A Definitive Guide On The Workplace Health Risk Assessments
15 October, 2020
7 min read

This is a complete guide to Health Risk Assessments.

In this new guide, you will get to learn everything related to the popular Risk Assessments process, including

  • Basics
  • Difference between Health Risk Appraisal And Assessment
  • Strategies
  • Covid 19 Risk Assessment
  • Advanced Tips
  • Lots more

So if you want to get the most out of it.

This guide is for you!

Let's jump right in.

Introduction To Health Risk Assessments

Healthy employees are the foundational pillar of your successful business. They are productive and diligent in their work, resulting in better customer experience.

Instead of companies providing corporate wellness programs, worldwide employers face a catch 22 situation regarding maintaining employees' health and their health cost. Incorporating health risk assessments can play an essential role in acknowledging the health disparities faced by your employees.

At present day, work culture is no less than a race against time. A report by the American Psychological Association exclusively mentions workplace stress as the causative factor for deteriorated wellness of 75% surveyed employees'. It is known that they are complaining of becoming workaholic and unproductive while at work.

According to the American Institute of Stress, absenteeism, high medical cost, employee turnover, and occupational hazards account for $300 billion a year.

It's high time to engage employees in new ways of health and fitness for better organizational growth. It is when the introduction of Health Risk Assessments is the call of the hour.

What Is The Difference Between Health Risk Assessment And Health Risk Appraisal?

For a long time, health risk assessment and health risk appraisal were used correspondingly by wellness and health managers.

Yet some questions the existential difference between the two. So what's the fuss around it?

Both terms are abbreviated to HRA and applied in the same context of health and wellness.

It has varied usage for specific markets. For commercial health plans, data by the U.S Census Bureau reports that 56% of U.S people were introduced to health insurance by their employers to control employee's healthcare costs.

So how do they do that?

Different corporate wellness companies offer a well-designed assessment tool as a part of their premium programs to serve the commercial need of business. They used to target wellness programs that reduce the risk of chronic disease and improve health outcomes over time.

Even though both are the same synonym, we find health risk assessments a more appropriate term that serves the purpose.

What Is A Risk Assessment?

A risk assessment definition broadly speaks about identifying, evaluating, and eliminating potential risk factors within an organization. It covers a systematic process fostering control measures to reduce future mishaps.

A health risk assessment (HRA) evaluates the possible health risks related to an individual's lifestyle. It is also commonly known as health risk appraisal or health assessments, covering a broad topic of health and wellness program. It keeps a record of blood pressure and cholesterol, nutrition, stress, sleep, and mental health.

Through HRA, employers can gather their employees' health status. It identifies the possible risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity. This helps them to take necessary actions well before the conditions become severe.

Importance Of Health Risk Assessments In The Workplace

1. Contribute to the culture of health

Health risk assessment is an essential piece of wellness programs. Every employee has to go through the initial biometric screening to know their health status. Incorporating health HRA in wellness programs guarantees your employees participate in wellness activities contributing to a culture of wellness at work.

Related: 8 Ways To Create And Nurture A Culture Of Wellness In The Workplace

2. Increase engagements

To create a productive work culture, you need to engage your employees in their work. This can only be possible when you understand your employees well and devise a system which makes them feel worthy of working. HRA helps you to curate all the necessary factors to consider while curating your wellness strategies. This customizes the process and adds value to the corporate wellness programs.

You can also gamify the process by offering wellness incentives. Simultaneously, create a wellness campaign, reward, and recognize your employees for their achievements. It also contributes to a higher team bonding.

3. Decreased health risks

Employees become aware of their unhealthy lifestyle through these assessments. It creates possibilities where your employees switch their bad habits after following your analyzed feedback. This decreases the moderate health risks, which earlier was overlooked.

4. Limits Absenteeism and Presenteeism

A healthy employee is equal to a happy employee. At work, actively disengaged employees provide various health excuses not to work. This impacts the quality of the job, ultimately resulting in bad user experience. HRA helps in identifying the employee's concerns for being disengaged, and this report supports the employers to take action steps.

Related : Employee Wellbeing: An Essential Factor At Workplace

5. Reduce Healthcare Costs

Many organizations cover their employee's medical bills through health insurance. This means that the healthier your employees, the lower will be the health costs. It is known that only 70-90% of healthcare costs are spent on preventable to moderate health issues.

