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When to get help from the occupational health (OH) professionals

With the sudden changes that have come with COVID-19, your employees have had to adapt to life in lockdown and for some, it hasn’t been easy. It has been reported that 24% of UK adults have felt loneliness because of coronavirus. As businesses return to work, employees could be faced with severe mental health problems such as PTSD and severe stress. As their employer, you have a duty of care to support your employees and keep them in the best of health. Additionally, you should be looking into what occupational health solutions are available that offer employees the right support, for example, Stress Interventions. Occupational health professionals will work with the employee in their return to work whilst offering recommendations to the employer about how they can reduce workplace stress.


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You might already have procedures in place to support OH, however, feel that you need additional support from professionals. 

Implementing occupational health solutions without the external support may seem cost-efficient, however, there are numerous questions you should consider that might prove otherwise, for example: 

  • Are your employees comfortable talking to you about personal issues?

Absence Management Referrals are a great solution that supports absent employees in their return to work after having time off, providing them with expert advice. Many employers find that hiring an external provider to carry out this service achieves a much more honest conversation and therefore more accurate findings, reducing the risk of their absence affecting the business.

  • Do you have the time and resource to carry out thorough on-site risk assessments?

If you plan to carry out an OH risk assessment internally, with the aim of reducing risk to your business, you need to make sure enough time has been dedicated to taking all of the necessary actions, ensuring the assessor is fully trained and has the knowledge to successfully carry out a thorough OH risk assessment. Using the specialist skills and knowledge of an occupational health provider makes it easier and frees up more of your time.

  • Are you aware of all the possible OH solutions in order to choose the best for your business?

Mind Charity found that 56% of managers said they would like to do more to improve staff mental wellbeing but required more training in order to do so – this is where OH professionals can offer additional support.

The health and wellbeing world has hundreds of occupational health providers and services available that makes knowing where to start looking for the right solution difficult. Consulting with occupational health professionals will ensure you find the exact solution that is right for your business’ specific needs. OH providers such as Health Shield have a free helpline dedicated to occupational health, offering expert advice to anyone with an OH query. Health Shield can also conduct an on-site risk assessment to help you identify where the risks are within your business. 

For a more targeted approach, Health Shield offers multiple OH questionnaires tailored to specific job roles and businesses. Their complete end-to-end occupational health service includes Management Referrals that supports the employee after they have been absent to help accelerate their return to work, ensuring they’re fit to carry out their role responsibilities. Health Shield’s OH helpline offers ongoing support with each service that’s purchased, ensuring you have access to expert advice every step of the way. 


How to choose the right provider...

Begin by finding out what the needs of the business are as well as the needs of your employees and outline where you need particular support – many providers have specialist services in specific areas. You can then start to shortlist healthcare providers based on the services they offer and how much they cost, focussing on their individual packages and benefits. 


Want to know more about what you can do to support occupational health in the workplace? 

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