Suggested steps to take when commissioning an occupational health service

by the Society of Occupational Medicine

This document has been designed to support companies who wish to commission an occupational health (OH) service.

1. Introduction

OH services keep people well at work – physically and mentally. Research shows that good health is good for business and the longer people are off sick, the less likely they are to make a successful return to work. As a byproduct of making people well at work, OH professionals enable better interaction out of work with sports, hobbies and family activities. OH services reduce absence costs, help people return to work successfully post illness, reduce claims against health insurance, and reduce legal risks associated with non-compliance of employment, Equality Act and health and safety legislation. They can also increase staff retention – saving time, money and effort recruiting, retaining and training staff – and improve productivity and therefore profitability (see the SOM’s report “Occupational health – the value proposition”). OH services can be used as part of an engagement strategy with employees, evidencing the company’s commitment to keeping their health physically and mentally.

2. What occupational health services are best for your business?

a) Know your own organisational needs

Risk Assessments need to be completed by the organisation to identify workplace risks and direct what actions are needed to prioritise the appropriate interventions and controls. Additionally, data on the rate and reason for absence across the organisation is beneficial when understanding your organisational needs. Your organisation should have a policy for attendance management with parameters for making reasonable adjustments and Duty of Care arrangements for your employees. Your organisation should also have …