Introduction

Under the Working Time Regulations 1998, Section 4, free health assessments must be offered to those about to work night shifts, and on a regular basis for those working night shifts (the regulations suggest that this should be annually). Some medical conditions can be made worse by working nights and others cause difficulty for the employee, particularly if they are required to take medications at set times or have meals at set times.

Most employers class night work as those shifts covering core hours of 23.00 to 06.00 (using the 24 hour clock system). It is vital to remember that night workers often miss out on other forms of occupational health provision, such as health surveillance. Night workers can be just as much at risk from chemical, dust and noise hazards as anybody else within the workplace and as such, should have face-to-face health surveillance within their normal working hours.

Who is at Risk?

  • Those working on a regular basis between the core hours of 22.00 and 06.00
  • Those having medical conditions that could be worsened by night work
  • Those having to take medications that are time critical

What's Involved?

The most practical way to offer free health checks to those working night shifts is via a confidential night workers' health questionnaire.

This is how the system could work:

  • All Safe OH & S Ltd supply confidential night workers' health questionnaires and prepaid envelopes for distribution by the client to their relevant employees
  • This is then completed by the employee and returned to All Safe OH & S in the supplied prepaid envelope
  • Within an agreed time-scale, a qualified OHA then evaluates the form and either:
    • Issues a fitness statement
    • Communicates the employee's requirement to have a face-to face-consultation should problems be highlighted in the questioner
    • Advises on the need for further specialist referral to an Occupational Health Physician
    • Advises on relevant Equality Act 2010 information

Night workers' questionnaires should be offered:

  • Before the commencement of night work
  • Annually thereafter

All Safe OH & S can offer site based statutory health surveillance including:

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