The UK occupational health market grew by 6% last year, and will increase by nearly a quarter between now and 2010, according to research.
A study by research body MBD calculated that the market was now worth £338m, up from the estimated £318m last year.
Outsourcing of OH grew by 10% last year – and will rise by 43% between now and 2010 – and last year accounted for nearly half of the market, or £168m, MBD added.
A continuing lack of trained OH specialists is likely to be the most significant drag on market growth, it warned.
The market will grow by 23% by 2010, averaging 3% a year in the short term before gradually gaining momentum.
The public sector is forecast to remain the single largest user of OH services, with absence management the primary concern, particularly among local authorities.
“While companies are keen to reduce spending levels, the growing pressures on the general workforce, both due to increased workload and more emotional/psychological issues has intensified, thus providing opportunities for OH development,” the study concluded.