In these ever-changing COVID times, occupational medicine (OccMed) can play an integral role in helping employers to promote workplace health. While OccMed is the go-to source for work-related injuries, it can also offer assistance to help employer clients prevent avoidable workplace injuries and accidents. Here are a few suggestions for how OccMed can help:
1) Develop Injury Prevention Programs
Depending on the industry, some employees may find themselves at a greater risk for injury than others. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the most common type of workplace injuries and fatalities occur in the transportation sector.1 Other dangerous job positions as reported by the BLS include the following:
- Construction workers
- Roofers and logging workers
- Agricultural workers and farmers
- Iron and steel workers
With this in mind, one can see why taking action steps to prevent any physical mishap or injury is paramount. OccMed practices can partner with employers to implement injury prevention programs that help identify employees who may be at more risk of being injured. Guided by professional consultations, careful considerations and proper steps can then be taken to protect workers. Additionally, regular medical surveillance screenings can also ensure employees remain safe from workplace hazards.2
2) Set up Pre-Employment Screenings
For many industries, basic pre-employment physicals are standard during the pre-hire process. These pre-employment screenings may include a vision test, a hearing test, a blood pressure exam, height and weight notations, health history questionnaire, and more.3 Human Performance Evaluations (HPEs) may also be part of the pre-hire requirements for some companies. Since HPEs look at the physical demands a job position may entail and whether or not a potential employee can meet these requirements, this is another way to ensure employees can meet specific job tasks and responsibilities. Essentially, these screenings can help employers and workers prioritize safety and well-being during a day’s work.
3) Establish COVID-19 Workplace Safety Practices
More and more companies are requiring their employees to undergo COVID-19 testing during these times, especially as they return to the workplace. In order to make sure everybody’s safety remains a priority, OccMed can also help their clients establish safe work practices, evaluate current risks for healthcare workers, and provide valuable information about COVID-19 testing. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides guidelines on these workplace practices that may be worth considering.
4) Offer Workplace Assessments
If an employer needs help training their team, OccMed can also offer workplace assessments and look at what employees do in their day-to-days jobs and provide tips accordingly. This can be helpful in a number of ways, such as by reducing work-related injuries. For example, if an OccMed clinic has physical therapy in-house, they can send their physical therapist to the employer’s site and educate their team on proper lifting techniques and complete a workplace assessment. If they do have physical therapy, these assessments could bring in extra revenue, and it also helps form greater relationships with employers because you are helping those employers not sustain injuries.
5) Provide Employee Training and Education
Aside from preventative measures, OccMed practices can work with employer partnerships to implement job-specific development and wellness programs. Creating a customized health care program as well as providing health coaching opportunities can guide employees to making healthy lifestyle choices.4 By exploring different wellness opportunities, more employees can then rest assured that everybody’s safety and well-being continues to be taken seriously and with great care.
Let’s be real: Nobody wants to be injured on the job. But being proactive with employer partnerships about reducing injury-related risks will allow everyone to have some peace of mind, while keeping the job running steadily and efficiently.
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1 Bureau of Labor Statistics – U.S. Department of Labor, “National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2018,” December 17, 2019.
2 The American Academy of Family Physicians, “Medical Surveillance inWork-Site Safety and Health Programs,” May 1, 2000.
3 Info Cubic Background Checks, “How to Implement an Occupational Health Screening Program,” April 25, 2019.
4 Concentra, “Occupational Medicine,” 2020.