Occupational health is a popular topic these days within the medical field. It has also become a focus of human resource managers, other administrators and employers in general. Occupational health focuses on the relationship an employee has between work and personal health. It goes both ways, as work can affect health and health can affect work.
In recent years, occupational health has moved most of its focus to the fitness of an employee to undertake a specific job. For example, are employees able to handle jobs that deal with the public, such as bus drivers or airline pilots. It can also apply to jobs where employees are asked to travel overseas for company business or for jobs with specific requirements, such as firefighters and surgeons.
The general health of an employee is not the responsibility of a company. Despite this, the company does have a legal responsibility when it comes to its employees’ occupational health. What this all boils down to is that companies must ensure that employees are not sickened by the work that they perform and that the employees are fit to complete their jobs, as far as the company is able to ascertain. This legal aspect of occupational health is known as the duty of care in employment.
The medical branch of occupational health aims to prevent illnesses that are caused by work, provide emergency responses on job sites, help ascertain if an employee is able to physically perform their job and to improve the health of a company’s workforce in an effort to benefit both the employees and the employer.
Not sure where your office stands on occupational health topics? Do you believe you’ve suffered from a workplace illness in Atlanta? Speaking with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you understand your situation and what potential legal options you might have.
Source: Personnel Today, “What is occupational health? A guide for HR and line managers,” Dr John Cooper, Aug. 31, 2017