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Onsite Medical As a Tool for Attracting and Retaining Skilled Construction Workers  

onsite clinics for construction

With an estimated 113,100 new construction workers needed in Canada by 2027, there’s an elevated level of competition among construction firms to attract skilled workers who can start with very little training. This makes it more important than ever for companies to make use of all the recruitment tools at their disposal to attract skilled workers and retain those that are already doing a solid job.  

One way that construction companies can attract and retain skilled workers is by offering services that promote worker health and wellbeing, such as onsite medical services.  

Benefits of Onsite Medical for Construction Companies  

Onsite medical services provide construction companies with a wealth of benefits, giving workers easy access to trained medical professionals when they’re injured.  

Cost Management  

Having onsite medical can help you manage many workers’ comp claims, as injuries that only require first aid are dealt with onsite. Your worker doesn’t miss their shift, and you don’t bear the cost burden of offsite medical care, paying out lost wages and more.  

Additionally, having an onsite medical provider can help you reduce your recruiting costs. Workers value the security onsite access to medical care provides, and this access may be the difference between one worker choosing your firm instead of another. With estimates saying that the cost of recruiting one new employee totaling three or four times that position’s salary, onsite medical helping you easily recruit and retain skilled workers could be a major cost savings for your business.  

Improved Productivity  

When workers are injured, they must receive treatment. Without onsite medical, workers must travel to an offsite medical facility, wait to be seen and then (injuries depending) return to your worksite.  

Depending on how far your worksite is from the nearest medical facility and how busy it is, this could lead to workers missing hours or even entire shifts for minor incidents.  

Keeping workers onsite for treatment of minor work-related injuries allows them to get the care they need and return to their duties quickly. This allows your worksite to continue operating as usual, decreasing the amount of work stoppages or schedule adjustments necessary to accommodate injured workers.  

Reduced Absenteeism  

Absenteeism due to work-related injuries can place a huge burden on your project’s schedule. If a worker is suddenly unable to complete their duties for a few days, you’re forced to either adjust your timeline to accommodate their absence or find someone to fill the worker’s duties temporarily. Even when your worker can return to their duties but needs additional care, such as wound checks, having to travel to an offsite medical provider for follow-up appointments increases rates of absenteeism.  

Workers not having the time or easily accessible medical resources to take care of routine health-related tasks, such as receiving their annual flu shots, can impact your rates of absenteeism. If one employee gets the flu and comes to work, they could potentially spread it to everyone they come into contact with on their shift. This could easily wipe out a portion of the workers on a shift, leaving you scrambling to find coverage.  

Onsite medical provides easy access to the essential healthcare services your workers need, injured or healthy. For those workers who are injured and require some follow-up care, they can visit the onsite medical team for these services on their breaks or quickly during the workday, reducing their absences. And your onsite medical team can offer those critical services that keep your workers healthy but that they may push to the wayside otherwise, such as onsite flu shot clinics to improve worksite immunity.  

Best Practices for Implementing Onsite Medical for Construction Companies  

With some planning and the right partnership, you can find success offering onsite medical services to your workers.  

Audit Your Workers’ Needs  

Each worksite’s needs are different, and the needs of each worker population are different. One site may be more prone to silica dust exposure, requiring careful respirator fit testing and spirometry services. Another may have workers who are exposed to sun and heat for the majority of their shifts, requiring the medical team to be well-equipped to respond to sunburns and signs of heatstroke.  

Look over reports of injuries or accidents your workers currently experience for clues as to some of their more prominent needs. Talk with your shift supervisors, team leads and other workers to determine if there are other needs you may not know about. Keep a list of these needs to use when interviewing potential onsite medical partners to ensure they will be ready and able to meet them.  

Determine the Right Mixture of Offerings  

Your workers’ and worksite’s needs will likely directly impact the types of services you’ll need your onsite medical team to provide. If you’ve noticed a pattern of workers getting injured as the result of showing up to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol, for example, your onsite care team should offer onsite drug and alcohol testing services to provide the most comprehensive care to your workers.  

Work with your chosen onsite care partner to find the right mixture of service offerings to meet your team’s needs. The more occupational health services your onsite medical provider can give you, the better your workers’ health will be and the more benefit you will see from the partnership.   

Identify Success Metrics  

Determining what onsite medical success looks like for your business is crucial for understanding if your occupational health provider is benefiting you. If you are measuring only what the occupational health provider deems as metrics of success, you may not have any data relevant to your business.   

The right occupational healthcare provider works with you to figure out the metrics that help you define what a successful onsite medical program looks like. Perhaps that’s reducing time away from duties across all injury types, or it’s a return on your investment in controlled costs and avoided workers’ comp claims. Think about what metrics will be most impactful for your organization and ensure your onsite medical provider will help you measure them.  

These metrics can be a variety of things, but some of the most common include:  

  • Injury rates  
  • Recordables rates  
  • DART score  
  • Total recordable incident rate (TRIR)  
  • Workers’ compensation costs  
  • Return to work rates  

If you don’t yet know what metrics will make the biggest impact for your business, the right occupational health provider can help you determine them.  

Measure and Adjust  

Choosing metrics to measure your onsite medical program’s success by are great, but they’ll be worthless if you aren’t measuring them and, as needed, adjusting your onsite medical program’s operations to improve them. Your onsite medical provider should have the tools to help you collect the data valuable to tracking your metrics and should help you find a way to compare your data to determine how successful your medical program is.  

If your medical program isn’t reaching the targets you’ve set for your occupational healthcare program, it’s important to work with your provider to adjust operations accordingly. You may find that workers on a specific shift aren’t utilizing your onsite medical team and instead are heading straight for the emergency room, and working with that shift’s supervisor to increase utilization could make a bit difference to your program’s success.  

Your Partner for Onsite Medical Programs for Construction Sites  

Keeping your worksite safe and your workers on the job is key to the success of your construction project. At Medcor, we offer onsite clinics for construction sites, with teams experienced in the unique needs facing your workers. These programs can help your workers avoid accidents, get them back to work more quickly following an injury and help you manage healthcare costs and claims. Speak to an advocate today to learn more.