How to stop smoking

According to Cancer Research UK, tobacco consumption is the greatest cause of preventable illness and early death in the UK. Its figures show that approximately 102,000 people died in 2009 from smoking-related illnesses. With this in mind, it is important that employers provide support for workers who wish to give up smoking as well as protecting non-smoking staff members from inhaling second-hand smoke. Employers’ responsibilities regarding smoking While employers cannot force staff members to stop smoking at work, they do have clear responsibilities to their employees. They should ensure that: There is a…Read more

Avoiding stress in the workplace

According to the latest figures from the Labour Force Survey, 428,000 people in the UK suffered from stress in 2011-12, accounting for 40% of all work-related illnesses. As so many employees experience stress, it is vital that employers have a strategy for preventing workplace anxiety and pressure and that employees receive the support they require should they experience stress in the workplace. Stress prevention measures for employers Employers are responsible for ensuring that workers are not overburdened or expected to take on more than they can cope with. It’s important that managers are…Read more

Long-term sickness absence costs £6.5 billion each year

According to a study carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), the cost of sickness absence to the private sector is approximately £3.1 billion each year. When the cost of sickness absence within the public sector is added, the total reaches a hefty £6.5 billion. The research, which was conducted on behalf of income protection provider Unum, focused on long-term illness and injury that spanned more than six months, as this type of absence has the most significant financial implications for companies and organisations. It showed that around 300,000…Read more

How to choose an occupational health provider

Occupational health providers are trained to protect businesses from sickness absence, injury in the workplace and legal action should a health-related dispute arise. Therefore, it is vital that those giving occupational health advice are fully trained and up-to-speed with the latest government legislation regarding health, employment and workers’ rights. Any organisation looking to employ the services of an occupational health provider should check the credentials of the practitioners it employs, ensuring that: Doctors have the required Diploma in Occupational Medicine (DOccMed) Nurses are registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Managers are…Read more

Why use placement screening services?

The aim of placement screening is to verify the credentials of prospective job applicants and to ensure that they meet the preconditions of employment; namely that they are fit for work and able to do the specific job in question. Carrying out employee screening can help to protect businesses from loss of earnings and even litigation should an employee who is not deemed fit apply for a position. Employee screening must be undertaken in accordance with: The Data Protection Act (1998), which affects the processing of an individual’s personal details The Employment Rights…Read more

New pilot schemes to focus on occupational health

The government has introduced a new two-year pilot scheme under which those in the UK who receive sickness benefits will attend regular appointments with occupational health providers to assess their ability to work. Failure to do so could result in the withdrawal of these benefits. According to government figures, assessments show that approximately 3,000 of those receiving Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) should be able to return to the workplace in the next 18 months or so. These individuals will be instructed to meet with medical practitioners or occupational health companies as a…Read more

What is different about occupational health physicians?

The difference between an occupational health physician and an ordinary medical practitioner is that the former focuses on the patient or individual’s health in relation to the workplace. While this is a more specific approach than a general practitioner (GP) might take, UK occupational health providers provide a really valuable service; one that benefits workers and employers alike. UK occupational health companies and physicians must have a broad understanding of clinical medicine, so it is worth checking that they are fully qualified. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), UK occupational health…Read more

Why employers need an occupational health provider

Occupational health providers are responsible for assessing the impact of an employee’s work on his or her health and ensuring that the worker is up to the task. While some employers feel they are able to do this job themselves, finding an organisation that is qualified to carry out this analysis can help to reduce the chance of litigation, protect workers, improve staff performance and retention, and cut the costs associated with sickness absence. Benefits of occupational health advice for workers Workplace circumstances are constantly changing, and this can bring about both advantages…Read more