Workplace health practitioner Ian Sullivan spoke about the Healthy Working Wales project, which is being run by the Welsh Government.
Ian, of Public Health Wales, said the project is designed to encourage and support healthier workplaces, raise awareness of the health benefits of work, and encourage and support GPs to use the fit note more effectively.
Branch members and other business leaders attended the event. They were told about the benefits of the scheme and how their organisations can get involved.
The scheme is able to support businesses, Ian said. Organisations which get involved are provided with regular training workshops, while the Government also runs the Workplace Health Awards to celebrate successes.
Delegates were told there are many ways they can push for a healthier workforce, including celebrating successes internally, holding regular initiatives, being open to new ideas from employees, and including health and well-being information in inductions.
After the meeting Rachel Jones, chair of the IOSH branch, said: “Safety in the workplace is rightly a priority. But health should be an equal priority as sickness among employees is a huge cost to businesses.
“Having staff who are healthy means increased productivity and fewer sick days, which cuts down on costs. Organisations can play their part in ensuring staff are healthy and the presentation we had at the meeting gave some great examples of how they can manage this.
“By investing in the health of your employees, businesses will reap the rewards.”
The event, which was held at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in Wrexham on Thursday 18 August, heard that 140 million working days are lost to sickness absence in the UK every year. This costs the economy about £29 billion.