Pre employment medical

The Importance of Pre-Employment Medicals

Posted By Stephanie Hancox on 2017-06-29 08:10

Protecting Your Company With Pre Employment Medicals

Hiring staff is a difficult enough proposition today. Are they the right fit, are they motivated enough, will they offer the business what it needs? All of these questions can be difficult to answer during the interview process. However, they aren't the only questions that you need to answer about a new employee.

You also need to know do they have any existing health conditions and what is their general health. Pre-employment medicals ensure that once an employer offers a potential employee a job; That their health is suitable for the job role, along with ensuring that any adjustments required to support the potential employee have been identified. 

More importantly, Pre Employment Medicals protect the Employer by identifying pre-existing conditions

What does a Pre-Employment medical involve?

Pre-employment medical assessments can vary depending on the needs of the employer, they can be anything from the use of a self-completed questionnaire to a full clinical examination by a physician. Depending on what your needs are and the work history of the prospective employee, you can make a decision about what you need.

What does it assess, and what happens?

Pre-employment examinations involve an assessment of:

                                                                     1) The Applicant         2) The Job


It requires the collection of detailed information on the health status of the prospective employee and will include details of the occupational history.  It may also include clinical measurement tests to identify abnormalities, which would provide a baseline at pre-employment and assessment of an individual’s fitness for a particular role. Fitness is then assessed against the hazards and demands associated with the job and their likely effects on the individual’s health.

Protecting the Employer

The baseline is protective for the employer, it ensures that any pre-existing problems are flagged before employment commences. At a pre-employment health assessment, the primary responsibility of the occupational health practitioner is to the employer.  The UK Court of Appeal has ruled that the practitioner owes no duty of care to the applicant. Although this ruling clarifies the legal situation, ethically the practitioner has a professional duty to act with due care and competence in undertaking a pre-employment health assessment.

What is The Main Purpose of a Pre-Employment Medical?

Pre-employment health assessments are undertaken for the following reasons:

-to establish the personal, physical and psychological capability of the prospective  employee to undertake the work offered; 
-to ensure that the prospective employee, if engaged will not constitute a health  hazard to others; 
-to identify health problems that will require on-going advice and/or management;
-to undertake baseline health surveillance data; 
-to establish the fitness of an existing employee prior to a transfer of post where  specific fitness to work criteria is required


How Do OHA's make their decisions about whether someone is fit for work or not?

OHA’s should not reject candidates without consulting Healthscreens’ OHP for advice.
The introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) has created significant legal controls over the pre-employment assessment.  Where a job applicant’s physical or mental health problem constitutes a disability under the Act, care must be taken to explore whether a reasonable adjustment to the job could enable the person with a disability to be employed.

Pre-employment medicals are really important for any Employer, they will help protect both you and the prospective employee. If you have any questions about Occupational health screening or any other health and safety services in the UK, or you are looking for health and safety services in Leicester or across the UK, don't hesitate to call us on 01455 234 600 or contact us online. 

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