The HSE have published an Occupational Health Step Guide to help employers understand what to look for when buying OH services.
Employers have a duty of care to protect the physical and mental health of their employees at work. A risk assessment is required to asses the risks to employee health and determine appropriate measures and actions required to mitigate that risk.
In short, employers must ensure that an employee's work does not adversely affect their health, and that they are medically fit to carry out their work role.
Some considerations for employers seeking to fulfil this duty are:
Some employers will be required to implement routine health surveillance where there are specific risks.
Certain roles may require a minimum standard of health or fitness in order for the employee to be able to carry out the work safely.
In some cases, an employee returning to work after a period of sickness absence, or who declares a new health condition, may need a new risk assessment to ensure they can still work safely.
An occupational health provider can help fulfil this duty, but must be competent to do so. The HSE's guide provides information on buying occupational health services, including how to make sure the provider is competent and able to meet the needs of the employer.
It also details other considerations for employers such as the processes, availability, and time scales provided by the occupational health provider, all of which can determine their suitability.