Working Well Sometimes...

Having a Medical for Work

May 20, 2019 Jane Coombs
Working Well Sometimes...
Having a Medical for Work
Show Notes

Have you got a new job and been asked to go for a medical?

Employment law in the UK makes it illegal to use medical tests or questions as a means of stopping candidates from getting a job.  Health enquiries should follow an offer of employment (subject to medical and references).  Many are confused about when to ask capability questions because if say, a crane operator can’t stand heights then the interviewer (and the candidate), need to explore this from a practical point of view. Because of the difficulty employers have in recruiting and acting fairly in this area guidance is available from The Equality and Human Rights website that sets out exactly what you can and can’t discuss in job interviews.

Unfortunately changing the name and the process has not taken away the belief that the OH professional decide whether people can or can’t do a job, that is, applicants are fit or unfit for work. This is not the case, in my career having done hundreds; I can tell you that only one or two applicants were ever medically unfit for a job.  Most applicants are fully fit for the job and some need minor adjustments e.g. spectacles or blood pressure medication.

Establishing baseline health records (useful for measuring health when starting a new job and before exposure to health risks)

  • Identifying reasonable adjustments to the work or the working environment
  • Explaining specific health risks and requirements for each job
  • Complying with health and safety procedures e.g demonstrating how to insert ear plugs, reporting health problems caused by work
  • Changing of work role e.g. from a warehouse operator to a forklift truck driver where the health requirements may be more onerous e.g vision, hearing
  • Exposing new starters to the health and safety culture of a business
  • Assessing specific groups of workers for extra precautions e.g pregnant, young workers, asthmatics

Read the full transcript and an example of a simple health questionnaire on my website: Working Well Solutions Ltd:

Further Advice and Reading