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Employee Occupational Health Services: What You Need To Know

It’s no secret that ill employees cost your business money. That’s because you are still paying them, even though no work is getting done. You also have to get someone else to cover their job. Often, this means hiring a temp or freelancer. As you can imagine, that means you end up paying even more money.

Sickness in the workplace is part of business life. Humans are not immune from illness, or indeed injuries for that matter. As a result, any firm that employs people should expect their staff to be ill at some point. Usually, people might stay at home for a couple of days to recover from a cold or virus. They then feel well enough to work on the third day.

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On some occasions, your workers might need to spend a prolonged period at home. They might even need to take a course of medicine, or see specialists at the hospital. When that happens, you need to decide what to do for the long-term.

Sure, you can sympathise with your employee’s plight. You could offer them all the time they need to recover and get well soon. But, in the meantime, you need to think about the needs of your business too. In those situations, it pays to use some employee occupational health services.

Why should you use such services?

Sometimes an employer can find it hard to make sense of GP sick notes and medical opinions. After all; unless you run a medical firm, you won’t understand any of it! There’s also the fact you won’t realise the implications to your business either.

So, why should you use a company that provides employee occupational health services? Well, there are many notable reasons to make it a viable option. Let me give you a few of them to explain why they are a useful resource:

They help both workers and their employers

One thing to bear in mind is that such organisations act as intermediaries. They don’t take a particular side, and that makes them an attractive proposition. Their job is to help find a beneficial solution for both parties.

What they do is study the facts and speak with the employee. They can then make an informed opinion. They will also recommend changes to help employees return to work.

Their job isn’t to force unwell employees to go back to work. What they do is study the evidence presented to them. They then base their judgement on facts.

The sad truth is some ill workers feel obliged to return to work sooner rather than later. Especially if they suffer from a medical condition that isn’t visible to the public. Examples include chronic fatigue syndrome, depression and so forth.

They can help make sense of what doctors are saying

One issue that both parties have is understanding a particular diagnosis. Today’s doctors are often overworked and seldom have the time to explain things. That means patients have to “Google” their condition. And we all know how bad an idea that can be!

There is one significant benefit of employee occupational health services companies. The people that work in them come from a medical background. That means they can decipher what a doctor says and explain things better.

As you can appreciate, that’s a useful resource for both workers and their bosses. Everyone concerned can better understand what’s going on. Only then will it become easier to devise a plan of action for both parties.

They can help address a worker’s needs

Sometimes the condition an employee suffers from classes them as having a disability. Is that the case with one of your workers? If so, employee occupational health services firms can work with both them and you.

They have the knowledge to suggest changes you can make in the workplace. When those changes get completed, your employee can carry on with their work. Of course, if you don’t make any changes, you could fall afoul of the law. And that’s something you don’t want to happen!

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The recommendations they suggest will vary. Some people might need to work from a different location, for example. Or they might need some “flexitime” and do some of their work from home.

Making any necessary changes means that your employee can still do their job. And your business won’t have to suffer from any financial repercussions of losing them.

They can help you improve health and safety

In most parts of the world, workers get covered by local health and safety laws. People have the right to work in a safe environment. They also have the right to not worry about the health consequences of what they do.

What happens if an employee becomes ill due to something at your premises? An employee occupational health services company is also a good idea for one reason. It makes you review your health and safety policies in the workplace.

They can recommend changes that all employees will enjoy. For example, better ventilation and filtration for factory workers. Improved lighting in underground areas. And so on.

Business are all required to conduct regular health and safety reviews of their premises. The unfortunate truth is that doesn’t always happen. And, sometimes, you hear about industrial accidents as a result. These days, you need to make sure your workplace is a safe environment. Safety is a priority; not an option.

They can help to prevent lawsuits

If an employee gets injured at work, they have the right to pursue compensation. As you know, that usually means dealing with a lawsuit! Sometimes an injury might occur as a result of a recent issue in your workplace.

From a legal point of view, it’s better to resolve any issues as early as possible. That way, there is a record of you taking steps to fix any problems should the worst happen.

As you can see, there are many benefits of occupational health services. I hope today’s article has given you an insight into how they could be useful for your firm. Thanks for reading!

 

Health & Safety Basics For Business

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Health and safety laws have tightened in this country over the last decade. As accidents and injuries in the workplace increased, steps were taken to help limit the problem. Not only that, but a compensation culture has emerged whereby businesses are held responsible for accidents. It’s in the interests of your business to understand the risks involved. More importantly, it’s in your interests to improve your health and safety credentials. If you’re new to business, here’s what you need to know.

Understand the laws – First of all, you need to get a sense of what you’re dealing with. As an employer, you are responsible for the health and wellbeing of all your employees. You must also consider public liability if your company operates in the public sphere. In both these cases, you can find yourself on the wrong end of a lawsuit if you’re not careful. If any employee or customer is injured while in your care, you will be held accountable. There are countless other restrictions and intricacies here. Learn them and understand what you’re dealing with.

Health and safety audit – As a small business, it’s your job to commission a regular health and safety audit. Here, a team of experts will independently assess your business at every level. They’re looking for cracks in your health and safety system. They’ll find potential hazards and weaknesses at every stage. It’s a good way to get an second opinion on your company. As a business owner, you can’t always see those glaring weaknesses.

Legal consultation – If you’ve dived into intricate details of health and safety law already, you’ll know how complex it is. One of the easiest ways to make sure you’re compliant is consulting a lawyer. They have excellent health and safety services that will ensure your company complies with the law. They’ll help you draw up contracts and tighten the screws that will protect your company from liability cases.

