In recent years, there's been a strong push to expand occupational health services across industries. Employees have been vocal in advocating for workplace health and safety programs, and justifiably so! According to Yahoo - embracing occupational health models could 'positively impact over 159 million workers in the U.S. alone.' While occupational health primarily benefits employees, it also offers advantages to employers, leading to reduced absenteeism, heightened productivity, and safer workplaces. If occupational health benefits both employees and employers, it's time your company considers implementation. In this blog, I'll define occupational health, outline its importance for comprehensive care, and provide examples of occupational health services.
What is Occupational Health?
Occupational health is a specialized healthcare field primarily addressing work-related injuries and illnesses, with a core commitment to employee well-being and safety. The main focus of the services offered includes pre-employment screenings, proactive avoidance of workplace injuries and illness, employee training and education, and treatment of minor acute care issues. Occupational Health Specialists provide support for mental health, injury prevention and treatment, assistance with primacy / urgent care services, among other things.
industries ACtively USING occupational health
There are free-standing clinics that specialize in occupational health but a majority of the clinics are conveniently located onsite at large corporations within the industries listed below. The industries listed below are not exhaustive but illustrate the widespread use of occupational health services.
- Corporate offices
- TV / Film studios
- Gas / Oil companies
- Food processing plants
Common Positions FOund AT OccupationAL Health Clinics
- Administrative Assistants
- Medical Assistants
- Physician Assistants
- Nurse Practitioners
Some places (like Walt Disney World) offer more comprehensive services for their employees like a Physical Therapist, X-Ray Technician, and Personal Trainer. These professionals are trained and more up-to-date than a typical primary care type provider as they know the federal and state regulations for workforce health and safety including Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Department of Transportation (DOT).
Additionally for someone considering venturing into occupational health, the field offers great structure. The majority of roles do not require nights, holidays, or weekends and offer a steady schedule (which is unique when it comes to working in healthcare!). The workday primarily involves interacting with healthy individuals and offering wellness education, making it an ideal choice for nurses seeking to move away from the hectic pace of the emergency room and reduce the demands of twelve-hour shifts on their feet.
Why is occupational health important?
These clinics offer occupational, primary, and preventive care to employees while also handling medical emergencies and minor first-aid treatments. For employees, it eliminates the need for extra time off, providing a convenient on-site option for screenings and medical care.
It's especially important for employees in rural areas, who do not have easy access to medical care. Companies are able to offer flu shots, administer blood pressure checks, provide glucose readings, offer COVID testing, hearing/vision examinations, and more! What makes it so great is it's directly available in the workplace, providing ultimate convenience for employees.
Why would corporations invest in this benefit for their staff? The answer is simple: the clinic enhances workplace safety, reduces injuries, expedites the return of employees on leave (e.g., workers' compensation, FMLA, short-term disability), and, in the long term, saves the company time and money by offering on-site services, eliminating the need for employees to leave work for urgent care.
serviceS offered at occupational health clinics
- On-Site Emergency Response (i.e. someone breaks their arm, has a heart attack or a stroke onsite, falls off a ladder, etc. - our team are the first responders until paramedics get there)
- Pre-Employment Physicals
- Basic First-Aid & Treatment of Minor Workers' Compensation Injuries
- Vision / Hearing testing, Immunizations / Injections, Pulmonary Function Testing
- Treat Minor Acute Care Issues such as: Cuts, Scrapes, Burns, Colds, Rashes, Pink eye, etc.
- Wellness Education: Non-smoking, Diabetes management, Ergonomics (dealing with repetitive motion injuries), Nutrition counseling
How Yoh CAn Help You in Your COmpany's occupational health journey
There are hundreds of staffing agencies and healthcare specialties, so it can be a challenge for companies to know what to look for and who to hire to fill their jobs. The good news is that Yoh stands out as a leading occupational health agency helping businesses like yours seamlessly integrate occupational health programs with exceptional talent. If your company is looking to introduce elite occupational health talent, reach out to us here to connect with our experts.