Employees are the backbone of any organisation, so it’s important to keep them physically and mentally healthy with occupational health services such as those provided by Co-Health. We are often asked what is an occupational health check and this article will help explain what they are.
An occupational health check is a crucial part of creating a safe work environment for all employees. This check assesses an individual’s physical and mental well-being, ensuring that they can perform their duties in an effective manner.
In this article, we will discuss what an occupational health check is, its benefits, types, components and more. So let’s get started with unlocking the secrets of a successful workplace!
What Are Occupational Health Checks?
What is an occupational health check is difficult to answer in some ways, but in essence, an occupational health check is a comprehensive assessment of an individual’s physical and mental well-being, with the aim of ensuring they can perform their duties in an effective manner.
It is typically conducted by a qualified occupational health practitioner or provider, who will carry out a series of ongoing health tests and assessments (such as medical surveillance) to determine the employee’s suitability for their job role and any health risks in relation to their potential job or work.
The check may include physical examinations such as height, weight and blood pressure measurements, as well as psychological assessments to assess any mental health concerns.
Additionally, the practitioner will assess any potential risks in the work environment that could lead to ill health or injury. This might include assessing hazardous substances, noise levels and ventilation.
The results of this assessment are then used to inform decisions related to reasonable adjustments that should be made in order for the employee to maintain their optimal performance within their job role.
Benefits of an Occupational Health Check
An occupational health check performed by an occupational health professional is beneficial for both employers and employees alike and provides if you like, the health status of that employee.
By ensuring that workers are physically and mentally capable of doing their job, employers can ensure that their staff have the best chance of success in the workplace.
Furthermore, it provides a platform for identifying any potential issues with regard to health and safety which can then be addressed accordingly. From an employee’s perspective, an occupational health check can provide valuable insight into their own well-being, allowing them to take steps to improve it if necessary.
Additionally, it can help to identify any underlying conditions which may be causing issues such as sickness absence or deteriorating performance levels. Ultimately, an occupational health check helps to create a positive working environment by ensuring that all employees feel safe and secure within their roles.
Occupational health checks are an important support process for workers and employers. They provide a comprehensive assessment of an individual’s physical, mental, and social wellbeing in the workplace.
The purpose of these checks is to identify any potential health risks related to the person’s job and to offer advice on how to prevent or reduce those risks. A typical occupational health check includes a detailed medical history, physical examination, workplace assessment, and psychological evaluation.
Occupational health checks are used for a variety of reasons, including illness prevention, sickness absence management, and job satisfaction. They can also be used pre-employment to assess an individual’s suitability for a role or to determine if any environments are unsafe.
An example of the types of jobs which benefit from occupational health programs and that the occupational health sector actively support include but are not limited to:
- Commercial pilots (and staff working on commercial aircraft)
- Food handlers
- Forklift truck operators
- Software and web developers
- Office based workers
- Health workers
- and more…
The reason for this is the numerous benefits, which we will now outline.
Reduced Health Risks
An occupational health check is an assessment of a worker’s health that takes into account the risks associated with their job. The goal of an occupational health check is to evaluate and reduce any potential risks to a worker’s health that may arise from their employment.
This could include assessing physical hazards, such as noise or vibration exposure, as well as psychological hazards, such as stress and fatigue. An occupational health check can also help identify any health conditions that may affect a worker’s ability to safely and effectively carry out their job.
Occupational health checks are usually carried out at regular intervals and may include physical examinations, psychological assessments, or tests for hazardous substances.
Employers can use the results of these assessments to make sure employees are fit for duty and able to meet any health and safety requirements of their job. They may also use the results to develop ways of improving employee wellbeing and reducing sickness absence.
Increased Staff Retention and Productivity
An occupational health check is a comprehensive assessment of a worker’s physical and mental wellbeing. It helps to identify any potential health risks associated with their job role by evaluating factors such as working conditions, hours worked, stress levels, and workload. Occupational health checks can help employers reduce the risk of injury or illness for their employees and ensure that the workplace is safe and productive.
