Occupational Medicals reduces sickness absence at Premier Foods

Occupational Medicals has helped UK food producer Premier Foods to reduce sickness absence at its Middleton factory by more than 10% in the past year – and created a culture change at the same time.

Premier Foods’ vinegar plant, home of the famous Sarson’s brand, needed occupational health assistance that was local, easily accessible for its employees and understood how its operation worked.  Occupational Medicals was recommended and won the contract because of their in-depth research and all-round capability, including musculo-skeletal expertise.

Amy Brown, HR adviser at Premier Foods in Middleton confirms: “OM is doing an excellent job for us. As a manufacturer, we knew that musculo-skeletal expertise was essential to enable us to understand the health issues facing our employees. OM doctors are always easy to reach, provide very straightforward reports containing expert advice and give us reassurance that we are handling employee welfare issues correctly.

“The doctors have built up trust with our employees, which is absolutely essential.  They now want to take their advice and take on board any recommendations made.  As a result of this success, OM has provided an on-site nurse to handle our employee health surveillance monitoring and have also provided ad hoc first aid training and other services.  We are delighted with the outcomes, including our increased productivity.”

Meena Nanavati, managing director of Occupational Medicals, confirms that good occupational health management is an area of business that is increasingly proving its worth.  She explained: “2006 industry statistics show that sickness absence is an expensive problem for UK industry.  Employees take, on average, 8.4 days sickness absence per year at a cost of £659 each.  This trend is continuing to rise.  However, Occupational Medicals clients are seeing this trend in reverse.

“We have a network of more than 150 doctors and nursing staff which enables us to provide a top quality service nationwide – and our success is consistent.” 

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