Safety Critical Worker Medicals (Fit For Work)

HealthScreen UK is a SEQOHS accredited occupational health service provider (OHSP) and provides the highest standard of medical assessment

What Are Safety Critical Worker Medicals? ( Fit For Work Medicals )

Fit For Work medicals are in-depth medicals designed to ensure anyone who may be undertaking safety-critical tasks is fit to do so. 

Why Do You Need Fit To Work Medicals?

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, states that under current health and safety legislation, employers have a duty of care to prevent the ill-health of their workers. This is particularly relevant to those carrying out so-called safety-critical tasks.

It is important that safety-critical workers are not suffering from medical conditions or undergoing any medical treatment which is likely to cause sudden loss of consciousness or incapacity, impairment of awareness, concentration, balance or coordination or significant limitation of mobility.

What is Safety-Critical Work?

The term ‘safety critical work’ is defined as any work:

“Where the ill health of an individual may compromise their ability to undertake a task defined as safety-critical, thereby posing a significant risk to the health and safety of others.”

Scaffolders at work

Looking For Safety-Critical Worker Medicals?

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Who Needs A Safety Critical Worker Medical?

In essence, any worker who may be deemed to be working in a dangerous environment needs to be fit to do so. So, if you are working, or you have workers whose tasks may include working with operating plant machinery, scaffolding and at height, roadside construction or in a dangerous environment, it is essential that they are healthy. By having a Safety Critical Worker medical undertaken, you will ensure that the worker is fit for the job. A Safety-Critical Worker Medical is a bonafide sign that you are assessing risks and undertaking your duty of care. 

The following roles have been defined as ‘safety critical’:

  • Asbestos Licensed Worker
  • Diver
  • Geotechnical
  • LGV / HGV Driver
  • Maritime Operative Specialist
  • FLT Driver
  • Driver and Mechanical Handling Equipment Operator
  • Plant Operator
  • Scaffolder/Rigger
  • Roadside (high speed)
  • Tunnelling worker
  • Slinger/Signaller/Banksman/Traffic Marshall
  • Steel Erector Structural / Fabricator 
  • Steeplejack
  • Confined Space
  • Working at Height


What Happens in a Safety Critical Medical Test?

The exact testing within a fit for work medical can vary dependent on the job that the employee or prospective employee is due to undertake. However, there is a standard set of tests in a Safety-Critical Worker Medical which consists of:

  • A baseline Safety Critical Worker health questionnaire to establish any current or previous medical/psychological health history
  • Blood pressure measurement
  • Height, Weight & Body Mass
  • Audiometry (Hearing test)
  • Spirometry (Lung function) test
  • Visual Acuity, colour vision and peripheral vision screen
  • Urinalysis for diabetes or other health issues
  • Muscular-skeletal assessment
  • Mental health assessment

As I said, there maybe be a requirement for other tests to be undertaken during the medical depending on the job you are doing. Such additions can include, drug and alcohol testing, night worker assessment, dermatology & HAVS (Hand-arm vibration assessment).

You can read more about the Fit For Work Medical here 

How Long Does a Safety-Critical Worker Medical Take?

The time taken for the Medical varies depending on the requirements of the job involved. A standard medical can take around 45 mins. However, if there are specific requirements such as Drug & Alcohol Testing, HAVS or Night Worker Assessment, the medical may take between 1 hour 30 mins to 2 hours. It really depends on what you are required to have for your job so the amount of time can vary quite a bit.

How Often do I Have a Safety-Critical Worker Medical?

Again, this varies, the need for the fit for work medical depends on two factors which are the risks of your job and your age. People under the age of 54 years old, have to have the medical renewed every 3 years. People between 55-65 years have to have the medical every 2 years and finally, anyone over the age of 65 years old has to have it done annually.

What do I Have to Bring With Me?

When you are having your medical you will need to bring a form of ID ( Driver’s Licence or Passport), Any existing CBH card & any information regarding any medication you are on.

Looking For Safety-Critical Worker Medicals?

Call us On 01455 234600 or contact us online


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