Around 89% of workers with health issues state that these problems impact their working life. This means that employee well-being isn’t simply important on an individual level but also within a business productivity framework.
Occupational health is critical for ensuring that employees perform their jobs quickly, efficiently, and effectively. Here, we’re going to discuss what occupational health is and how it differs from occupational therapy. Read on to learn this distinction and to get some insight into how occupational health can tangibly benefit your business.
What Is Occupational Health?
Occupational health is an area of public health intended to help employees in multiple fields. Its goal is to promote, maintain, and value all types of well-being for these employees. Its core pillars are:
- Mental health
- Physical fitness
- Social well-being
- Financial well-being
One core component of occupational health is improving working conditions and the working environment. They must be optimised for preventing injury and decreasing stress/anxiety. This may mean using ergonomic furniture, eliminating safety hazards, documenting hazardous chemicals and materials, providing workplace mental health seminars, and ensuring that safety protocols are consistently followed.
Promoting worker health also improves their capacity for quality job performance. This makes occupational health productive and lucrative for businesses. Practicing occupational health involved multiple areas of study including medicine, nursing, psychology, safety, and hygiene.
How Is This Different From Occupational Therapy?
Occupational health is a broad term that pertains to all aspects of workplace well-being. Its primary goal is hazard prevention.
Occupational therapy is both more specific and more reactive. It’s essentially a form of therapy that focuses on assisting those who have a pre-existing physical or mental illness. This form of therapy is focused on improvement through performing daily activities essential to daily life, including workplace activities.
Occupational health benefits all employees across the UK. Occupational therapy, on the other hand, is mainly for those who have a specific inability or injury that regularly occurs. Occupational therapists teach these workers about their inability and propose potential solutions for problems that they face in the workplace as a result of it.
The Tangible Benefits of Workplace Well-Being
The primary beneficiary of occupational health policies may be the worker, but employers can reap many benefits as well. The economic impact of poor workplace mental health is staggering.
In a single year, bad mental health among workers cost employers £42 billion across the UK. That amounts to around £1,300 for each employee. Implementing mental health programmes into the workplace can give you an 800% return on your investment, so it makes practical sense to implement these policies.
Employers can also benefit from physically fit employees. About one in four UK employees have physical health issues. 42% of these workers felt that their health affected their work ‘to some extent’ or ‘a great deal.’
These issues can impact their job performance in many ways. These individuals are more likely to take sick days due to poor health. They also are more likely to feel sluggish while on the job, leading to mistakes and a lack of focus.
Essex County Council: A Case Study
Essex County Council (ECC) employs over 7,200 people. This large city council serves about 1.4 million residents. Because they have such extensive outreach, creating a nurturing environment for a resilient workforce is a priority.
In 2020, the ECC launched a 5-year Wellbeing Strategy. Focused on preventing mental, physical, social, and financial problems, this strategy aligns with HR policies and standards as well. The brand asks employees to take personal responsibility for their own well-being and gives them the resources necessary to do this.
It’s important to note that ECC notes the success of its programme with measurable criteria. They use some ‘soft’ metrics that look at improved relationships with customers. However, it also looks at ‘hard’ metrics that collect quantitative data.
Some such metrics include (but are not limited to):
- Reduced sickness-related absences
- Employee engagement metrics and numeric scores
- Retention rates
- Recruitment levels
- Wellbeing impact assessment development
Your well-being campaign can also be more successful when you measure concrete data for analysis.
K2A: Supplying Your Occupational Health Needs
At this point, you likely are wondering what you should do to implement an effective occupational health strategy. It truly comes down to finding the right experts to take care of your workers.
K2A Occupational Health Consultants have been expanding all throughout the UK since 2004. This experience has given us the time to develop tools and knowledge so that we can respond to all of your organisation’s health-related needs. We allow you and your employees to take occupational well-being into your own hands by equipping you with the tools necessary to do so.
We offer the following services so that you can take action to boost employee’s holistic health:
- Health surveillance
- Health and well-being days
- Providing flu vaccines on-site
- Drugs and alcohol tests to be administered regularly
- Absence management
- Pre-placement and fitness for the workplace
- Employee assistance programmes
Our laboratories are all UKAS-approved. While our reach is extensive, however, we also are excited to offer you the responsiveness, commitment, and personable customer service that a smaller company might. Ultimately, we’re here to ensure that your employees are safe and productive while on the job.
Get Professional Services Today
While worker health may seem insignificant to business at first brush, it truly is anything but that. Now that you know how occupational health can impact your bottom line, it’s time to begin implementing workplace safety policies.
We’re committed to offering you a myriad of physical, mental, and social health services that your employees can benefit from. Contact K2A to learn more about how we can supply all of your occupational health needs.