Workforce Health: Caring for Your Employees
Safe practices in the workplace, reduced injuries, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliance are keys to a healthful workplace that runs smoothly and efficiently. Riverside Healthcare has a special department to assist with these concerns.
Larry Regnier, Occupational Health and Safety Employer Liaison, explains the benefits the Riverside Workforce Health Department can provide for businesses.
What Is Workforce Health?
Workforce health addresses occupational health and safety concerns plus employee overall health. “We don’t just do occupational health and safety,” Regnier notes. “That is our key responsibility, to keep employees safe and healthy, but we want to provide them all the services that a health system can offer.” Recommendations are customized to the client’s needs.
The workforce health program focuses first on occupational health. “It is the actual safety of the employees at work, and what they’re exposed to in their line of work, whether it’s production logistics or warehousing,” states Regnier. “Even in office work, there are ergonomic dangers to office workers, believe it or not, with carpal tunnel and spinal issues.”
Members of the Riverside Healthcare Workforce Health team meet with employers to assess the situation. They thoroughly analyze workplace positions so the recommendations can be customized to that specific business. Additionally, they discuss employee health and wellness, recent insurance claims, physicals, drug screenings, and more. With a robust health system, they work to be partners in health.
OSHA Compliance and Workplace Injuries
Regnier points out that his team makes sure clients understand what they need to do in order to be compliant and follow the law, and then put those clients’ minds at ease, because “OSHA is kind of like the police officer for work injuries.” He notes that OSHA rules are complex with a lot of gray areas, so the focus is on what’s best for the employee and employer when things aren’t black and white.
In the event of a workplace injury, the team works to address the injury and handle required drug screens or breath alcohol tests. These protocols protect both the employer and employee. “We also offer occupational health injury treatment at the emergency room at the main hospital.”
Overall Employee Wellness
Employee health affects productivity. Workforce health services can reduce employee downtime for routine wellness by delivering select services on site. Biometric screenings and flu shots are offered. For companies that work with children, they conduct annual physicals and tuberculosis testing.
“We do know companies are wanting to get their people in and out as fast as possible, because obviously having them come to the clinic, there is a chance they are going to be away from work, and they have to have someone work overtime and all the costs of that,” explains Regnier.
“Right now, because of the COVID pandemic, don’t forget about general safety. Everybody gets tied up into wearing your mask and the social distancing, but we still have to be safe. Don’t forget the little things in the workplace. We still see work injuries, and they’re not COVID-related. They’re slips and falls and strains and sprains and lacerations. So, keep that in mind. Yes, you need to still be COVID conscious and use social distancing and face masks appropriately, but don’t forget about the other stuff,” he cautions.