Training – As an employer, it’s your responsibility to train your workers effectively. Firstly, they need to understand the risks of the workplace. It’s particularly important if the environment is hazardous. Factories, warehouses, and laboratories, for example, are high risk areas. However, even the humble office requires extensive training. Fire safety courses must be provided at induction as well as any specific training. If your employee will be operating machinery or equipment, ensure they are trained to a comfortable level.

Hazard reporting – Finally, work to instil a culture of hazard reporting. You can’t have your eyes on every aspect of the company, but make sure your employees do. Build a simple system for reporting hazards, whether it’s a wet floor or exposed wiring. Make sure every employee knows who to report to and what the process is. When your whole team is vigilant, you’ll boost the health and safety credentials of the business.

Health and safety issues at work can be dull to work through. But, don’t let that deter you. It’s one of the most important considerations for your small business. It could come back to bite you. Take action now.

 

Are You Doing Enough To Protect Your Customers’ Data?

Data protection is one of the toughest challenges facing businesses in the modern age. Some of the biggest companies in the world have fallen victim to security breaches. The likes of eBay and Sony are just two examples where customer data was recently extorted. If it can happen to these corporate giants, it can happen to your small business. If you’re processing monetary transactions or simply collecting email addresses, are you doing enough?

A security breach could be anything from the hacking of email addresses, to full-scale bank fraud. If you’re holding onto customers’ bank details, they’re security is in your hands. Most small businesses wouldn’t survive the repercussions of a data hack. The lawsuits alone would cripple a company’s finances. Secondly, the reputation for security would be lost. If you’re unsure about your data security, keep reading to find out more.

Encryption – It’s one of the oldest forms of data security, and remains the best. The core principle of encryption is scrambling the data into a code. That code is then unlocked with the correct encryption key. With time, hackers can infiltrate, but so long as you keep it updated, you’ll stay secure. The encryption technology has become more and more sophisticated over the years. If you’re not protected, look into it.

Secure data centers – Many small businesses store data on a simple hard-drive. The bigger companies may use a cloud service to protect vital information. These are all well and good, but rarely the secure locks required for efficient business. Instead, you should consider hiring a data centre design service to build a secure space. On these vast hard drives and servers, data is backed up and encrypted in a safer fashion.

Audit your partners and vendors – Sharing customer data is often unavoidable. It’s particularly important if you work with sales or products. For example, you’ll probably work with a logistics company, so you’ll need to pass on address information. If you use a third party payment service, they’ll deal with your customers’ bank details. It’s crucial that you assess and audit their security credentials. An independent review is often the best way to ensure they have your customers’ security at heart.

Speak to a lawyer – It’s always good practice to have a business lawyer on your speed-dial. They can help with preventative and informational measures. For instance, they will draw up a statement for your website, and hone the language for customer interaction. In the event of a breach, they will assist you with any incoming lawsuits and help avoid danger. If you leave it too late, you could face serious financial consequences.

Train employees – Finally, data breaches often occur deep in the heart of a company. It’s rarely malicious, and can be averted with strict training. If your employees are handling customer data, ensure they are well versed in the best practices. Train them to spot potential hazards and loopholes in the system too.

A data breach is a very real concern in today’s business world. It is not something to take lightly. Could your business survive a data hack?

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7 Simple Tips for Better Organising and Streamlining Your Office

Making your office run more smoothly is never easy. It’s about getting the furniture and layout right but also looking at what individuals can do to make sure they’re as focused and productive as possible too. That’s a difficult balance to get right, but it’s definitely worth trying.

Here are 7 easy tips to help you get your office better organised!

  1. Set Collective and Individual Targets

If the office has something to aim for, people will have a focus and a purpose. This affects the overall organisation of the office because team targets give each individual the chance to slot into place and find out their place in the team. This makes the team stronger and means your office will be working collectively.

  1. Store in the Cloud Rather Than the Cabinet

Persisting with big bulky filing cabinets is not a good idea these days. It’s much easier and more efficient to store all your important files and documents digitally in a cloud-based storage system. It makes the documents easier to access and organise. And, of course, it takes up no space in your office.

  1. Question the Layout of the Office

The layout of your office is probably more important than you think. The layout will dictate how quickly and easily your employees will be able to communicate with one another. How you decide to plan the office layout will depend on how your staff work and how much they need to interact through the day.

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  1. Clear Out Your Drawers

Office drawers are often packed full of old pieces of paper and all sorts of junk. Clear them out regularly to make sure you’re not storing anything you don’t need. You might want to replace the drawers themselves if they’re old. If you’re doing that, install Accuride drawer slides. This limits damage and makes the drawers move more smoothly.

  1. Get Rid of Unnecessary Distractions

To be able to work efficiently, you need to be free from anything that could act as a distraction. Allowing your employees to personalise their desk space can be a good thing, as long as it doesn’t get to the point where it distracts them from work. Set out a clear set of guidelines relating to what’s acceptable and what’s not.

  1. Review Your Lines of Communication

An organised office needs to have clear and open lines of communication. Are you still using an old notice board to make announcements on? An internal email network is a must nowadays. And if you have employees that need to be hooked up and in contact throughout the day, consider using instant messaging.

  1. Delegate More Responsibilities

As a boss, you might be tempted to oversee all the different tasks and projects being undertaken in the office. This is never an efficient way to work though. If you want everyone to be working hard towards a target, hand over more responsibilities to them. No employee likes to feel like they’re being micromanaged by the boss.

Organising the office and making it move more smoothly might seem like a lot of hard work. But it’ll be worth it in the long-term. So get making these changes today.