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Health Assessments

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 16 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Health Assessment Employment Health

If truth be told, most employees are often too busy worrying about work to worry about their health. The irony is that you need to be healthy to work effectively in the first place.

The longer term consequences of ignoring employees' health can be very costly to business. Many illnesses develop so slowly that you don't realise anything's wrong before the condition becomes serious by which time it becomes more difficult to treat.

By providing employees with health assessments, you give them a powerful incentive to take positive action - either to seek treatment or to make changes in their lifestyle. It makes it easier to recruit, retain and motivate your staff.

Pre-Employment

Many companies use some form of medical assessment before an employee even starts working for them as they want to ensure that people can do the job while making sure they meet their legal responsibilities.

The purpose of the assessment is to:

  • Identify any health problems that might affect the person's ability to do the job
  • Ensure that the work is suitable for the prospective employee

The assessment must also take into account other factors in conjunction with their overall Risk Assessment policy. For example, if working with Hazardous Chemicals, are there any implications to a person's ability to carry out a specific role within that particular environment?

Quite often, a health assessment will begin with the prospective employee being asked to complete a questionnaire relating to their health. It is important that an employee should complete this truthfully as if they were to incur an illness/condition which was recurring and that hadn't previously been divulged, there could be grounds for dismissal.

Of course, some companies view their employees' well-being more importantly than others and provide ongoing health assessments to benefit their workforce.

These might include:

  • Regular blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes tests
  • Lifestyle assessment
  • Stress management
  • An on-site company doctor

However, it is a legal requirement that a prospective employees' health is determined adequate within the overall health and safety risk assessment of the company.

Company Benefits

  • The reduction in costs associate with high staff turnover
  • Improved employee attendance rates
  • A reduction in both short and long term absence
  • Fewer health-related legal claims
  • Improved productivity
  • Stronger employee loyalty

Responsibilities of the Employer

Employers have a legal responsibility to control the risks to Health and Safety that arise from the work activity and to make provision for the welfare of employees.

Responsibilities of the Employee

Employees also have a legal responsibility to take care of themselves and the people around them that could potentially be affected by their work. It is up to the employee to adhere to the health and safety policy and arrangements as set out by the employer.

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