World Health Organization data shows that health problems related to work cause a 4% to 6% loss of GDP in most countries. The organization also says that workplace occupational health systems can cut back on absenteeism due to sick leaves by 27%. Additionally, your business can also cut down on 26% of its health care costs if you have proper workplace health systems in place.
As an occupational health worker, you are a critical component of the worker health protection agenda. You can intervene and protect their health, as well as advice on the best way to improve their work conditions.
It is also your prerogative to do surveillance on their health and detect occupational hazards early. Most business with fledgling worker health departments, however, are only heavily invested in medical treatment rather than prevention.
The Importance Of Robust Occupational Health Systems
An occupational health professional will, therefore, have the challenging job of dealing with incomplete data and outdated systems. Reporting will take valuable time that could be better used in designing proactive occupational health measures. There is also a lack of visibility and systems integration that can make it very difficult to keep the business compliant with industry regulations.
Effective occupational health systems, though, can mitigate these problems. They can help you manage and keep the business’s workforce safe and healthy through;
- Monitoring and analyzing occupational health and safety trends
- Tracking workplace illnesses and injuries
- Ensuring that various regulatory requirements are met
- Reducing workplace absences
- Employee training
- Injury prevention
Unfortunately, Verdantix data shows that 32% of all business focuses more on incident management. It is only 28% that has occupational health systems that work towards mitigating and managing these incidents before they happen.
Reasons That Hinder Businesses From Adopting Proper Workplace Health Systems
- Lack of resources: The health and safety department of many a company is usually the smallest in the firm. It will concurrently have a low budget with its staff wearing many hats and their functions stretching them thin. If your department has little attention, support, and limited staff, it will resort to reactive measures of dealing with health and safety risks rather than proactive measures.
- Lack of finances: Data from Verdantix shows that most C level managers have the notion that good occupational health platforms are cost centers. They have not known of the positive potential that these systems can impact on the business’s bottom line. If your business seems to have massive and burdensome insurance premiums, and increased staff absences, it is time to do the math. The perceived cost center is indeed a cost avoidance center.
- Antiquated EHS tools: If your business still relies on manual tools such as pen and paper or Microsoft Excel for data reporting and compliance, it is highly possible that items will slip through the cracks. Such devices are not only bulky, but they outdated and cause errors as well as waste time. Technology, nonetheless, can improve your EHS department’s efficiency, cutting down on costs, human capital, and stress.
Occupational health networks will require EHS systems that will help streamline your business’s health and safety program. These systems will ensure that your employees arrive home safe and healthy each day.
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