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What is an Occupational Health Center?

Article Details
  • Written By: Tess C. Taylor
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 09 January 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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An occupational health center is a specialized medical clinic that provides services for employers to promote and support physical, social, and mental well-being of all employees. This type of service is used to prevent work-place injuries, illness, or general poor function due to these factors. Work-related injuries are common in many industries, so employers may choose to conduct business with a quality occupational health center to keep costs down and provide prompt medical care whenever accidents occur.

Many employers use the services of an occupational health center to evaluate, screen, and maintain the health and quality of their workforce. They may utilize the pre-employment services, like drug testing or physicals, before bringing new employees on-board. They may also utilize an occupational health center for preventative care, such as when it’s time to have immunizations or routine physicals, and other medical and health tests completed as part of the company or industry requirements. When and if an outbreak of a contagious element occurs, employers can look to their occupational health clinic to provide prompt medical attention and advice.

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Whenever an accident occurs on the worksite in the United States, employers are required by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates to provide immediate and appropriate medical care for the affected employees. Any employee may also choose to seek care from an area emergency services provider, but will then be asked to follow up with the contracted occupational health center for care and any therapy needed after the incident. This protects both the injured worker and the employer from any long-term repercussions from not obtaining care or getting the wrong kind of treatment.

Many larger companies are choosing to have an on-site occupational healthcare center or an assigned professional to help prevent and manage workplace injuries. This also helps companies reduce the costs of workers' compensation cases and streamline all preventative care. Oftentimes, the assigned occupational healthcare personnel will be a nurse or other medical provider who will monitor the safety measures that the company has in place and will work closely with operations management to prevent further accidents.

If an accident does occur on site, the healthcare professional is the first line of defense and can respond immediately. He or she can provide on-site medical care, such as basic first aid to the injured employee or employees, and arrange for transport to an approved healthcare center. Then he or she documents everything and keeps these records for follow-up with their workers' compensation insurance company.

In some cases, the human resource or personnel division handles much of the workforce healthcare management in cooperation with a local occupational healthcare clinic. They may also provide workforce training to help company managers identify any potential hazards and prevent workplace injuries. This serves to educate employees and cut down on the number of incidents that occur on worksites every year.

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