Proactive Occupational Health Services: Building a Foundation for Employee Wellness

occupational health

Employee wellness is a pivotal factor influencing organizational success. Employers are recognizing more and more that a healthy workforce is a more productive one. Many employers are implementing occupational health and wellness programs with a proactive focus to address this need. These programs address health issues and concerns and prevent them. As chronic disease now accounts for nearly 80% of deaths in the United States, preventing these illnesses is crucial for employee well-being and creating a resilient and thriving workforce. By championing early identification and intervention strategies, employers can prevent work-related health issues and contribute to the greater wellness of the workforce.

In this article, we will explore the multifaceted benefits of proactive occupational health services, identifying the foundational tenets of proactive healthcare and relating them to employee wellness. The proactive approach to employee wellness builds a foundation for the enduring well-being of employees.

What are Proactive Occupational Health Services?

Traditional models of employee healthcare and wellness programs follow a reactive model of health, meaning that they address health issues once the problem manifests. On the other hand, proactive occupational health anticipates health concerns and takes a preventative approach to identify and address potential health issues before they escalate.

Rather than focusing entirely on employees’ health issues, proactive occupational health seeks to mitigate current and future health risks. These services do this by creating a nurturing workplace culture, utilizing health screenings and risk identification, and health education.

Critical Components of Proactive Occupational Health Services

Let’s examine some of the critical components of proactive occupational health services.

Employee Health Screenings and Assessments

Organizations can utilize comprehensive health screenings and risk assessments by partnering with occupational health professionals to identify potential health risks among their employee population. These screenings may include physical examinations, blood tests, and other screenings for common health issues. These health screenings are the foundation for employers to build health and wellness programs. 

Occupational health providers can also conduct risk assessments in the workplace, identifying potential hazards and health risks associated with the job. These risk assessments are crucial for mitigating job-related risks and preventing work-related injuries and illnesses.

Risk Identification and Analysis

In addition to monitoring and identifying risks in the physical workplace, occupational health providers take a holistic approach to risk identification. These providers can assess the psychosocial factors affecting employee wellness, like stress, burnout, and other mental health challenges. By acknowledging these intangible risks, organizations can develop health and wellness plans to support employees and prevent the development of chronic mental health issues.

Health Education and Awareness Programs

Beyond health and risk assessments, proactive occupational health services target the workforce’s unique needs. These needs include stress management seminars, nutrition counseling, physical fitness challenges, and more. This interactive health education informs employees about their health and actively involves them in their wellness choices.

Proactive wellness programs also seek to embed wellness into the organization’s culture, making it a priority in every aspect of the company. This means creating channels for open dialogues about health and celebrating achievements in employee wellness. This culture of well-being will ultimately lead to a more active participation in employee health and wellness.

Workplace Interventions and Modifications

Following risk assessments, proactive occupational health services seek to make adjustments to the workplace to reduce the likelihood of injury or illness. Additionally, occupational health providers can conduct ergonomic assessments to prevent musculoskeletal issues. These assessments may require the redesign of workstations, incorporating ergonomic furniture, and training employees on proper body movements. Other workplace interventions can include:

  • Incorporating mindfulness practices.
  • Offering healthy food options in the break room.
  • Providing on-site medical care.

These key components create a workplace that values employee wellness and seeks to prevent illness and injury.

Benefits of Proactive Occupational Health Services

Proactive occupational health services are the foundation of employee wellness and offer many advantages to organizations and employees. One of the primary benefits of proactive healthcare is preventing future health issues and allowing for timely intervention. By identifying potential health issues, these services can prevent the development of severe health conditions, fostering employee health and reducing the impact on organizations. These services can also minimize absenteeism, leading to higher productivity and reduced costs due to missed work days. Organizations may also experience a reduction in healthcare costs by up to 87%. Ultimately, embracing proactive occupational health services safeguards employee health and allows organizations to remain competitive.

Creating a Proactive Wellness Program

Organizations must partner with a trusted occupational health provider to take advantage of proactive occupational health services. These professionals are experts in designing health and wellness programs that meet the varied needs of the workforce. As the foundation of employee wellness, proactive occupational health programs start with thoroughly assessing employee needs. This assessment involves analyzing the prevalent health issues, the nature of the work, and unique challenges faced by employees in the organization. Occupational health providers will also meet with employees for input and feedback about their health and goals. This information provides the necessary insights to tailor interventions for the workforce and fosters a sense of collaboration among employees.

Once this foundational information is received and analyzed, occupational health professionals and managers will work together to devise a proactive health plan for the company. This program will include a variety of interventions, like stress management, healthy eating, and physical activity, to meet the needs of employees holistically. This proactive health program can then be integrated into any existing occupational health programs, avoiding duplication of efforts and making it easier for employees to participate.

