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What is an Occupational Health Assessment?

An Occupational Health Assessment is a medical examination performed by an Occupational Health Physician with an aim of addressing questions raised by the employer. Its primary aim is to advise management regarding the employee's health issue and to make recommendations on what adjustments could be considered to ensure a safe/healthy working environment for that employee. It can also be an assessment of somebody's fitness to work. 

Each Occupational Health report will be tailored to the employee and situation but it can include advice on the medical condition itself, symptoms, prognosis, likelihood of recovery, what adjustments could be considered, and similar. The aim of the report is to inform Management and give them an expert medical opinion and sufficient information to enable them to make any onward decisions with appropriate knowledge.

An occupational Health assessment is NOT normally intended for diagnosis or treatment purposes though in some cases the Doctor could make suggestions for the employee to discuss with their own medical practitioners.

When should it be organised?

There is no fixed best time to organise an Occupational Health Assessment. Each situation should be treated on its own merits. An assessment can be organised at anytime including:

  • Employee still at work: An employee may be attending work regularly but could be showing signs of struggling and it may be the case that some timely changes are all that are required to keep them at work safely and productively.
  • Regular short-term absences: Somebody with regular short-term absences could benefit from an assessment to ensure there are no underlying more serious health issues.
  • Medium / Long term absences: Employees that have had substantial time away from work could be referred for an assessment.
  • Return to Work: It may be appropriate for employees ready to return to work following a period of absence to be assessed so they can be integrated back in a safe and structured manner.

A single one–off assessment is normally sufficient for most employees but for more serious illnesses then it may be appropriate to keep the employee under regular review.

Note: The above applies to Occupational Health Assessments carried out by a Doctor and also applies to those conducted by an Occupational Health nurse advisor.

Please click  the following for more information regarding
    * The Occupational Health Assessment Process
    * Employee Consent to an Occupational Assessment
    * Occupational Health Assessment - Frequently Asked Questions

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