One of the major concerns of Australian businesses and organisations is absenteeism, which significantly affects their overall productivity. According to HR Assured, this problem costs $32.5 billion per year, incurred in a number of ways, such as paid leaves, temporary staff recruitment, and overtime pay. Not only that, but it is also affecting staff morale.

Luckily, there is one efficient way to address this problem—fit for work assessment Australia occupational physicians have to offer. This is not only applicable for new hires, but also for employees who have pre-existing medical conditions and those who have been off from work for a long period of time.

In essence, this assessment will ensure that individuals can effectively accomplish their respective jobs at the workplace while not risking their own health and safety and of others.

Importance Of Fit For Work Assessments

A fit for work assessment Australia occupational physicians offer is extremely important, not only for the workers but also for the business itself. Its benefits are extensive, which is why it should be part of your organisation’s occupational health and safety policy.

For Employees

There are a lot of reasons workplace health assessments are needed for employees. For instance, it is necessary if you suspect that a worker’s existing medical condition could get worse due to the job at hand or could risk the safety of other people around. By conducting an assessment before they start the job, you can reduce their health risk, lessen their chances of developing an illness, and ensure efficient performance.

For Businesses

As previously mentioned, absenteeism due to illness has been costing Australian businesses billions of dollars per year. By conducting these assessments, you can reduce such unwanted expenses for your own organisation. You can reduce the possibility of your employees getting injured or sick, ultimately minimising the amount of lost time and saving your business more money. It also leads to greater staff satisfaction and lesser turnover.

On top of these benefits, you also have the peace of mind that you are complying with the mandatory duty of maintaining a safe workplace under the workplace health and safety legislation set by your local government.

When Should You Conduct A Workplace Health Assessment

While conducting an employment medical assessment is at your discretion, as the employer or business owner, you should do it for the benefit of your entire organisation.

Situations that require you to seek help from an occupational physician are when an employee…

  • Shows a pattern of absenteeism resulting in poor work performance.
  • Is unable to perform the requirements of their respective role due to health reasons.
  • Exhibits odd or aggressive behaviour that cannot be justified.
  • Has been off from work for a long period of time, e.g. more than one month.
  • Provides conflicting medical evidence about their health and fitness as assessed by their own physician.
  • Offers a different assertion about their fitness or medical condition, compared to the information provided by their own physician.
  • Declines to contact their own physician to clarify their current state of health and fitness.
  • Has a pre-existing condition and is considered for recruitment.

How An Occupational Health Assessment Works

A workplace occupational health assessment is conducted by occupational physicians who are specifically trained and qualified to assess, determine, and confirm an individual’s fitness to work. With extensive knowledge of different work environments and what a specific job demands, they evaluate a worker’s capacity to work on a certain task and the risk it might pose to that person’s health and safety.

The most common factors these physicians consider when conducting an assessment are:

  • Nature of the job
  • Prevalence of accidents or injuries from doing the job
  • Causes of possible health issues
  • The likeliness of an injury to occur
  • The severity of the injuries that are likely to occur
  • Solutions to minimise the risk
  • Specific treatments
  • Suitable constraints (restriction of exposure, avoidance of risky situations, wearing of personal protective equipment, and modification of task processes, etc.)

Final Thoughts

A fit for work assessment Australia occupational physicians offer is extremely important in achieving efficiency for your business. Not only that it allows you to keep track of your employees’ physical and mental well-being, but it also protects the safety of your customers. When your clients know that your organisation is safe and healthy, they would feel more secure to engage business with you, which is definitely a plus factor during this COVID-19 pandemic.

However, to make sure each of your assessments is done correctly, only work with professionals who use an evidence-based approach to generate results and will always be there when you need them the most.

For more information that you can use for your business, read our other articles!

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