Occupational medicine programs are one of the most effective ways to maintain healthy and happy employees for businesses both large and small.
Not only does it keep your employees healthy, but it works to protect you from employee shortages and potential workers compensation claims from sick or injured employees. While occupational medicine could be a great addition to any business, learning how to start one and what it entails is a big task.
At AFC Urgent Care Denver, we’ve decided to help break that information down for you and bring you one step closer towards your own occupational medicine program:
The basic definition of occupational medicine is the specialty medicine field that focuses on the well-being, safety, and injury prevention of workers. Occupational medicine can provide immense benefits to both productivity and worker satisfaction in the following ways:
- Health risk assessments
- Nutritional coaching
- Fitness programs
- Weight loss coaching
- Health coaching
- Professional Workshops
- Worker’s Compensation/ Back-to-Work programs
But before any business decides to create an occupational medicine program, they must first understand how it works, what resources are needed, and what their ideal healthcare goals are for patients.
How Occupational Medicine Works
In an occupational medicine program, a specialty occupational medicine physician will see your employees and begin the process of identifying any injury or illness caused by the conditions of the workplace. The consulting physician will use the following characteristics of your workplace conditions to develop a new occupational medicine program:
- Any hazardous or dangerous conditions that increase the likelihood of injury
- A worker’s responsibilities based on how laborious, injury-prone, or physically-exerting their daily tasks are
- Worker health issues, injury prevalence, and general health status
- Company access to healthcare facilities and provider specialists
- The company’s benefit package or health insurance policy
Basically, an occupational medicine program considers all the business and work-related factors of an injury or worker’s health conditions. These factors allow an occupational health provider to create the most effective plan for your company.
Correcting Safety and Health-Hazards on the Job
One of the most important aspects of occupational medicine comes from correcting the problem that lead to the injury or illness in the workplace.
While an occupational health program can help address worker’s compensation issues, it should put the employees’ health goals and needs first.
The occupational physician will speak with their patient, visit the workplace to evaluate conditions, and speak with the management team to determine what exactly lead to the injury or illness.
Then, they can offer tips on how to improve the conditions to avoid similar cases in the future. The occupational physician will also be able to offer ideas for alternative work practices that will allow the injured employee to get back to their job quickly and safely.
Maintaining an occupational medicine program can be used as preventative maintenance of workplace conditions, not just a treatment plan after an injury occurs. As mentioned before, occupational health specialists can help workers improve their overall health, manage chronic diseases, and address work-related healthcare issues.
Setting Safety Standards for your unique business needs
Businesses both large and small should search for an occupational physician that is familiar with your specific work industry. In addition to experience in your industry, they should be well versed on the latest Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements for a safe workplace. These requirements include:
- Procedural safety training for fires
- Procedural safety and first aid training for injuries
- Safety and training for the handling of toxic or harmful chemicals
- Industry-related safety and training guidelines based on federal law
The last one should stand out for all businesses since an occupational medicine and safety program must adhere to federal guidelines, depending upon your industry.
The beginning of your occupational medicine program will likely alert you to many overlooked safety risks that need to be addressed to protect yourself and your employees.
Your occupational medicine program will also work to create a protocol to use when a workplace injury occurs. You should take the time to train all your employees on the protocols for responding to, preventing, and treating workplace injury. If they have any concerns or questions they should be heard by your occupational physician on staff.
Let one of our AFC Urgent Care Denver locations address your occupational health needs!
At AFC Urgent Care Denver, our team of board-certified physicians are ready to address any occupational medicine and health needs you may have!
Businesses both large and small around the Denver area should consult with their nearest AFC to launch a tailored, specialized, and employee-focused occupational health plan. We’ll make sure that your businesses are as safe and healthy as possible!
Check out any of our AFC Denver Locations by using the buttons below and call to speak with one of our experts about your occupational medicine needs!