Safetip #123: Link Incident Management and Occupational Health
Occupational Health Ensures Productivity
It’s not enough to identify and address occupational hazards that create risks of incidents. Organizations must also take proactive steps to maintain a healthy workforce to ensure productivity, through an occupational health program. In addition, there are regulatory and policy obligations, such as OSHA standards for medical surveillance, that require organizations to safely store, archive, track and share employee medical records with employees or relevant authorities at any time.
Occupational Health software helps an organization gain a real-time view over medical records of workers, keep track of their workers’ medical history, plan visits, and manage prescriptions and treatments. This in turn helps to track and analyze trends in worker health issues. Occupational health software stores and maintains up-to-date data in a format that can be easily searched and reported on, while ensuring confidentiality and privacy of health records.
Why Link Incident Management and Occupational Health?
When an injury or illness occurs, the employee record in the occupational health system should get updated with data on the injury or illness. The health effects of an incident, including costs of treatment, provide valuable input to better measure the total impacts of the incident.
Linking medical cases to incidents may also provide additional information that could contribute to better identify hazards that led to an injury or illness. For example, symptoms suffered by a worker (coughing, breathing problems, drowsiness, etc.) may have been determined to be caused by bad indoor air quality, which may be an indication that there is a risk of inhalation exposure to dangerous chemicals.
In addition, linking incident management and occupational health helps to identify patterns regarding the health consequences of different types of incidents. This provides additional input for the prioritization of preventive controls (to prevent incidents) and reactive controls (to treat the health effects of incidents).
Finally, to enable the connection of incident management and occupational health, and produce the benefits it brings, an integrated EHS platform built organically on a single, common technology infrastructure is required. This makes data connections between different applications seamless and eliminates the need for costly and time-consuming customizations and data mapping.
Do you want to improve EHS management in your organization through software? Download the Verdantix Green Quadrant EHS Software 2017 report to learn more about market trends and compare the top 20 EHS software suppliers: