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How to Start an Occupational Medicine Program

Occupational medicine programs are one of the most effective ways to maintain healthy and happy employees. Not only does it keep your employees healthy, but it works to protect you from employee shortages and potential worker’s compensation claims from sick or injured employees. While occupational medicine could be a great addition to any workplace, learning how to start one and what it entails is a big task. We’ve decided to help break that information down for you and bring you one step closer towards your own occupational medicine program.

How Occupational Medicine Works

In an occupational medicine program, an occupational medicine physician will see your employees and begin the process of identifying any injury or illness caused by the conditions of the workplace. They also look at preexisting conditions and how the workplace could be making them worse. Then, a treatment plan can be work or not.

Correcting the Problem

One of the most critical aspects of occupational medicine comes from fixing the problem that leads to injury or illness in the workplace. The occupational physician will speak with their patient, visit the workplace to evaluate conditions, and talk with the management team to determine what exactly lead to the injury or illness. Then, they can offer tips on how to improve the conditions to avoid similar cases in the future.

The occupational physician will also be able to provide ideas for alternative work practices that will allow the injured employee to get back to their job quickly and safely. Maintaining an occupational medicine program can be used as preventative maintenance of workplace conditions, not just a treatment plan after an injury occurs.

Setting Safety Standards

You should search for an occupational physician that is familiar with your specific work industry. In addition to experience in your industry, they should be well versed on the latest Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements for a safe workplace. The beginning of your occupational medicine program will likely alert you to many overlooked safety risks that need to be addressed to protect yourself and your employees.

Your occupational medicine program will also work to create a protocol to use when a workplace injury occurs. You should take the time to train all of your employees on the protocols for responding to, preventing, and treating workplace injury. If they have any concerns or questions, they should be heard by your occupational physician on staff.