Occupational health

Using occupational health at work

Occupational health is a type of medical service.

An employer might want to use occupational health to help:

  • when an employee is struggling with their physical or mental health
  • make the right reasonable adjustments for disabled people at work
  • when an employee has been off sick for a long time or is returning to work after sickness absence
  • reduce the amount of time people need to take off sick
  • keep to other health and safety regulations
  • control risks to mental health, such as too much pressure at work, bullying and harassment

Occupational health could be through the employer's own occupational health service or an outside agency.

Checking if your work uses occupational health

It's a good idea to check if your organisation has an occupational health policy.

This should say:

  • when an occupational health referral or assessment can be made
  • how, where and by who it's carried out
  • what both the employer and employee need to do
  • what the next steps are

Smaller organisations might not have an occupational health policy or scheme. In this case, the employer should take the advice of both the employee and the employee's doctor.