Patterns of industrial activity nationally have changed significantly during the past 20 years with, for example, reduced employment in heavy engineering and mining, and increased employment of women within the general workforce.
Many different professions contribute to the delivery of occupational health care nationally; and the distinctive expert knowledge and skills of specialist occupational health workers are predominantly useful in a variety of situations – notably, the management of complex occupational hazards and of complex health impacts on fitness for work.
However, the Occupational Health and Safety Services industry has encountered vulnerabilities during the past five years. The closure and reduction of numerous industries in the manufacturing sector has resulted in less demand for occupational health and safety checks in the manufacturing sector.
There are several issues that will have a significant influence on the health and general wellbeing of employees in the workplace during the next 10 to 20 years, specifically demographic change, further technological advances, as well as an ageing workforce.
People will probably work later because they will feel unable to retire (shortage of workers and could have inadequate pensions). Modification in work capacity over a natural life-span can differ considerably, however evidence implies that ageing can result in a general decline of cardiovascular fitness as well as musculoskeletal strength.
As the UK’s workforce becomes older more people will be vulnerable to health effects as a result of work, many will have multiple issues and conditions that will have a significant impact on their capability to work. Although, on the whole working environments have become much safer as increased legislation has significantly minimised the amount of injuries, rising levels of stress with increased depression in working life is causing much concern.
Employers have a crucial responsibility in managing health and wellbeing at work, especially when it comes to campaigning the policies and behaviours which maintain good work and commitment.
Occupational Health industry operators are inclined to concentrate on commercial areas to set up business, especially regions with considerable levels of construction or manufacturing because these represent the major markets for the Occupational Health industry.
London is the chief area for business locations in the Occupational Health industry as a result of the huge amount of construction work in the borough. Commercial construction specifically entails a significant amount of occupational health as well as safety services to ensure employees are not injured; furthermore locations must be free from potential danger whilst work is in operation.
The geographic location of Occupational Health industry operators is a reflection of the more dangerous and hazardous activities as well as overall population trends.