4 Pressing Challenges Facing Occupational Health Professionals in The Age of COVID-19
The highly infectious nature of COVID-19 presents a wealth of challenges in Occupational settings across the nation.
Occupational Health teams, in particular, have a heavy weight on their shoulders when it comes to mitigating the ongoing risks of the virus.
At a time of persistent uncertainty and immense physical as well as mental strain on employees across sectors, Occupational Health leaders must work efficiently to manage outbreaks while creating sustainable strategies to maintain employee wellbeing.
These are indeed challenging times and to provide greater clarity on the current situation while exploring sustainable solutions, here we look at the four pressing challenges Occupational Health leaders must face during the pandemic.
1. Managing outbreaks
One of the most pressing issues today’s Occupational Health practitioners face is the constant threat of ‘cluster’ outbreaks.
Recent studies suggest that around 1,376 COVID-19-related cluster outbreaks occurred across Occupational settings between March and August 2020 alone.
The wildly infectious nature of the virus makes managing workplace safety strategies an uphill struggle for Occupational Health teams supporting workers through the pandemic. As such, it’s essential to invest in systems and strategies that can prevent potentially dangerous and productivity damaging COVID outbreaks from ravaging the workplace.
2. Physical & mental wellbeing
According to official government data, instances of mental wellbeing struggles rose in the workplace last year.
Constant concerns surrounding workplace safety, increased workloads, and constant adherence to COVID compliance measures (PPE and social distancing practices) are placing workers under an enormous level of strain.
For Occupational Health practitioners to provide essential advice and support during the pandemic - all while ensuring their personal safety - mitigating workplace risk is vital. To do so successfully, assessing the risks of a potential outbreak with a data-driven approach is the best way forward.
3. Employee dissolution & disengagement
Whether you’re talking about a food processing plant or an opticians, if employees feel unsafe or unsure, productivity levels will dwindle - distrust will run rife.
To guide Occupational settings to success, creating a sense of transparency is essential during the pandemic - and as such, Occupational Health professionals are under colossal pressure to help create a genuine sense of clarity across workplaces.
In a time where everyone and every resource is running at capacity, tapping into processes to prove COVID compliance and safety is not a luxury, it’s the only way to survive.
When everyone knows they’re being protected and can play a proactive part in ensuring risk or safety maintenance, everyone will feel valued - and will operate at an optimum level.
4. Compliance issues
Keeping on top of workforce management while adhering to stringent Occupational safety standards in the face of the pandemic is no miniscule task.
In the eye of the COVID storm, there is a seemingly endless reel of red tape to consider - and a failure to meet these standards could result in significant penalties as well as severe mental strain across the workforce.
The government, for instance, has offered local authorities business-based COVID-19 safety enforcement authority during the pandemic and without remaining compliant, Occupational Health professionals could find themselves in hot water.
This persistent balancing act presents a wealth of roadblocks that prevent Occupational Health professionals from developing sustainable strategies that get to the root of workplace mental & physical wellbeing issues.
Catenae: tackling the issues
In a recent statement, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:
“I am acutely aware of the lasting and debilitating impact long Covid can have on people of all ages, irrespective of the extent of the initial symptoms. Fatigue, headaches and breathlessness can affect people for months after their Covid-19 infection regardless of whether they required hospital admission initially."
From this statement, and countless reports into the impacts of COVID (whether you have had the virus or not), it’s clear there are long-term impacts to both physical and mental well-being. While the vaccination offers a pathway of hope to opening up the economy, Occupational Health professionals now, more than ever, need the tools to understand and respond to the needs of their workforce to help businesses remain operational. Catenae has the solution.
Catenae’s Covid Operating system has an easy to navigate digital passport and fully customisable dashboards, providing Occupational Health teams with the tools to securely, easily and consistently record the Covid health, test and vaccination status of their entire workforce. This transparency will help to increase employee safety and assist with their wellbeing in these most challenging of times. Furthermore, businesses can more efficiently manage operations due to the increased visibility the Operating System provides.
Catenae's Covid Operating System can keep your processes operational, boost employee engagement and give Occupational Health practitioners, as well as decision-makers, complete visibility of COVID impacts. Get in touch today. We’ll be happy to answer any questions, big or small.