The Business Case for Occupational Health: Cost Savings and Return on Investment

Investing in workplace health and wellness programs doesn't just promote employee well-being; it's a strategic financial move for any organization. High healthcare costs, absenteeism, and workers' compensation claims significantly impact a company's bottom line. By focusing on prevention, these programs help reduce healthcare expenses by 87%, increase productivity, and decrease absenteeism costs. The intangible benefits include enhanced employee morale, loyalty, and a positive company culture. Embracing occupational health initiatives safeguards your employees' health, attracts top talent, and improves your financial health. Discover the compelling business case for prioritizing employee wellness today.
business case for occupational health

The average annual employer-sponsored premiums are $7,111 for single coverage and $22,463 for family coverage. With these high healthcare costs, many employers seek to reduce costs while promoting employee health and wellness. One solution to this roadblock is to institute workplace health and wellness programs. These programs encompass a variety of initiatives and activities, including preventative screenings, healthy eating campaigns, stress relief seminars, and more. Let’s discuss the business case for occupational health and the return on investment (ROI) that employers can experience. By investing in the wellness of employees, employers can experience a more productive workforce while significantly reducing costs.

Understanding the Financial Impact of Occupational Health

From absenteeism to high healthcare costs to workers’ compensation claims, the health and wellness of employees play a significant role in a corporation’s financial well-being. Rising healthcare costs have transformed from a mere operational expense into a formidable financial challenge, often exceeding projections and diverting resources from core business functions. 

Rather than being viewed as ancillary programs, occupational health initiatives should be embraced as integral components of a company’s mission. Through various health and wellness programs, businesses can create a healthier workforce less prone to chronic illnesses and health-related setbacks. Investing in employees’ physical, mental, and emotional well-being can save businesses money outside of healthcare premiums.

The heart of occupational health is prevention. Proactive measures targeting and preventing substantial health risks can save money. By investing in occupational health programs, businesses can effectively curb the financial drain of reactive medical interventions.

Cost Savings Through Reduced Healthcare Expenses

Fostering employee well-being can serve as a cornerstone of financial prudence. The connection between employee health and healthcare costs is undeniable. Unaddressed medical concerns can snowball into serious issues that lead to expensive medical treatments. This poses a danger to employees’ physical and mental wellness and the company’s wallet. A comprehensive occupational health program can serve as a counterforce, potentially intercepting such medical issues before they escalate. Occupational health programs that prioritize wellness education, preventative screenings, fitness programs, and stress management can do wonders at preventing and managing chronic disease. Studies show that such preventative programs can decrease healthcare spending by 87%. Companies can effectively mitigate the financial toll of healthcare expenditures by implementing proactive measures that prevent and address chronic illness and foster a culture of wellness.

Productivity and Absenteeism: The Hidden Costs

Beyond the tangible realm of financial statements and healthcare premiums lies a hidden realm of costs that profoundly influence a company’s overall performance—productivity losses due to absenteeism. Absenteeism can cost an employer anywhere from $16 to $246 per employee per year. Employee health is intricately tied to company productivity. Health issues can increase absenteeism, lost productivity, and employee turnover. Occupational health programs can prevent absenteeism and improve productivity by promoting mental health, work-life balance, and a holistic approach to wellness. Initiatives like stress management and on-site healthcare clinics can give employees the tools to manage their health and wellness. Consequently, these employees are more likely to be present, engaged in their tasks, and invested in their roles, leading to increased productivity and a more positive work atmosphere.

Preventing Work-Related Injuries and Workers’ Compensation Costs

In 2020, the average workers’ compensation claim cost employers $41,353. Occupational health can reduce the cost of workers’ compensation for employers and safeguard their employees from the perils of work-related injuries. Safety protocols, ergonomic assessments, and regular training and education seminars create a safer, healthier workplace. A safer workplace leads to fewer work-related injuries and illnesses, thus reducing workers’ compensation costs for employers. This also helps employees feel more secure in their working environment, increasing job satisfaction and higher productivity.

Return on Investment: Beyond the Financial Numbers

Beyond the financial benefits, implementing occupational health programs in the workplace also provides numerous intangible benefits. Investing in employee wellness signals a sense of value and care to employees, showing them that their health is paramount to the company. This can create a stronger emotional connection between the company and its employees, leading to higher loyalty and reduced turnover. Additionally, occupational health programs signal to employees that they are important to the company. This leads to higher employee morale, which in turn develops higher productivity. These health and wellness programs also contribute to creating a company culture focusing on employee wellness. A culture that promotes health, safety, and work-life balance sets the stage for open communication, mutual respect, and a collaborative spirit. This culture reflects well on the company externally, attracting top-tier talent and positive publicity.

The business case for investing in occupational health initiatives is resoundingly clear. From mitigating healthcare expenses and reducing absenteeism to fostering safer work environments and curbing workers’ compensation costs, the strategic implementation of occupational health programs brings forth a cascade of tangible and intangible rewards. By embracing occupational health as a strategic imperative, businesses can create a happier, healthier workforce while significantly reducing costs.

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

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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.