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Occupational Health

What is Occupational Health?

What is Occupational Health?

If you work in heavy industry, in fact, most industries, you are familiar with the term "occupational health". Safety officers and labour inspectors regularly enforce this concept on organizations, their employees and contractors to ensure compliance. But what does it all mean?

Occupational health is a branch of medicine that focuses on preventing and treating illnesses and injuries that may occur in the workplace, and during job-related tasks. It is a practice, dedicated to ensuring the health and safety of workers so that the highest physical, mental and social wellbeing can be achieved in all industries and occupations.

Not only does the discipline considers employees’ health, but, their risk exposures while on the job and the value approach to safety and safe practice in their surroundings. Occupational health goes beyond the employee to include a safe workspace and working conditions.

Want To Know More?

Objectives of Occupational Health

What are the main intents of occupational health, you may be wondering? Let’s narrow it down into three key points:

  1. To promote, establish and maintain the workforce’s health and working capacity.
  2. The development and continuous improvement of the work environment and working conditions to conform to legislation includes occupational health and safety laws; construction regulations and the Labour Relations Act.
  3. Developing an organisational culture that adopts value systems for safe working environments. These systems include functional managerial systems, personnel policy, quality-related management practices and principles for participation to standardise health and safety.

Occupational health has a widely branched structure that involves occupational medicine, nursing, ergonomics, psychology, hygiene and safety. These aspects of occupational health, when clustered together, ensure healthy, safe employees working in a safe, risk-managed environment.

What Types of Tests Are Important for Occupational Health?

This may be a question many health and safety personnel rack their brains over. Sound familiar? Well, if you’re reading this article, you want insight into the ins and outs of occupational health! It is easy to get overwhelmed with the abundance of tests, screens, questionnaires and additional services available to organisations by service providers.

Where better to get advice, than from the professionals that are in the know?

The type and extent of occupational health testing required depends on the size of the organisation. Generally, the larger organizations are, the more provision for occupational health is required. The nature of the industry will also determine the type of assessments that are carried out on employees.

Health Assessments Fall into Four Categories of Occupational Health

  • Pre-employment (entry) medicals
  • Fitness for work (periodic) medicals
  • Return-to-work (Adhoc) medicals
  • Exit medicals

The essential tests generally conducted during occupational health assessments are used for screening the basic conditions of the body – think of it as the occupational equivalent of a physician’s assessment – they are thorough enough to provide a holistic view of your employee’s health.

The tests are divided into different areas of interest to cover major categories of health, that affect a worker’s ability to carry out their duties effectively:

  • Audio Screening
  • Vision Screening
  • Biological monitoring (glucose levels)
  • Anamnesis (an employee’s testament of their medical, social and occupational history)
  • Physical assessment (urinalyses, body mass index, lung function testing)

Optional, additional tests are available at employers’ requests which can include tests for substance abuse, HIV testing, and cholesterol testing. These tests are driven by the organisation’s human resources and medical surveillance programmes and policies.

All occupational health assessments are designed and carried out to ensure maximum safety for employees in most work environments. A particular focus lies on industries where employees are at higher risk of picking up an illness or developing injuries in the line of duty.

Occupational Health is a self-regulatory process under a self-regulatory act. Due to the constraints placed on governing bodies that would normally enforce these regulations, the law places the responsibility on the employer and the employees, for health and safety in their work environment.

Care Net Consultants, a leader in the field of Occupational Health within South African borders, apply the most comprehensive processes and testing. We do so to ensure Occupational Health Standards conform to the construction regulations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993, of South Africa. For more information on Occupational Health, contact us to find out how we can help you!

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My first interaction with Care Net was amazing – the consultant’s response to my mail was quick and efficient. The service they rendered was outstanding.
Whenever a booking or an appointment was requested it was booked without any hassle, and they were always willing to accommodate and assist even though I sometimes cancel at the last minute or make last-minute appointments. Our rep Nicole, in particular, has been awesome. Each time an appointment was made she would call and confirm and see how she can assist further, which made me as a buyer and manager feel acknowledged.

Nargis Pathan
Nargis Pathan

We have been using the service from Care Net since the inception of the project in October 2018 and have now used the same services for our other projects. The service rendered is a very convenient one for the line of work that we do and unfortunately some of the times we request the services in remote areas. I must applaud the teams and say we have worked with a couple of professionals, especially with carrying out the medicals on the sites we request.

Ongeziwe Ngcetane
Ongeziwe Ngcetane

We the staff at Securitas Specialized Services at Cape Town International Airport would like to thank Care Net consultants for their excellent services that they provided over the years. The staff is always friendly and helpful. I would also recommend any company to make use of their services as they always deliver on time. What I also acknowledge is that even on short notice they also go the extra mile assist. CARENET YOU’RE THE BEST.

Lindsay Delilly
Lindsay Delilly

For the past five years, we have been using Care Net Consultants and there is no way I will use any other supplier. The rate of their service, customer care and the quality of their product go unmatched in their industry.

Barnard Potgieter
Barnard Potgieter

From general construction medicals to operator medicals Ruwacon conducts their medicals at Care Net, make use of Care Net facilities or the mobile medical bus to conduct medicals at construction sites within the Western Cape. The convenience to conduct medicals on-site save time and money that benefit both parties, ensure happy clients.

Juan van Wyk
Juan van Wyk

Even though I haven’t met the Care Net staff face-to-face, I can always feel their smile and eagerness to help every time I call. They are friendly and professional. They are my one-stop-shop.

Khumo Ganyane
Khumo Ganyane

The service received from Care Net is excellent. I would rate the following services I received from the company:
Booking confirmations: I give 10 out of 10
Services at the clinics: Excellent
Issuing of medical certificates: 10 out 10. Medicals are available at the quickest turnaround time.

Lucy Jiyane
Lucy Jiyane