Why Every Business Needs an Occupational Health Management System in 2023

May 6, 2023 • 5 minute read

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic bringing attention to the importance of prioritising employee well-being, only a small increase has been seen in the number of companies in the UK that have implemented Occupational Health Management Systems (OHMS) into their operations 4 years on. In fact, this number is so dismal that according to a telephone survey […]

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic bringing attention to the importance of prioritising employee well-being, only a small increase has been seen in the number of companies in the UK that have implemented Occupational Health Management Systems (OHMS) into their operations 4 years on. In fact, this number is so dismal that according to a telephone survey conducted on 4,950 employers in 2022, only 3% were found to provide comprehensive occupational health services to their employees. 

Surprisingly, what the survey referred to as comprehensive OHMS were the basic components that any functional OHMS should possess, such as hazard identification, risk management, provision of information modifying work activities, providing training on occupational health-related issues, measuring workplace hazards, and monitoring trends in health. Given the importance of occupational health management, it is alarming that such a low number of companies have adopted even the basics of OHMS.

Many business owners are still on the fence about implementing an OHMS, which can be attributed to their lack of awareness of the numerous benefits it can have for them. In today’s dynamic world, the health and safety of employees is of the utmost importance, and an OHMS can help businesses achieve this. 

The purpose of this article is to highlight the benefits of OHMS and demonstrate how it can help businesses to thrive in the face of unpredictability.

Benefits of Implementing an Occupational Health Management System

Implementing an OHMS can provide a wide range of benefits for businesses across the board. Some of the key benefits of implementing an OHMS include:

Improved Employee Health and Well-being

One of the most significant benefits of an OHMS is the potential to improve employee health and well-being. By prioritising health, businesses can boost job satisfaction, morale, and productivity. OHMS can provide employees with access to health and wellness programs, screenings, and counselling, which can have a positive impact on their overall well-being, making them better suited to carry out their assignments. This research published in 2020 showed that workers’ health programs had the greatest positive influence on retention and job satisfaction.

By offering such services, businesses can help their employees stay healthy, reducing the likelihood of illnesses or injuries that could negatively impact their performance or lead to time off work. Ultimately, prioritising employee health and well-being through an OHMS shows that businesses value their employees and care about their well-being, making them feel more invested in their work. 

Compliance with Regulatory Requirements

Another key benefit of OHMS is that it can help businesses comply with regulatory requirements. This includes health and safety legislation as well as industry-specific regulations set by bodies like HSE. 

By implementing an OHMS, businesses can meet all relevant requirements, hence avoiding any potential fines or legal issues. OHMS can also help businesses stay up to date with changes to ensure that their operations remain in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. This way, businesses avoid any negative consequences associated with non-compliance. 

In the case of an eventuality, having an OHMS in place demonstrates an organisation’s commitment to employee well-being, which can greatly enhance its public image.

Continuous Improvement and Innovation

A company that implements OHMS encourages a culture of continuous improvement. By regularly monitoring and evaluating workplace health and safety practices, policies, and training, employers and employees are constantly seeking ways to enhance and improve their operations to ensure they stay up-to-date with best practices and industry standards. This can lead to increased innovation outside of occupational health, as a culture of improvement permeates throughout the organisation. As a result, the workplace becomes better suited to discovering and adopting new work methods in general, leading to greater efficiency in all aspects of the business. OHMS can thus serve as a catalyst for positive change in the workplace, benefiting the company as a whole.

Cost Savings and Improved Financial Performance

Having an OHMS in place can result in substantial cost savings for businesses. By preventing workplace accidents and injuries, employers can decrease expenses related to medical treatment, workers’ compensation claims, and legal fees. For instance, Johnson & Johnson’s leaders estimate that their wellness programs have saved the company $250 million on health care costs over the past decade. Another study showed a 9.4% drop in injury claims and a 26% average savings on workers’ compensation costs after a Cal/OSHA inspection, which points to the benefits of implementing safety and health programs.

Additionally, lower absenteeism and reduced turnover rates from improved employee welfare services can result in recruitment and training cost savings.

Improved Risk Management

Businesses that have a functional OHMS can identify potential risks to employee health and safety and take steps to mitigate or eliminate them before incidents occur. This includes conducting regular risk assessments and implementing appropriate controls to reduce the likelihood of workplace accidents and injuries. By proactively managing risks, businesses can minimise the likelihood of disruptions to their operations and reduce their liability in the event of accidents. This can contribute to a safer and more productive workplace environment.

Data-driven Decision Making

Occupational Health Management Systems can facilitate judicious decision-making in the workplace, encouraging a more informed approach to risk management. By leveraging OHMS data, stakeholders can identify important risk factors, allowing for more deliberate, and well-considered decisions to be made. OHMS also provides a structured and systematic framework for analysing and evaluating occupational health risks, thereby encouraging strategic decision-making. Employing OHMS also promotes a proactive culture of anticipatory risk management, enabling organisations to react swiftly and decisively to potential threats, mitigating risks, and reducing the likelihood of unforeseen incidents.

Enhanced Workplace Safety Culture

By providing a platform for managing and tracking employee health data, OHMS helps create a safer working environment for employees. With easy access to safety data and hazard identification tools, employees become more aware of potential risks and take proactive measures to mitigate them.

A safety culture that emphasises employee well-being and encourages employees to speak up about safety concerns also leads to increased job satisfaction and morale, improving the organisation’s overall performance.

OHMS provides an effective way to establish a safety culture by enabling the collection and analysis of safety data, providing insights into workplace hazards, and facilitating the creation of safety programs and training initiatives. By investing in OHMS, organisations can foster a culture of safety and improve the health and well-being of their workforce, while also reducing the risk of costly workplace accidents and injuries.

Getting Started with an Occupational Health Management System

The first step to establishing a workplace health and safety program is to engage an expert in the field. With their guidance, you can pinpoint risks in your operations and develop a tailored system that addresses your specific requirements. 

To effectively manage your program, your expert will propose various solutions to assist you in implementing and overseeing your OHMS. These solutions help businesses streamline crucial processes and procedures, keep track of incident reports, and continuously evaluate the effectiveness of their OHMS.

One of the primary technologies in the market currently is Occupational Health and Safety Management Software. This software offers an all-inclusive platform for managing employee health and safety, enabling businesses to track employee data including medical records, incident reporting, risk assessments, and compliance requirements, to support workplace safety and regulatory adherence.

At Meddbase, we have vast experience with working with businesses using our software to improve the safety of their workplaces. If you want more information about how you can realise these benefits for your business, or are unsure about how to create an employee health program that is suitable for you, claim your free consultation here.


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