Safety critical medicals
A safety critical medical can be defined as:
“where the ill health of an individual may compromise their ability to undertake a task defined as safety critical, thereby posing a significant risk to the health and safety of others.” – OHSP Handbook Issue 2 2012
Network Rail has their own definition of Safety Critical Work and refers to the Guided Transport System (Safety) Regulations 2006 for those working in safety critical roles in the Railways.
The employer should undertake a risk assessment of all activity to determine whether it is safety critical in nature and whether, in the event of a worker incapacity, it would likely result in a significant risk of harm to the individual worker performing the task or to others.
The fitness for Safety Critical Work should not be used as a form of medical selection or disability discrimination.
“Where a job activity is defined as safety critical and an essential job requirement, the decision on reasonable adjustments for the disabled may not be met if there was a risk of harm to third parties. The risk assessment that identifies an activity as SCW should therefore distinguish between the risk of harm to the individual worker and to third parties.” – OHSP Handbook Issue 2 2012
Peritus Health Management recommends that a safety critical medical is undertaken for those working in a role which is designated as safety critical work:
- Before the commencement of the role,
- Every 3 years subsequently,
- Following long term sickness absence or
- Where there is a change or predicted change in the employee’s health status which may affect their fitness for working in such a role.
Employees working in a Safety Critical role should not have any medical condition, or taking medical treatment likely to cause:
- sudden loss of consciousness
- impairment of awareness or concentration
- sudden incapacity
- impairment of balance or co-ordination
- significant limitation of mobility.
This depends on your health and safety risks and whether you wish to meet your health surveillance legal obligations at the same time.
Safety critical work assessments
Peritus Health Management understands that the hardest part of any occupational health assessment is the logistics of arranging the appointments, getting the individuals to attend the medical and covering the work. We therefore undertake ‘Safety Critical Plus’ assessments which means that the assessment also includes assessment for noise-induced hearing loss, respiratory health, hand-arm vibration tier 2 and skin surveillance for health surveillance purposes. This saves you time arranging for additional appointments.