Through assessment, you can identify these employees and advise them to improve their health. This ultimately brings down business spending on healthcare.

Related : How Worksite Wellness Helps In Reducing Employee Healthcare Costs

What Are The Essentials Of A Health Risk Assessment?

They are carried out to protect employees' health and safety. It reduces the possible risk of occupational hazards keeping your business thriving.

A regular health assessment includes:

1. Heath survey questions

The core aim of creating reviews is to curate honest answers from your employees. Hence the pulse survey questions must make sense and add value to your employee's health problem. Evidence-based assessments are one such approach that uses the latest clinically researched questions. Every HRA should include it to help their employees make better decisions.

2. Identification of risk factors

After the survey questionnaire, analyze the health conditions through different tests starting with biometric screening. Health coaches can identify the risk factors of your employees based on their answers and the test reports.

3. Allocate severity scores

There must be an indicator to determine employee wellbeing. It can be a numeric value or can be level indicating light to a critical state. This helps your employees to comprehend their health status well. It also alerts them to consider health care in their daily activities.

4. Provide feedback for improvement

Health managers may bring out a well-defined report of employees' health status. Based on that, they should provide various helpful solutions and tools. Creating awareness of health promotional activities or health coaching are some ways to foster improvement.

Related : What Is A Health Coach And How They Help In Employee Engagement

5. Estimate solution budget

No doubt, creating health risk assessments helps you in saving the company's cost. But including it with corporate health check-up policies will elevate the entire employee experience.

With health insurance, companies can cut an extra levy to afford expensive tests for employees.

Related : 7 Best Ways Employers Can Control Their Employee's Healthcare Costs

How does Vantage Fit App Help In Health Risk Assessments?

Vantage Fit is a gamified wellness application that helps you build a healthy workplace. It aims to create a resilient workforce for both the employer and employees. It acts as an accessory and allows the users to keep a check on his or her health. One of its best features is to create a health profile that assigns a score based on your health status.

The health risk assessment or HRA in Vantage Fit gathers biometric information from the users, such as their height, weight, eating habits, tobacco or alcohol consumption, etc.

Then it produces a detailed overall health score and personalized recommendations for better health. Establishing Vantage Fit as your corporate fitness app is all that your employees need.

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Book a demo to learn how Vantage Fit can help you create a successful health risk assessments in your company.

How To Conduct A Health Risk Assessment At The Workplace?

Employers must regularly assess their employees' risk severity, and failure to conduct them is considered an offense.

According to the Health and Safety Executive, a recommended five-step process can be carried out to ensure the corporate risk assessment.

It involves:

  • Identification of potential risks

  • Identifying who are affected by the risks

  • Evaluating risk severity and devising suitable precautions

  • Recording your findings

  • Review your assessment time to time

How To Conduct Covid-19 Risk Assessment At The Workplace?

The recent outbreak of Covid-19 has disrupted the entire work culture, shifting everyone to work from home. Yet you must ensure better protection of your employees from coronavirus. It's called a COVID-19 risk assessment that will help you manage possible hazards at the workplace.

As per the latest guidelines by the HSE, you must:

  • Identify the type of work activity or situations that may cause transmission of the virus
  • Identify the ones that could be at risk
  • Calculate the likeness of being exposed at workplace
  • Remove the action or case that couldn't control the risk

Remember that every business is different in one way or another, try to devise an assessment that you think is appropriate for your employees.

You can also refer to this sample by HSENI when carrying out a risk assessment for COVID-19 at your workplace.

Sample: Covid-19 workplace health risk assessment template

Conclusion

Unhealthy employees are likely to be disengaged at work. It results in unproductivity, which decreases the reputation and quality of your services. Health risk assessments are a useful tool that engages employees' health and promotes the prevention of diseases. There are various benefits of an HRA when introduced together with wellness programs.

It fosters a culture of health at work, decreases health risks, which eventually reduces healthcare costs. Offering an HRA is no more low-hanging fruit. Employers must look for new ways to engage their employees for genuine participation. It is beneficial when these assessments add value to employees' health and wellness.

Now I would like to know from you,

How do you make your health risk assessments useful for your employees?

Let me know in the comment section below.

This article is written by Rangana Atreya, a Content Marketer at Vantage Circle. Having a creative mind with a spiritful life, she takes inspiration from travelling and learning languages. For any related queries, contact editor@vantagecircle.com

Keep your employees fit and productive