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MedWise Occupational Health and Travel Health Services

Additional tests at Pre-Employment Medical Assessment

For some specific job roles and work environments potential exposure to workplace hazards would indicate the addition of specific functional tests at the pre-employment medical.

The benefits of including these tests are:

  • Certifying that the applicant is medically fit for the specific job
  • Certifying that the applicant meets the required standard of fitness as set out in Legislation (i.e. Firemen, HGV Drivers)
  • Establishing a baseline for the applicant at the pre-employment stage for hearing, or lung function, or vision, or skin condition depending on the job profile and work environment
  • The pre-employment tests can establish the starting point for an on-going occupational health surveillance programme
  • To protect the employer against liability for damages for a pre-existing medical condition

Pre-Employment Audiometry Test

Audiometry TestAt the pre-employment stage it is critical to have a baseline audiogram before working in noisy work environments. This will screen for previous damage before commencing employment, and avoid liability for ‘inherited’ hearing damage.

Current noise legislation specifies that in cases where the daily exposure is:

  • greater than 85 dBA hearing surveillance including audiometry must be offered to employees
  • greater than 80 dBA audiometry recommended

Pre-Employment Spirometry Test

SpirometerA baseline spirograph for employees at the pre-employment medical is recommended for work environments where there are potential respiratory hazards such as dust, fumes, powders, chemical fumes and where employees wear respiratory personal protective equipment (PPE)

Spirometry is the Gold Standard Lung function test.

Spirometry is useful in the diagnosis of asthma and other respiratory diseases.

Pre-Employment Vision Test

Vision TestLegal Requirement for VDU users (where a VDU is used for more than 1 hour per day)

A vision test would also be critical for the following roles:

  • Drivers
  • Machine operators
  • Precision work
  • Microscopic work
  • Work where colour vision required (electronics/electrical, visual inspection, graphics work)

MedWise use:

  • the traditional Snellen chart to measure to measure visual acuity
  • the Keystone Vision Screening test which measures several parameters of Vision
  • charts to measure degree and type of colour blindness

Pre-Employment Food Handlers Hygiene Screen

For employees directly involved in the handling of food, for example meat processing employees, the regulatory guidelines recommend that routine health screens be performed to protect the food-chain from contamination, and to support training in good food handling practices

We recommend that a specific pre-employment medical screen be carried out for Food Handler positions and repeated on an annual basis thereafter.

The screen involves administering a food handler questionnaire and performing a physical examination on the employee.

The initial assessments are carried out by an occupational health nurse and employees identified with medical or hygiene issues are referred on to the occupational health physician for further assessment.

The questionnaire addresses general health status, dental care, skin rash, gastrointestinal illness and habits such as nail biting. The physical assessment involves examination of the skin of the hands, forearms, scalp and face. Examination of the mouth, ears and nose.

The nurse uses the opportunity to refresh the employee’s knowledge of the reporting of medical illnesses such as skin lesions or diarrhoea and vomiting.

To support existing good food handling practices, written guidelines on the reporting of relevant illnesses can be given to the employee, as part of the employer’s quality management programme.