of the employee and to see if they will be an ideal fit for the workplace or not.
Why Conduct These Assessments?
There are several reasons why these health assessments are conducted by employers. For starters, in some industries, conducting medical assessments is a mandatory requirement set by the ministry. There are national standards and legal requirements that come into play, and employers have to make sure that they adhere to them.
Here are just a few reasons why medical assessments are suitable:
- They offer health protection in the longer run to employees, primarily those who have to work in a high-risk environment. For instance, those employees who are constantly exposed to harmful substances may need a check to determine whether they are free of any ailments or problems.
- Then, employers need to conduct health assessments to ensure that they meet the requirements set by the government regarding specific roles.
- These checks also help determine whether employees have any pre-existing health conditions, and if they do, will they be able to perform their duties properly or if they become unsuitable for the role?
- Health checks also help determine whether there are any risks in the workplace that need to be mitigated. Employees can discuss their issues in a safe and secure environment with the doctors.
- Ultimately, these health checks help create a suitable and risk-free environment.
- These health checks also include alcohol and drug screening to ensure that the workplace remains safe and sound for all employees.
Needless to say, the positive benefits of health checks have made them an absolute requirement in many industries. It’s a fantastic option for employers and helps ensure that morale remains high in the workplace.