Employers look to occupational health experts to navigate workforces through crisis
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Occupational health experts say they have engaged with more than 1,000 employers trying to work through the challenges of the coronavirus lockdown.
Wrightway Health – which has clinics in Norwich, Great Yarmouth, Kings Lynn, Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Cambridge – said it saw a “huge” change in the needs of local firms once the crisis hit.
Many employers were at a loss to work out how they could operate their businesses safely, how to support a remote workforce and what precautionary provisions to put in place, the company said.
MORE – Screens and visors set to make pubs look very different as they re-open to publicWrightway – one of the largest independent occupational health firms in the region – developed a Covid-19 Toolbox offering employers tailored materials, information for employees, bespoke online seminars, and workplace assessments and planning. It is engaged with 1,000 firms through the service.
It also launched a “huge” email campaign offering clients and contacts the most up-to-date advice for their industry.
Demand has been “huge”, it said, with more than 500 businesses signing up. It is working directly with several new organisations from local councils to large private businesses, as well as with schools and colleges wanting to implement safety procedures ahead of opening.
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It has been involved in offering on-going medicals and face fit assessments for the energy industry as well as antibody testing for its workforce.
One customer, CSC Computers, said with advice from Wrightway it was able to give the workforce the confidence it needed to return to work.
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Wrightway managing director Alison Mackway said the firm had been able to pull together practical resources to give businesses the confidence to start operating.
“We saw many businesses in crisis, grappling around for support and trying to identify which elements of advice and legislation were practical and reasonable for them to apply,” she said.
“The response has been huge with many businesses referring others to us. We are engaging with at least 1000 new businesses either via email updates or directly to offer the Toolbox service.
“Occupational Health is a really important provision both to protect the employer but also to support the workforce. I only hope that following on from this crisis businesses continue to invest in the wellbeing and support of a workforce that can help not only help with physical health but mental health which all ultimately effects productivity.”