Society of Occupational Medicine document makes the business case for occupational health

The Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM) has published a guide for employers and commissioners outlining the business case for, and value of, investing in occupational health.

The guide, Occupational health: the value proposition, follows on from the joint Society and Faculty of Occupational Medicine campaign “Why Occupational Health?

It has brought together under one roof the available evidence to show the business, financial, legal and moral case for investing in occupational safety and health and health promotion.

It also analyses the case for investing in occupational safety and health, workplace health promotion, and OH services.

SOM chief executive Nick Pahl told Occupational Health & Wellbeing: “As a profession, there has for a long time been a feeling that we do not have the evidence, the evidence base, even though we believe there is a strong business case to be made for occupational health.

“Alongside the business case, there is also a moral imperative for investing in occupational health. It is simply the right thing to do, both for employees individually and for the business. A lot of businesses, too, are concerned about their supply chain; if something hits or interrupts the business, it can be catastrophic. It is simply about showing to people what occupational health can do.”

The document has been endorsed by, among others, the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, the What Works Centre for Wellbeing, and former director for health and work Dame Carol Black.

It has been written by Dr Paul Nicholson, a former Society president and chair of the British Medical Association’s occupational medicine committee.

He said: “It is simply about gathering together the information that will allow people to make the best case for occupational health to their employer or organisation or potential customers.”

Mini printed leaflets of the document are being made available for employers and HR professionals and, through an agreement with the union body the TUC, there is a summary leaflet for workers and their representatives.

The document is available online through the SOM website as well as through the Why Occupational Health? website.

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