New occupational health guide published by IOSH

19 October 2016

A new free guide to help organisations manage employee health has been published by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).

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Occupational health management in the workplace is aimed at safety and health professionals. IOSH says it will provide them with the thinking and knowledge to assess whether their employers or clients are managing health risks sufficiently.

It contains an overview of occupational health, discusses why managing health at work is harder than managing safety, and highlights health checks and controls which can help with monitoring the health and wellbeing of workers.

The guide has been designed for use by businesses of all sizes. It contains checklists, flowcharts, templates and links to further resources to help professionals in their work.

Kate Field, Head of Information and Intelligence at IOSH, said: 

“Health has, for a long time, been the Cinderella to safety. And as a result, ill health caused by work has cost individuals, business and public services billions of pounds a year. 

“In addition, the hidden costs for the individual who has been made ill by work are incalculable – not being able to play with their children, not being able to walk to the shops, and often a slow and painful death. 

“However, things are changing – health is now on the agenda, and businesses recognise that a healthy workplace is a happy and productive one. 

“This guide provides guidance on understanding health risks in the workplace. It also offers guidelines on what businesses need to consider and do, and when they need to get expert help. 

“The second part of the guide examines the aspects businesses need to consider when providing occupational health services. These services are important to effective health management, and yet navigating the complexities of providing them can be daunting, not to mention expensive. 

“The guide takes you through some of the main issues to think about, whether you’re providing the services in-house, or using an occupational health service provider.”

The Institution has launched the new guide today, during Great Britain Health and Wellbeing Week (17–21 October). The week features a variety of activities and promotional events aimed at enhancing everyone's understanding of health and wellbeing. 

Kate said: “As a founder member of Great Britain Health and Wellbeing Week, IOSH is putting the spotlight on health by supporting employers who want to raise the issue with their workforces, supply chains and wider communities.

“While the week encourages businesses to arrange workplace wellbeing activities to enhance employees’ general physical and mental health, there’s a strong focus on health risk management – ensuring that employees are not made physically or mentally ill by their work.

“As well as launching the new guide, IOSH is also encouraging its staff to get involved by participating in a 6km run and a dress down day, to help raise funds for ‘Breast Cancer Now’ charity.”  

The new guide is available to download for free at www.iosh.co.uk/ohguide.

IOSH publishes a range of free technical guidance, which is designed to support and inform safety and health professionals, and motivate and influence industry stakeholders. For more information, please call IOSH’s Information and Intelligence team on +44(0)116 257 3100 or email researchandinformation@iosh.co.uk