Ensuring Appropriate Workplace Adjustments
Workplace adjustments are physical changes made to the work environment or an employee’s tasks to help accommodate their medical condition. These adjustments can range from simple alterations like providing a more comfortable chair, to more complex changes such as rearranging a workspace or task duties. The goal of workplace adjustments is to ensure that employees with medical conditions are able to perform their duties in a safe and comfortable environment while also minimizing the risk of further injury or health problems.
Occupational health providers can help employers identify any potential workplace adjustments that may be needed for employees with medical conditions. They can also provide advice on how to implement these changes and monitor their effectiveness in order to ensure that everyone is comfortable and safe at work.
Workplace Wellbeing Checks
Workplace wellbeing checks are assessments or screenings that measure the health and safety of employees in the workplace. They involve assessing the physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing of workers to ensure a healthy and safe environment for everyone.
A workplace wellbeing check typically consists of a physical examination (including vital signs, posture assessment, strength/flexibility testing etc.), mental health screening, drug/alcohol testing, hearing/ vision screening, and a respiratory health check.
Types of Health Checks
Occupational health checks are an important part of ensuring a safe and healthy workplace. There are a variety of different types of checks that can be carried out, depending on the job role and individual needs of each employee.
The most common type is a medical examination which usually involves a physical assessment, mental health assessment and pre-employment assessments such as drug testing. This helps to identify any underlying health conditions which may have an impact on their ability to perform in their role or cause them sickness absences.
More specialized checks may include respiratory health checks for those working with hazardous substances or environments unsafe for human contact. Additionally, employers may opt to carry out regular blood pressure checks or fit note assessments as part of their overall occupational health policies.
For example, a noisy environment can be a major health hazard. Here, occupational health checks are used to assess the potential risk of noise exposure in the workplace and would include hearing tests for those working in noisy conditions.
During a noise assessment, workers are asked to report any hearing protection they use and how loud it is in their work area. The assessment also includes testing for sound levels using specialized instruments.
If levels exceed safe limits, employers must take steps to reduce the noise. This may involve installing sound-proofing materials, providing hearing protection, or introducing quieter machinery.
Ultimately, whatever type of check is carried out, it should help to provide employers with peace of mind that their staff have the best chance of job satisfaction and optimum performance levels in their roles.
Pre-employment assessments are an important part of any occupational health check. This type of assessment is used to assess the suitability of a candidate for a role, in terms of their physical and mental health. It can also be used to identify any health concerns that could impact the individual’s ability to perform on the job.
The assessment usually involves an initial medical examination, followed by additional tests such as drug testing, psychological tests and interviews. The aim is to make sure that the candidate is physically and mentally fit for work and poses no risk to the safety or welfare of others in the workplace.
Overall, pre-employment assessments offer employers peace of mind knowing they have hired safe and suitable employees who are able to perform their roles effectively with minimal risk of sickness absence or work-related injury.
Occupational Health Screening
Occupational health screening is a form of preventive healthcare that is designed to assess the health of individuals who are employed in a high-risk environment.
It involves the systematic evaluation of an individual’s physical and mental health status so that employers can identify any potential hazards or risks associated with their job role.
The purpose of an occupational health check-up is to ensure that workers remain physically and mentally fit for work and can perform their duties without any risk to either themselves or others.
The screening process usually involves a physical examination, drug testing, psychological tests, interviews, and other assessments as necessary. The goal is to identify any underlying conditions that may cause health issues such as sickness absence or impaired performance levels.
Occupational Health Questionnaires
An occupational health questionnaire is a tool used to assess the physical, psychological, and emotional health of individuals in their work environment.
It is often administered as part of an occupational health check or before an employee commences employment with a new organization.
The questionnaire typically consists of a series of questions about an individual’s lifestyle habits, including diet, exercise, sleep patterns, stress levels, and other factors that may affect their physical and mental health.
Questions are also asked about any existing medical conditions, as well as how they feel about the safety and security of their current work environment.
The aim is to gain an understanding of the individual’s general wellbeing in order to assess whether they can perform their job role safely and effectively.
