Get Employees to Take Health Seriously: What’s Working

Cheaper Healthcare
Cheaper Healthcare

Another consequence of the poor economy: Employees are cutting back on preventive healthcare measures in an effort to reduce expenses.

People are trading nutritional eats for processed and fast foods. They’re also spending less time exercising.

That means now’s a great time to refocus on preventive health care. If your company already has a wellness program, it’s a good idea to make sure these proven features are included:

3 areas to check

Referrals from claims and on-site screenings. Most wellness programs pinpoint at-risk employees by relying solely on the employees’ honesty in responding to health assessments.

Certain wellness program providers use a combination of data to determine those at-risk for chronic conditions.

Example: OptumHealth uses on-site health screenings, claims and referrals to assess if an employee is at-risk.

This approach can help to identify up to 10 times more at-risk employees.

Wellness consultants. These individuals are assigned to a company to help develop a wellness strategy, plan promotions, interpret reports and gauge the overall success of the company’s wellness program.

Benefit: By keeping a close eye on a company’s wellness program, consultants can tweak and fix problems on the spot.

Cross-trained coaches. These coaches take a big-picture approach to helping employees with various lifestyle-related health issues.

Example: Smoking. There are a significant number of people who won’t try to quit smoking simply because they’re concerned about gaining weight in the process — a common problem.

A cross-trained coach will help an employee quit smoking, while also ensuring that he or she makes smart nutritional choices to avoid the common weight gain.

If you would like help with a prevention and wellness program at your business please feel free to give contact Central Coast Industrial Care.
Ask for Cody Matthews, our Occupational Medicine Manager at (805) 614-9000

Originally Posted in: Communication, Health care, In this week’s e-newsletter – benefits, Latest News & Views, Pay and benefits

Is Your Business Prepared for Flu Season?

Keeping Healthy: 10 Tips for Businesses

Pre-flight Flu Season Check Up
Flu Season Check Up

Employees are a crucial resource at any business, and especially small businesses. There are steps you can take now, and during the flu season, to help protect the health of your employees.

Check our website for Swine Flu Updates at

1. Develop policies that encourage ill workers to stay at home without fear of any reprisals.

2. Develop other flexible policies to allow workers to telework (if feasible) and create other leave policies to allow workers to stay home to care for sick family members or care for children if schools close.

3. Provide resources and a work environment that promotes personal hygiene. For example, provide tissues, no-touch trash cans, hand soap, hand sanitizer, disinfectants and disposable towels for workers to clean their work surfaces.

4. Provide education and training materials in an easy to understand format and in the appropriate language and literacy level for all employees. See

5. Instruct employees who are well but who have an ill family member at home with the flu that they can go to work as usual. These employees should monitor their health every day, and notify their supervisor and stay home if they become ill. Employees who have a certain underlying medical condition or who are pregnant should promptly call their health care provider for advice if they become ill.

6.. Encourage workers to obtain a seasonal influenza vaccine, if it is appropriate for them according to CDC recommendations( This helps to prevent illness from seasonal influenza strains that may circulate at the same time as the 2009 H1N1 flu.

7. Encourage employees to get the 2009 H1N1 vaccine when it becomes available if they are in a priority group according to CDC recommendations. For information on groups recommended for seasonal and H1N1 vaccines, please see Consider granting employees time off from work to get vaccinated when the vaccine is available in your community.

8. Provide workers with up-to-date information on influenza risk factors, protective behaviors, and instruction on proper behaviors (for example, cough etiquette; avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth; and hand hygiene).

9. Plan to implement practices to minimize face-to-face contact between workers if advised by the local health department. Consider the use of such strategies as extended use of e-mail, websites and teleconferences, encouraging flexible work arrangements (for example, telecommuting or flexible work hours) to reduce the number of workers who must be at the work site at the same time or in one specific location.

10. If an employee does become sick while at work, place the employee in a separate room or area until they can go home, away from other workers. If the employee needs to go into a common area prior to leaving, he or she should cover coughs/sneezes with a tissue or wear a facemask if available and tolerable. Ask the employee to go home as soon as possible.

Smile, You’re on Candid Camera!

