Safety Critical Medicals
Why Do My Employees Need Safety Critical Medicals?
There are a number of jobs, especially in the construction industry, where workers are exposed to hazardous or potentially dangerous situations on a daily basis. Ensuring that employees are fit for task and don’t have any medical or mental health issues which may impact on their performance is a vital part of maintaining safety in the workplace.
At Staywell, we offer safety critical medicals that make sure your company stays on the right side of current health and safety legislation and, in particular, best practice within the construction industry. It is a cost effective and simple way to monitor the health of your workforce and can easily be carried out onsite by a qualified health practitioner.
Who Requires a Safety Critical Medical?
If you have workers who are undertaking safety critical tasks such as operating plant machinery, working on scaffolding and at height, roadside construction or any other job that involves risk, then making sure they are healthy enough is imperative. A worker may well struggle on with a medical condition without realising its potential impact and proper screening can help highlight and address situations such as these.
We provide qualified medical staff to undertake the following for workers in the construction industry:
- Working with plant machinery
- Working in confined spaces
- Hi-speed road workers
- Working at Height
- Others as identified by the risk assessment process
What Do Safety Critical Medicals Involve?
All safety critical medicals involve filling in a questionnaire concerning the health and wellbeing of the individual being examined. This is followed by a series of tests designed to assess whether someone is currently fit for task.
These are designed to check for medical conditions that could lead to sudden loss of consciousness, impairment of airways or concentration, sudden incapacity, impairment of balance or co-ordination or significant limitation of mobility. These tests include:
- General health assessment – questionnaire
- Blood pressure check – physical assessment
- Vision checks – questionnaire and physical assessment
- Musculoskeletal / Mobility Assessment – questionnaire and physical assessment
- Hearing Assessment – questionnaire and hearing assessment
- Respiratory Assessment – questionnaire
- Drug and Alcohol assessment – questionnaire
There may be role specific requirements or industry standards that justify a more extensive assessment including assessment of respiratory health and fitness levels. You may also identify that Drug and Alcohol testing is required. For some, a test of respiratory health or cardiovascular fitness can be requested and this may be undertaken using Spirometry or fitness assessment.
Questions to determine if you require additional tests?
- Does the employee work in confined spaces with or without breathing apparatus?
- Does the employee work at height?
- Does the employee work in a specific or unusual work environment that is difficult to access in an emergency?
You can add certain tests depending on the type of industry and health and safety compliance requirements:
- Drug and alcohol testing.
- Skin surveillance.
- Hand arm vibration (HAVS)
- Night worker medicals.
How Long Does it Take?
Safety critical medicals generally take about 30 minutes to complete and can be carried out on site without causing too much disruption to daily operations. A report is produced for each individual, clearly outlining any decisions made on their ability to work. Fit for task medicals have three possible outcomes:
- Fit for safety critical work
- Temporarily unfit for safety critical work
- Fit with restrictions
Employees who have been assessed as temporarily unfit for task can also be advised, treated and monitored over time and retested when improvements have been made, with the hope of allowing them to return to their safety critical roles.
Undertaking safety critical medicals makes sure your business complies fully with the current health and safety legislation. The possibility of having someone who is not fit for task working onsite not only puts them and other employees at risk but could also lead to prosecution for not complying with health and safety legislation.