Pre-Employment Health Assessment
A pre-employment health assessment is a comprehensive evaluation of an individual’s health and fitness to perform certain job functions.
The focus of these assessments is usually on physical abilities and mental aptitudes that are essential for the successful execution of the job. This type of assessment can include medical evaluations, psychological tests, vision and hearing screenings, drug testing, physical fitness tests, background checks, and even personality assessments.
The goal of a pre-employment health assessment is to identify any potential risks or health issues that may prevent an individual from safely and effectively carrying out the duties of their job.
This can include physical and mental impairments, as well as hazardous substances in the workplace. Employers use these assessments to ensure they are hiring safe and suitable employees who can perform their roles with minimal risk of injury or sickness absence.
Sickness Absence Referral
A sickness absence referral is a process whereby an employee who has been absent from work due to health-related issues is referred by their employer or GP to an occupational health specialist.
The purpose of such a referral is to assess the employee’s fitness for work and provide advice and support on any necessary adjustments that may need to be made in order for them to return to work. During this assessment, the occupational health specialist will review the employee’s medical history and current health condition in relation to their job role and make recommendations on how best to manage them.
The outcome of a sickness absence referral is usually a fit note which indicates whether or not the employee is medically fit to work. If the employee is deemed unfit for work, then further advice or treatment may be recommended before they can return.
Periodic Medical Examinations and Health Surveillance
Periodic medical examinations are an important part of any occupational health check. This type of examination is used to assess the overall physical and mental health of an employee and identify any potential health issues which may affect their ability to perform their job.
The examination usually involves a physical examination, including questions about lifestyle, history of illness or injury, measurement of vital signs such as blood pressure, and a review of medication. It can also include additional tests such as drug testing and psychological tests.
The aim is to make sure that employees remain healthy, safe and productive at work by detecting illnesses or injuries early on before they have time to become more serious.
Periodic medical examinations also help employers ensure that reasonable adjustments are made for employees who have a health condition in relation to their job role. Through regular monitoring, employers can ensure that any hazards in the workplace are identified and addressed quickly to maintain a healthy working environment.
Respiratory Health Check
A respiratory health check is an important part of any occupational health assessment. This type of check is used to assess the overall respiratory health of an employee and identify any potential issues which may affect their ability to perform their job.
The check usually involves a physical examination, including questions about lifestyle, history of illness or injury, measurement of vital signs such as peak flow rate and lung capacity, and a review of medication. It can also include additional tests such as spirometry and chest X-rays.
The aim is to make sure that employees remain healthy, safe and productive at work by detecting illnesses or injuries early on before they have time to become more serious.
An effective respiratory health check can help employers identify hazardous substances in the workplace that could be affecting the air quality for staff, or environments that are unsafe for those with existing respiratory conditions.
Regular monitoring is also beneficial for employees who experience periods of sickness absence due to a respiratory condition; by detecting any changes early on employers can ensure that their return to work is managed safely with a fit note if necessary.
Mental Health Check
Mental health checks are an important part of occupational health assessments. This type of check is used to assess the overall mental health and well-being of an employee, identify any potential issues which may affect their ability to perform their job and provide advice on how best to manage any concerns.
The check usually involves a review of lifestyle, history of illness or injury, stress assessments, discussion around job role and satisfaction level, as well as questions about mental health. It can also include additional tests such as cognitive assessments and psychological evaluations.
The aim is to make sure that employees remain healthy, safe and productive at work by detecting any potential issues early on before they become more serious.
An effective mental health check can help employers better understand their employees’ needs and provide them with the necessary support in order to maintain a healthy working environment.
Regular monitoring can also be beneficial for those experiencing periods of sickness absence due to mental health issues; by understanding any changes early on employers can ensure that their return to work is managed safely with reasonable adjustments if needed.
An occupational health check, also known as an ergonomic assessment or musculoskeletal assessment, is a type of evaluation designed to assess the physical demands of a workplace and the potential risks for employees.
A musculoskeletal assessment looks at how tasks are performed and how they may be impacting an employee’s physical wellbeing. It takes into account factors such as posture, body mechanics and the use of tools, as well as the physical environment.