Clear and effective communication is crucial when promoting proactive health programs. This communication will encourage employee engagement and help managers articulate the goals and benefits of these occupational health initiatives.

Instituting proactive occupational health services is paramount for promoting employee health and wellness. Start working with an occupational health provider, like Work Health Solutions, today to prevent and manage illness and injury in your workplace!

How Can We Help?

Work Health Solutions offers comprehensive healthcare solutions for your medical needs. Our qualified team treats patients and employers alike and always provides top-quality service. We back our quality service with years of experience. We have worked with academic and research institutions, corporate healthcare, Fortune 25 companies, small governments, and local businesses. Reach out today with any questions about how we can assist you!

Work Health Solutions

Work Health Solutions

About Us

Work Health Solutions is dedicated to preserving a safe work environment and improving existing programs and care for local, regional and national organizations.

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Dr. Michael Tenison

A series of notable accomplishments distinguish Dr. Michael Tenison’s career in medical operations and healthcare management:

  • Successfully led medical operations at a national healthcare provider, focusing on optimizing healthcare delivery and patient outcomes.
  • Oversaw the regional medical practices in key markets like Oregon and Northern California, ensuring consistent, quality medical care and service delivery.
  • Demonstrated exceptional leadership in building and mentoring a large medical provider team, enhancing team performance and patient care standards.
  • Implemented strategic company policies and protocols, significantly improving center efficiency, clinical quality, and patient experiences.
  • Played a pivotal role in financial planning and identifying growth opportunities for healthcare services, contributing to the organization’s overall success.
  • Served as a primary point of contact for regional employer clients and insurance companies, fostering strong relationships and effective communication.
  • Maintained high medical care and case management standards through diligent supervision, chart audits, and performance metric analysis.

Dr. Matt Feeley

Dr. Matt Feeley is a renowned figure in military aviation medicine, with a robust background in occupational and environmental medicine from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. 

  • Former Naval Flight Surgeon, exemplifying his expertise in aerospace medicine and commitment to military health.
  • Served with distinction at NSA Bahrain and HSM-37, earning the COMPACFLT Flight Surgeon of the Year award for exceptional medical service.
  • Supported U.S. Marines VMFA-323 aboard the USS Nimitz, MACG-38, and VMU-3, demonstrating versatility and leadership in diverse medical environments.
  • Broad interests and significant contributions in global health, corporate medicine, and aerospace medicine, highlighting his multidisciplinary approach.
  • Proven track record as a dynamic leader, well-equipped to face the challenges in a fractional medical directorship role with innovative solutions.

Dr. Glen Cheng

A physician-attorney with a dedication to healthcare innovation, informatics, and digital health.

  • Currently spearheads employee health protection and promotion within the VA Pittsburgh Health Care System.
  • Trained in residency at Harvard, achieving board certification as a physician; also a licensed patent attorney with experience as FDA regulatory counsel.
  • Co-founded Acceleromics, a consulting firm providing clinical and regulatory guidance to digital health startups.

Erin Davis

 Chief Clinical Officer at Work Health Solutions, certified in Adult-Gerontology (AGNP-C) and Athletic Training (ATC).

  • Oversees clinical operations and ensures high clinical standards across the company’s national field staff.
  • Former Manager of Clinic Operations and Occupational Health Nurse Practitioner at Stanford University Occupational Health Center (SUOHC).
  • Specialized in treating occupational injuries and illnesses, and provided medical surveillance and travel medicine consults at Stanford and SLAC National Accelerator Lab.
  • Dedicated to sports and occupational injury treatment and prevention.
  • Assistant Clinical Faculty at UCSF, mentoring students in clinical rotations within the Adult Gerontology and Occupational and Environmental Health Program.
  • Holds leadership roles as Treasurer and President Elect of the California El Camino Real Association of Occupational Health Nurses (CECRAOHN), affiliated with the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN).

Dr. Robert Goldsmith

Expert in benefits design and onsite innovation with specialization in the pharmaceutical industry.

  • Previous role as Executive Director for Employee Health at Novartis Services, Inc., leading health services and clinical support.
  • Instrumental in creating an integrated healthcare system at Novartis.
  • Former private practice in internal medicine in Stamford, Connecticut, and Medical Director consultant for GTE Corporation.
  • Transitioned to GE as a Global Medical Director in 2000.
  • Holds a medical degree from Albert Einstein College, an MPH from the University of Connecticut, and completed training at Greenwich Hospital and Yale-New Haven Medical Center.
  • Assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at the Vagelos School of Medicine, Columbia University.
  • Serves as a team physician for high school athletes in Stamford.
  • Published works on occupational health risks, primary prevention, and exercise-induced asthma.