Occupational health support

There will be certain circumstances where you may need the help of occupational health services before your employee is able to return to work.

How can occupational health support a return to work?

Occupational health professionals are experienced in the physical and mental wellbeing of employees in the workplace.

They can:

  • help with return to work programmes;
  • give advice on staff that are unable to work due to sickness absence;
  • advise you on how to carry out reasonable adjustments – such as modified workstations or adjustments to premises.

These adjustments can help an employee return to work even though they may not be physically, or mentally, fit enough to carry out their regular duties. They can also help to prevent a recurrence of absence.

An occupational health advisor can also help support a return to work through:

  • carrying out risk assessments and assessments of the needs of the workplace;
  • identifying workplace issues to minimise absence;
  • implementing policies and ensuring health and safety compliance;
  • providing advice and counselling to employees.

Who can provide occupational health services?

Many companies don’t have a dedicated occupational health department, and if this is the case, you may choose to use external occupational health services as and when you need their support.

Occupational health support can be provided by a diverse range of specialists, including:

  • specialist nurses in occupational health;
  • doctors specialising in occupational health;
  • occupational therapists;
  • occupational hygienists;
  • physiotherapists;
  • counsellors.

Find independent occupational health services

If you don’t currently provide occupational health support for your staff, you can access free, professional occupational health guidance and assessments through Fit for Work. Visit the website for more information.

Search for occupational health doctors through the Society of Occupational Medicine.

Search for occupational therapists through the College of Occupational Therapists.

Search for physiotherapists through the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

Search for counsellors and therapists through the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy.


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