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Risk Management Bulletin

Does Your Business Need a Workplace Health Assessment?

By January 6, 2015No Comments

Rising healthcare costs are a major concern for many businesses, and learning how to keep those costs low is important not just for the bottom line, but also for improving employee health and, in turn, increasing productivity. As a result, many companies have begun conducting workplace health assessments to identify where and how meaningful improvements can be made. Before an assessment can be conducted, though, management needs to understand its purpose and value.

What does a workplace health assessment involve?

The purpose of an assessment is to gather data about all the factors that have an impact on the health of employees while they’re on the job, and then to determine which of those factors are good and which ones need to be improved. It’s also a time to consider new programs like health incentives and interventions that can help improve employee health, decrease worker absenteeism, increase productivity and decrease overall health costs. Sometimes, those interventions can be as simple as upgrading lighting; in other cases, a complete ergonomic overhaul of an office may be in order.

At the end of the assessment, the management team will be in a much better position to set goals, develop strategies, and set aside time and money to achieve established end points.

Individual and Organizational Effort

Both the employees and the employer and management teams have an influence over the effectiveness of any workplace health assessment and initiative. On an individual level, workers have their own personal behaviors or health issues such as smoking or obesity that can have a direct impact on their absentee rates as well as their healthcare costs. From an organizational standpoint, health benefits have a significant impact by determining how affordable it is for employees to get the care they need to remain healthy. The employer also influences design elements that can affect health, such as ventilation systems and furnishings.

Depending on the size of your company, a health assessment can be fairly complex and extensive, but the savings achieved through such a large-scale project can be a tremendous boon to your bottom line.