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What is Occupational Health?

Updated: Apr 12, 2023

Everyone has heard of occupational health, but very few actually understand it, in our latest blog Insight Workplace Health delves deeper into Occupational Health.


Occupational health is interested in the effect of work on health and that of health on work.


Employers are required by law to prevent physical and mental ill health in workers that may occur because of business activities.


Occupational Health Services


An occupational health service (OHS) consists of various activities designed to help you and your employer manage health and work.


The OHS is staffed by a team of doctors, nurses and technicians experienced and/or qualified in Occupational Medicine (Occupational Health Physicians or OHPs), (Occupational Health Advisers or OHAs) and Screening Nurses). There is an administrative team who arrange appointments, process reports and other information and liaise closely with your employer’s Human Resources and Health and Safety Departments on a day-to-day basis.


Why might someone be referred to Occupational Health?


A referral can occur for several reasons:

You might complete a post-employment health questionnaire after you are offered a job. There may be queries arising about your health and fitness for the post.


You may have been off sick and management may wish to understand the reason(s) why, how long you will be off and when / whether you will return; you do not necessarily have to be off work for very long, but obviously the longer you are off, the more important it will be for your manager/employer to understand the situation.


You may not be off sick but there may be a query/concern about your health and its effects on your ability to do your job.


You may have been off work several times, even for short periods, and your manager may wish to understand why, if there are underlying health problems (work-related or otherwise) and what can be done to help you improve your attendance in the future.


You may be working in a job which may potentially expose you to harmful substances and/or hazardous activities (e.g., work at heights, driving, using breathing apparatus, operating machinery, working on the railways). It will be important for you to have periodic health assessments to ensure you are not being harmed by work and remain fit to carry out your tasks. Many of these assessments are done in our mobile clinics which can visit the workplace and minimise the time needed to take you away from your work.


The benefits of Occupational Health


Helps you meet legal and regulatory requirements

Protect employees from developing ill health from a result of their job

Enhanced employee wellbeing & engagement, enabling a healthy culture and increased productivity

Helps prevent absence from health reasons & to facilitate a faster return to work


Insight workplace health are a national multidisciplinary occupational health provider. We support employers by helping to keep people safe and well whilst at work.


Looking to refer one of your employees or finding out more about any of our services? You can do so here, or call us on 01792 321010.

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