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What Is Occupational Medicine & How Can It Help You?

What Is Occupational Medicine?

Occupational medicine is the subspecialty of preventive medicine concerned with the:

  • health,
  • safety, and
  • performance of workers.

Occupational health specialists provide medical care to workers with work-related injuries and illnesses. They also work with businesses, employees, regulators, insurers, public health, and other occupational safety and health professionals to create safer workplaces.

Benefits of Occupational Health

How Can an Occupational Health Program Help Your Company’s Bottom Line?

Healthy workers are more productive! To help your workers be healthier, you should develop a preventive health program that includes:

  • Health Risk Assessments
  • Nutrition Coaching
  • Fitness Programs
  • Weight Loss Coaching
  • Health Coaching
  • Classes
  • Workshops

Work-related injuries can also be very expensive. The direct costs of injuries that are easy to measure, like the cost of medical care and insurance costs, are small when compared to indirect costs associated with workplace disruption, retraining, lost productivity, and the like.

Return Your Employees to Work as Soon as Possible

When injuries do occur, they need to be managed well to return the injured worker to a state of health and productivity as soon as possible. A skilled occupational medicine specialist will work with the worker, employer, workers compensation insurer, and the medical system to help the injured worker regain his or her functional abilities and return to work. 

Did You Know that the Cost of Absence Is More than Four Times the Medical Payments?

The 2011 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index states that the most disabling workplace injuries cost industry $50 billion a year in direct workers compensation costs. 

According to the Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI), a national, non-profit organization based in San Francisco, CA, the full costs of absence are more than four times total medical payments for employers in IBI’s Full-Cost Study when the productivity lost from absence is added to wage replacement payments. 

In fact, IBI states that on average, employers leave an equivalent of 85 percent of net income on the table in excess benefit costs compared to companies with best-in-group performance in industry comparison groups.

What Is Fit-for-Duty Testing?

Why Would You Choose Fit-for-Duty Testing?

Fit-for-duty testing, done before employment, is used to determine the job applicant's physical suitability for the job at hand. Tests can be custom-designed for the specific job function and are typically used to identify pre-existing injuries.

Know the Difference: First Aid Vs. a Recordable Event

First Aid

First aid is defined as emergency medical treatment for somebody who is ill or injured. First aid care is given before the patient can find more complete medical attention.

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) defines a range of first-aid services (or first aid level of care). Medical care that is more than these first-aid services can be a recordable event.

Recordable Event

OSHA 1904.7 states that a recordable event is usually defined as:

  • death,
  • days away from work,
  • restricted work or transfer to another job,
  • medical treatment beyond first aid, or
  • loss of consciousness.