Protecting Your Workforce: The Importance of Occupational Healthcare Management Systems for Small Businesses

March 27, 2023 • 4 minute read

As small businesses adapt to changing market conditions, there has been an increasing need for them to invest in the health and safety of their employees. With the rise of remote and hybrid work, and the evolving contexts of wellbeing in the workplace, small businesses are faced with unique challenges in managing the health and […]

As small businesses adapt to changing market conditions, there has been an increasing need for them to invest in the health and safety of their employees. With the rise of remote and hybrid work, and the evolving contexts of wellbeing in the workplace, small businesses are faced with unique challenges in managing the health and safety of their employees.

In 2021/2022, there were more than half a million employees involved in non-fatal workplace injuries in the UK, a majority which occurred in small businesses, seeing as they make 99.2% of all private businesses, and account for three fifths of the total employment in the country. It is also well documented that workers in small businesses carry a higher risk for accidents and occupational diseases. This highlights the need for business owners to prioritise the safety and well-being of their employees. By investing in an Occupational Health Management System (OHMS), SMEs take the first step in protecting their most important asset: their people.

In the following sections, we will explore the benefits of OHMS for small businesses in detail and provide practical tips for implementing an effective program.

Why is Occupational Healthcare Management Essential for Small Businesses?

Having an employee safety protection program is crucial for any business, regardless of its size. For small businesses however, there are some bottlenecks that make it harder for them to invest, compared to their medium and large enterprise counterparts. 

Often, small businesses have scant financial and human resources to dedicate to OHM programs. As a result, they may struggle to acquire the necessary equipment, sponsor training sessions, and employ personnel needed to create a comprehensive program. Compliance with regulations can also be a challenge. While they are subject to the same OHM regulations as larger organisations, they may lack the capacity to stay up-to-date with changing requirements. High turnover rates also make it difficult to maintain a consistent OHM program, as it can lead to gaps in training and knowledge, increasing the risk of workplace accidents and injuries.

But this isn’t to say that it is impossible for SMEs to implement an effective OMHS. In fact, at Meddbase, we have had high success rates with small businesses that started their employee health management journey with us. Once the initial kinks are worked out, and the business owners and core staff are fully onboard, there are numerous benefits to be experienced.

Here is why it pays to invest in an occupational health management system:

  • It reduces sickness absenteeism and associated costs, such as disability coverage and hiring temporary staff.
  • It creates a safer work environment. In addition to reducing accidents, it can also help prevent the spread of diseases both inside and outside the workplace, minimising downtime.
  • OHMS can provide legal protection against any potential liability claims by employees.
  • It gives employers insight into the overall health of their workforce, allowing them to make informed decisions regarding employee performance and wellbeing.
  • It encourages workers to become more engaged with their work, since they know that their safety is a priority.
  • It helps employers comply with any relevant occupational healthcare regulations at local and national levels.

In addition to these benefits, investing in OHM programs also demonstrates the company’s commitment to employee safety and health, which can help attract and retain customers who value ethical business practices.

Making the Transition to OHMS: Tips and Tricks

Starting out with an OHMS can seem daunting to many small business owners. While at first it could appear to be an expensive undertaking, the long-term benefits outweigh the initial strains by far.

So what should you keep in mind when making the transition to OHMS?

  1. Establish a timeline – An organised timeline will help you stay on track and ensure that all aspects of the transition are completed in a timely manner.
  2. Set clear objectives: Establish specific goals and objectives for how you want the OHMS system to be used in your business before starting implementation and training. This will make it easier to track progress and measure success over time.
  3. Choose the right platform – Choosing the right platform is critical for the success of the OHMS, so make sure to research various options before deciding which one will work best for your business’s needs. We talk more about the components of an effective OMHS here and explain what you should be on the lookout for when shopping for a solution.
  4. Create an employee engagement plan – This is essential for any successful OHMS program, as it increases buy-in from employees, raises their understanding of workplace safety regulations, and ensures that everyone is included in making workplace safety decisions.
  5. Create a robust onboarding process: A well-thought-out onboarding process will help ensure that the OHMS system is used correctly and consistently across the business.
  6. Monitor usage – Once you have implemented your OHMS program, make sure to keep track of its usage (by both employees and managers) in order to ensure its success over time.
  7. Leverage data – Use the data provided by your system to optimise operations and health outcomes over time.

Solutions Available in the Market for Small Businesses

Like other businesses, SMEs need solutions that are tailored to fit their budgets, timelines and objectives. Fortunately, there are a wide range of occupational health management solutions available in the market that can help owners protect their employees while complying with relevant regulations.

Meddbase‘s OHM software, for instance, is an ideal solution for small businesses looking to streamline their workplace health and management processes. The software monitors employee health and provides powerful reporting tools to ensure accurate records are kept. It also allows businesses to track employee training and adherence to safety regulations – all through an accessible platform.

The software provides access to comprehensive occupational health services that can be incorporated to meet the individual needs of each business – from pre-employment questionnaires to health screenings. This helps small businesses provide the necessary healthcare for their employees in a timely and cost-effective way.

To ensure the safety of your workforce today and well into the future, take the proactive approach by investing in an OHMS now.


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