What is the Primary Aim of Occupational Health?

Occupational health is a non-negotiable for employers. Its core objective is clear: safeguarding employees' well-being while preventing workplace injuries and illnesses. Over time, it's evolved from focusing solely on manual labor to encompassing every industry. By addressing potential hazards, promoting safety, and providing physical and mental health support, employers protect their workers, reduce injuries, and cut costs. Discover how an Occupational Health Provider, like Work Health Solutions, can make your workplace a safer, healthier environment through on-site health clinics, educational programs, regular screenings, and more. Prioritize employee health - it's good for your team and your business.

Employers have a legal and ethical obligation to provide a safe and healthy work environment for their employees. Occupational health is the scientific field that deals with the promotion and maintenance of workers’ health and safety. The primary aim of occupational health is to prevent injuries and illnesses from occurring in the workplace. By implementing effective occupational health programs, employers can protect their workers from harm and help them stay healthy and productive.

The Primary Aim of Occupational Health

After the Civil War, the industrial revolution began and many factories opened and employed young workers. The workplace at this time was full of safety risks and hazards. The Massachusetts Bureau of Labor report from 1872 highlighted many incidents involving lost limbs or death from poorly designed equipment. Factories were dirty and had poor ventilation, which caused many illnesses and even deaths. In 1971, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was founded to oversee and ensure workers’ safe working conditions. The focus of occupational health used to be on those who did manual labor, like construction workers, but in recent times, it has been expanded to include all workers in every industry. 

According to the World Health Organization, occupational health deals with all aspects of health and safety in the workplace and focuses on preventing hazards. The penultimate goal of occupational health is to prevent workplace-related illnesses and injuries through various actions and preventative measures. This includes encouraging safety in the workplace through safe work practices, monitoring the overall health of the workplace, and providing ongoing mental and physical health support. Occupational health helps employees to bring their health concerns regarding the workplace to the attention of their employer. The employer and employee can then work together to reduce health risks and stay compliant with evolving OSHA regulations.

Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

The risk for injuries and illnesses in a workplace without a focus on occupational health is high. Injuries occur on the job every day. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020, there were 2.7 nonfatal work-related injuries per 100 full-time workers in the United States. The most common injuries are sprains, strains, and tears. Overexertion, by lifting or lowering items in a repetitive motion, is the cause of over 30% of workplace injuries. Companies need to institute safeguards and safety regulations to reduce the risk of injury in the workplace.

Workplace injuries and illnesses are very common and also very expensive. For an injury like a strain or sprain, the employer can be responsible for paying nearly $65,000 in direct and indirect costs. Occupational health focuses on reducing employees’ risk for injuries, thus reducing the employer’s associated worker’s compensation costs.

Benefits of Occupational Health

Occupational health reduces the number of workplace illnesses and injuries. This helps to reduce expenses due to worker’s compensation and sick days. It also boosts safety in the workplace by creating preventative measures that ensure workers can go about their daily work in a safe environment. An important component of occupational health is prevention. Prevention programs are designed to minimize the risk of health issues and prevent employees from getting sick or injured on the job. Occupational health can also boost productivity by reducing the number of work days missed due to injury or illness and improving employee morale.

Occupational Health in Your Workplace

Employers can work with an Occupational Health Provider, like Work Health Solutions, to prevent health-related risks and challenges in the workplace and also keep employees healthy by treating any existing health issues. There are a variety of services that occupational health providers can use to set their employees up for success. Here are some ways to implement occupational health in your workplace:

  • On-site health clinics 
  • Educational programs to improve medical literary
  • Regular health screenings or preventative exams
  • Vaccination clinics
  • Mental health support
  • Telehealth offerings
  • Pre-placement physical exams
  • Absence and disability management
  • DOT physicals and more!

There are so many ways to institute occupational health in your workplace and make employee health a priority. Reach out to an Occupational Health Provider today and make your workplace a safer place!

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. Our quality service is backed by years of experience working with academic and research institutions, corporate healthcare, Fortune 25 companies, small governments, and local businesses. Reach out today with any questions you may have 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.