What are Safety Critical Medicals and why do we need them?

What are Safety Critical Medicals and why do we need them?

When we think about workplace safety, we often think of hard hats and high visibility jackets but one thing that is sometimes overlooked the medical ability of employees to successfully do their job. This is where Safety Critical Medicals join the conversation. But what exactly are Safety Critical Medicals, why are they important, and who needs to have them?

Understanding Safety Critical Medicals

Some employees undertake tasks that pose a significant risk to health and safety, such as working at heights, operating heavy machinery and driving public transportation vehicles. In these kinds of roles one lapse in judgement could lead to catastrophic consequences. Safety Critical Medicals assess the physical and mental capability of these workers to ensure they can perform their tasks safely and effectively. By identifying any potential health issues or limitations, employers can put measures in place to mitigate risk and prevent accidents from happening.

Some examples of safety critical roles are:

Aviation: Pilots, Air Traffic Controllers and other aviation personnel undergo medicals to ensure they are fit to operate aircraft safely.

Transportation: Bus, Train and Tram Operators require medicals to ensure they can drive safely without endangering their passengers.

Healthcare: Staff involved in critical care, emergency response or surgical procedures can be given a medical to ensure they can physically and mentally cope with high-pressure situations.

Construction: Workers in construction or engineering undergo medicals to ensure they can handle the physical demands of their role and operate heavy machinery effectively.

Oil and gas: Employees at offshore drilling rigs or other hazardous environments require safety critical medicals to assess their fitness for duty in challenging conditions.

Understanding the medical examination process

Safety Critical Medicals consist of an array of assessments that are either reviewed annually or every three years. Yearly checks include respiratory health, skin, hearing and HAVS (Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome) assessments. Blood pressure, sight, colour perception, psychological health, urinalysis and musculoskeletal assessments are reviewed every three years although in some cases they are evaluated more often. Due to their wide-ranging scope, most examinations take around 90 minutes to complete and can be conducted at a medical centre or in some cases on-site. Upon their completion, a fitness certificate is provided to the employee, which may include certain restrictions on types of work or adjustments for the role.

What are the benefits?

In high-risk industries where the margin for error is small, being proactive about employee health can pay dividends. Not only do medicals reduce the risk of injuries and fatalities, but they also contribute to the overall wellbeing of the workforce. Identifying health issues at an early stage enables prompt intervention and treatment, preventing the escalation of conditions that would stop workers from doing their job. Committing to upholding safety standards also instils confidence in stakeholders, such as regulatory bodies, suppliers and potential clients.

Where can you get a Safety Critical Medical?

Safety Critical Medicals are typically conducted by qualified medical professionals who specialise in occupational health. These services can be provided by healthcare providers like ourselves. At MOHS we conduct Safety Critical Medicals at our clinic in West Bromwich and in person at our client sites. If you would like to find out more about our medicals, then contact us today on 0121 601 4041 or e-mail us at info@mohs.co.uk