OH provision is in decline

first_imgHaving access to an OH service is becoming an increasingly rare benefit formany workersJust one in seven workers in the UK has access to comprehensive occupationalhealth support, research commissioned by the HSE has found. The study, conducted by the Institute of Occupational Medicine, found thatonly around 30,000 organisations made use of wide-ranging occupational healthservices to protect and promote the health of their employees. The findings were based on a telephone survey of 4,950 organisations in boththe public and private sectors. Around 44 per cent of large organisations, but only 2 per cent of very smallcompanies, used a comprehensive service, defined as one that encompasseddefining and measuring hazards, publicity, risk management, modifying of workactivities, monitoring trends, and training. But some 15 per cent of companies – employing around 7.5 million workers –did offer more basic occupational health support, including hazard definition,risk management and training. The survey also showed that having access to an OH service is becoming anincreasingly rare benefit for many workers, despite the demographic shifttowards an older workforce. In 1990, 50 per cent of the workforce (more than 12 million workers) hadaccess to an occupational health service. This has now dropped to around 7million workers, or about 30 per cent of the workforce. Some 40 per cent of employers spent under £1,000 a year on occupationalhealth, and only 9 per cent actually worked out whether they were saving moneyor wasting it. Even among employers who paid out more than £30,000 a year, 41 per cent didnot evaluate their expenditure. Employers polled said the main reason for having occupational health supportat all was concern for the health, safety and well-being of their employees. They also reported a fear of litigation and worries about the cost ofdealing with absence if they did not have an OH service. Bill Callaghan, chairman of the Health and Safety Commission, said:”With only 3 per cent of UK companies using all of what we would considerto be the key elements of occupational health support, a lot more needs to bedone to help prevent people becoming ill because of their work.” www.hsebooks.co.uk Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. OH provision is in declineOn 1 Aug 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more