Three Strategies to Design Effective Workplace Video Surveillance Privacy Policy
Video Surveillance Cameras and Employee Privacy

You're Own Reality Show?
You're Own Reality Show?

Employers incur liability risks when installing secret video surveillance cameras in the workplace. Here are three strategies to manage these risks. There’s also a Model Policy below that you can adapt. Monitoring the workplace is important to curb fraudulent workers’ comp claims and liability claims, such as staged slip and fall accidents in retail stores and food service operations, and also to improve workplace security.

Strategy #1: Create a Written Surveillance Policy

A written surveillance policy helps employers comply with the notification requirement of the personal privacy laws by informing employees that they’re being monitored and telling them how the footage will be used. Your surveillance policy, like our Model Policy, should tell employees the following:

The purpose of surveillance. Explain why surveillance cameras are being used. Employees are less likely to complain if they know you’ve installed surveillance cameras to increase security in the workplace.

The camera locations and times when surveillance will be conducted. Note where each camera is located and when it will be operational so employees will know when they’re being watched. Also, note if the cameras are on continually or are motion activated.

Permitted uses of footage. Explain the permissible uses for the footage from the surveillance cameras, such as to investigate the theft o

f stock or equipment. And explain how it won’t be used, such as to monitor employee performance. Also, note who has access to the footage and how long the footage will be maintained. And warn employees that if they use surveillance camera footage inappropriately, they’ll be subject to discipline up to and including termination.

Continue reading Smile, You’re on Candid Camera!

Do Work Smoking Bans Work?

Smoking Woman

Workplace smoking bans: Do the pros outweigh the cons?

September 3, 2009 by Jared Bilski

Is a smoking ban on company grounds really an effective tactic? And is it worth the employee backlash? 

According to a recent study by the Journal of Tobacco Policy & Research, that all depends on how far you are willing to go to help employees stay smoke-free.

The study did find that smokers take more sick days than their non-smoking co-workers.

It also found that even if a smoker is in relatively good health (isn’t obese, doesn’t have chronic health conditions like diabetes, etc.), there’s a good chance he or she will still have higher medical costs than a comparable non-smoker over the last three years.

So, based on this study, is a smoking ban worthwhile?

Only if smokers at your company quit for good. If the smoker quits permanently, the costs usually even out.

If, however, your smoking ban only deters smokers at work — and they smoke away as soon as they get home — it’s not an effective cost-cutting tactic.

How to Write a Letter to Get An Employee Back to Work from Workers Compensation Injury

Dear Valued Employee
Dear Valued Employee

02 September, 2009 11:04:31 Republished with permission from

How to Get Your Employee to Turn In the Work Ability Form (WAF). You may call it an Injury Form or Medical Treatment Form, or some other name.

The work ability form is the best method to get your injured employee back to work. Studies show  the sooner an employee returns, the smoother your workers’ compensation procedures run. This is true for both the employee and the employer.

Transitional duties take into account an injured employee’s limited or changed abilities is a way to get them back on the job and performing some of their former functions.

It is better to have the worker at your worksite even at lowered production or capabilities than at home recuperating to 100 percent, a feat which may never happen.

Workers’ Comp Kit suggests a formal letter explaining your transitional duty policy to the employee and introducing the work ability form (WAF) to be filled out by the physician.

Here are some tips for your letter:

1. Send it priority mail via the United State Postal Service with delivery confirmation.
2. Explain what transitional duty is and it is a company policy.
3. Let the employee know the transitional job will be reviewed each week as during recuperation.
4. Enclose the work ability form and explain the employee is required to have the medical provider fill it out.
5. Encourage your employee to let the provider know ALL restrictions can be accommodated by your facility.
6. Let the employee know the form is due back within seven calendar days and the transitional duty job begins on the day the form is returned.
7. Let the employee know the form is due back within seven calendar days and the transitional duty job begins on the day the form is returned.
8. Assure them the company health director will work with them to develop tasks appropriate to their current medical condition and state. (workersxzcompxzkit)
9. Be sure to include claim number and all relevant addresses and contact information on the letter. Continue reading How to Write a Letter to Get An Employee Back to Work from Workers Compensation Injury