An Occupational Health Assessment is a medical examination performed on an employee by an Occupational Health Expert. The main aim of the report is to advise employers and employees of the employee’s health.

The report should contain specific recommendations on what adjustments could possibly be considered to ensure a safe/healthy working environment for that employee. The report could also be an assessment of somebody’s fitness to work.

Functions of occupational health within the workplace are to:

Occupational health encourages safe working practices, assists in analysing ergonomics, monitors employees’ health, and assists employers in the management of sickness absence.

An occupational health service is the opportunity for employers to support their staff which is what Wurkplace provides for its retainer clients.

Whilst the Assessment assesses an employee’s physical and mental health it also provides the employer with recommendations to assist them in identifying, where possible, if any adjustments can be made to ensure that the employee returns to work in a healthy and safe manner.

The Assessment also gives the employer instructions on what they must do to ensure a safe and healthy working environment for that employee and their colleagues.

The primary purpose of an occupational health assessment is to prevent work-related injuries. Most often, they determine whether an employee is physically suited for a particular job. They can also identify any pre-existing conditions that make an employee more at risk of certain hazards.

 

Different Types of Occupational Health Assessments

There are different types of Occupational Health Assessments. The type of assessment that is required by an employee is very much dependent on the job that employee undertakes within an organisation. These include:

 

A pre employment health assessment

This type of assessment is a screening, performed by a healthcare professional, to determine whether an employee is medically fit for the job and its duties. It is requested by an employer, as part of the risk assessment process, but only after they have made a job offer.

The specifics of the assessment are determined by the type of occupation. For example, the assessment for a police officer will differ greatly from that of an office worker.

Despite this, the pre-employment health assessment commonly consists of:

 

Fitness for work assessment

This type of assessment ensures that the individual is fit to perform the tasks required and is not a risk to their own, or others’, health and safety. These assessments help employers identify when and where they need to make reasonable adjustments to the job, task, or working environment.

These are needed when a worker has a health condition that:

 

Job specific assessment

This is a type of assessment that is related to a specific working task or practice. This might include:

  • Working with Power Tools – employees should undergo frequent health assessments if they use vibrating power tools as part of their regular job role. This is to ensure that they are not suffering from hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS), carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), or vibration white finger.
  • Working at Height – anybody who works at height must be safe to do so. This means that, before they are allowed to work at height, an employee should be assessed to ensure they don’t have any medical conditions that may affect their safety. For example, poor vision or vertigo.
  • Lone Working – if somebody has to work alone as part of their job role, then their employer should ensure that they consider the risks associated with it. For example, what to do in an emergency, whether the person has the abilities needed for the job role, and the risk of loneliness.
  • Display Screen Equipment – there are a number of risks that accompany the use of DSE, such as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and repetitive strain injuries (RSIs). Employers, or a DSE assessor, must ensure that an employee’s display screen equipment is correctly positioned and that they know how to adopt the correct working posture.
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    Mental Health Assessments

    A mental health assessment examines an employee’s mental health. It gives them the opportunity to discuss any pre-existing mental health conditions, any that have arisen whilst they have worked there, or any factors at work that are affecting their mental health. For example, the pressure of tight deadlines.

    A mental health assessment is essential for promoting positive mental health in a workplace. You can have an occupational health assessment for depression, anxiety, stress and other mental health conditions.

    If an employee has returned to work after a period of absence for a mental health condition, such as if they have had time off for depression, then an employer must complete a mental health occupational assessment on their return. This is to ensure they have the opportunity to discuss returning to work and any adjustments they need their employer to make.

     

    Comprehensive Occupational Health Services

    If you have any questions about this guide or would like to learn more about our occupational health management services, then feel free to call us on the number below or use our contact form.

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