Occupational health is a vital addition to any organisation wanting to improve their staff
retention, attendance and productivity.
What is occupational health?
Occupational health is about ensuring that you or your staff are fit and healthy for the work you do.
Occupational health professionals will assess aspects of your physical and mental health in order to prevent both work and non-work related illnesses or to help you make the transition back into work following an illness. For many this means a lorry driver completing a pre-employment medical, or a builder being judged fit enough to climb a ladder, but in reality every job carries occupational hazards which can affect our health. An occupational health professional is qualified to assess these risks and work with individuals and organisations to minimise these risks by putting in preventative support measures. Occupational health is often part of an employee assistance programme, giving staff a bank of support services such as a 24-hour helpline or counselling.
The percentage of teachers last year that had at least one period of sickness absence.
Prevalence of stress
The percentage of schools that will have at least one member of staff absent due to stress at some point during the year.
The percentage of all days taken absent within schools in the last year due to stress.
The perctentage of teachers who claim their job has adversely impacted their physical or mental health.
Having a workplace occupational health support service gives your employees access to competent, professional and specialist advice which will help protect their general health and wellbeing.
Occupational health services can provide direct help for staff who suffer both work and non-work related ill health. It provides them with an opportunity to discuss and resolve any worries, medical problems or personal difficulties they may be facing in and out of work.
Duty of care
As an employer you have a duty of care to your employees. This ranges from ensuring they are paid fairly and on time, through to mitigating any occupational hazards. An important part of this is the health and welfare of your employees, and a good occupational health provider can help you with this.
By engaging an occupational health and wellbeing support service, you’re sending out a positive message to your employees that confirms how much you value their input and care about their welfare. Giving employees immediate access to such services will prevent many absences, increase productivity and increase staff tenure.
Individuals are becoming more discerning when seeking employment, particularly the generation of ‘millennials’ who seek more than just financial gratification and also look at things like working environments, employee benefits and general morale. It’s vital that schools move with the times and improve their employer brand by placing more emphasis on their employee welfare.
One of the main concerns surrounding the education sector in the UK at present is severe teacher shortages, due to problems in staff retention and recruitment. Offering a market leading occupational health service will help to attract and retain the sectors best talent.
OH for schools and academies
At APL Health we specialise in occupational health and wellbeing for the education sector.
We understand that the education sector carries with it a very unique set of challenges. There are some well documented health risks attached to working in a school, primary of which is stress. Each year almost 4% of teachers will be forced to take time off due to stress, and around 57% of schools will have a member of staff absent with stress, well above average in the UK.
For this reason at we work tirelessly with schools to help identify early symptoms of stress before they become too much of an issue.
This includes performing mental and physical health checks, giving members of staff access to a 24-hour helpline, performing stress management workshops and offering free counselling to anyone who could benefit from it. In addition to stress, we work with schools to tackle a whole range of health challenges, whether it’s a short term or long term illness.
Whatever the issues faced in your school, you will benefit from the support of a specialist occupational health provider like APL Health.