The aim is to identify any areas of concern in order to reduce the risk of injury or illness and improve job satisfaction. This type of assessment also includes a review of an employee’s medical history, lifestyle and fitness level, to ensure that any accommodations are appropriate for their individual needs.
Hazardous Substance Assessment
Hazardous Substance Assessment is an important part of occupational health checks used to determine the potential risks associated with exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace.
During a Hazardous Substance Assessment, an occupational health provider will review any hazardous materials present in the workplace and assess their potential effects on employee safety.
The assessment may include testing of air quality, monitoring of workers’ exposure levels, and assessments of areas where workers might be exposed to hazardous substances. It can also involve a review of safety protocols and personal protective equipment (PPE) available to employees.
A Hazardous Substance Assessment is essential for identifying any hazards that could put employees at risk; it helps employers identify ways they can reduce exposure or mitigate risks by introducing new safety measures or providing additional PPE.
This type of assessment helps employers ensure that their employees are safe from any hazardous substances present in the working environment, and is key for protecting employee health and wellbeing in the long term.
Ergonomic Workstation Assessments
An ergonomic workstation assessment is an occupational health check which assesses the suitability of a workplace for an individual.
It involves a physical inspection and evaluation of the work environment to identify areas where workplace ergonomics may be improved.
This includes assessing the design of equipment, furniture, tools and workspace; assessing posture when using this equipment; evaluating the layout of tasks and activities; and providing guidance
Components of an Occupational Health Check
An occupational health check is an assessment of the overall health and well-being of employees in the workplace.
An occupational health check usually starts with a referral form and can involve a variety of components including medical examinations, mental health assessments, reasonable adjustments, and sickness absence management.
The purpose of such checks is to identify any potential health issues that could be affecting job performance and to evaluate an employee’s suitability for specific job roles.
Occupational health checks typically include physical examinations such as measuring height, weight and blood pressure, testing vision and hearing, and assessing respiratory health.
During the checkup, employers may also assess mental health concerns by asking questions about stress levels or job satisfaction.
If any medical conditions are identified during the occupational health check, employers may refer employees to specialist providers for further advice or treatment.
For employees who have been absent from work due to a period of sickness absence, employers may use an occupational health check to assess their fitness for return to work duties.
This might include a review of the employee’s previous role or any reasonable adjustments that need to be made in order for them to be able to perform their duties safely in future. The employee may also receive a certificate of fitness and a report
The occupational health report must provide all pertinent medical details regarding the situation and outline planned interventions, ensuring that the HR or management team have a comprehensive understanding of the medical circumstances. It should also be written in plain language without the use of technical terms or jargon.
Overall, occupational health checks play an important role in ensuring that employees are healthy and safe at work and can help create a healthy working environment where everyone feels supported and valued.
The following is not a complete list but explains what is an occupational health check in greater context.
Physical examinations are an important part of occupational health checks and can provide employers with valuable information about the overall health and wellbeing of their employees.
During a physical examination, employers may measure height, weight, and blood pressure and test vision and hearing. This can help them to identify any potential medical conditions that may affect job performance or safety in the workplace.
Physical examinations also involve assessing respiratory health by listening to the lungs for signs of infection or inflammation. If any such issues are identified during the exam, employers can refer employees to specialist providers for further advice or treatment.
Finally, physical exams can provide employers with an indication of employee fitness for specific job roles by assessing their mobility, strength and endurance levels. This helps ensure that everyone is performing their role safely and effectively in order to maintain a healthy working environment.
What is an Occupational Health Check: Key Takeaways
Here are the key points of this article “what is an occupational health check?” for you to take away:
- An occupational health check is a comprehensive assessment of an individual’s physical and mental well-being, conducted by a qualified occupational health practitioner or provider.
- The check assesses an employee’s suitability for their job role and any potential health risks in relation to their work environment.
- Occupational health checks benefit both employers and employees by ensuring a safe and healthy workplace and identifying any underlying health issues that may affect job performance.