World Day for Safety and Health at Work is an annual international campaign observed on April 28th to promote safe, healthy and decent work. It also serves as a reminder to us of the importance of Occupational Health Services and of having safety management programs in place in the workplace to help reduce risks.
In an effort to promote the importance of safety at work, Scott Weaver, the Director of Sales and Marketing for Occupational Medicine at American Family Care, highlighted two important facets of Occupational Health Programs:
- Screening as a safety tool :
As part of a safety management program, some employers have screening requirements in place. These requirements may be a drug test or a physical exam performed prior to employment or even during employment.
- Drug testing: Studies suggest that those with substance abuse disorders can be less safe on the job. Not only do they pose a risk to themselves, but they can put their fellow employees at risk as well. A well-constructed drug screening program takes into account the need to both detect and deter and is layered to include pre-employment, post-accident, and random testing. Drug tests are fast and simple and help to ensure the employer that their applicant or employee is drug-free or is identified for substance abuse help
- Physicals: Some employers also require a physical exam for a future employee. Candidates are not singled out for these types of tests, but if the company requires it, it is required for all employees in that job class. The main objective of a pre-employment physical is to simply make sure that the employee is physically capable of safely performing his/her job.
Weaver said, “With pre-employment screenings, we work with speed and efficiency to get the patient through the process and get the results to the employer as quickly as possible to allow them to continue their internal hiring processes.”
- Workers’ Compensation Injuries:
Weaver stated, “At AFC, we also assist employers and patients with Workers’ Compensation injuries. If there is a Workers’ Compensation claim, our goal at American Family Care is to return the injured employee back to work quickly and safely. Having an employee out on Workers’ Compensation is not only an economic hardship on the employer, but it can also be financially devastating for the employee. For that reason, we focus on keeping the injured employee working – even if it involves a light-duty job and do everything we can to get the employee back to their pre-injury status as quick as possible.”
Occupational Health Programs exist to keep people safe and healthy on the job. The best programs are a partnership between the employer, employee, and medical provider. By creating a culture of safety, an employer sends a clear message about its importance to employees. Employees are then encouraged to be active participants in the safety culture by adhering to established rules and helping identify risks. The medical provider supports both the employer and employees through accurate and efficient screening as well as medical care if an accident occurs. By working together, we can all contribute to safety in the workplace.
At AFC, we are committed to serving the needs of employers and employees with consistency, compassion, and communication. For more information on the Occupational Health services that American Family Care can provide, please visit our website.