How often should workers get a medical assessment done?

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How often should workers get a medical assessment done?

Occupational health check

The occupational medical examination has a long tradition in the Inner East, especially for working professionals. It is also anchored in the law. This study aims to determine employability. Likewise, the purpose of the occupational medical examination is to identify work-related illnesses at an early stage and to prevent the resulting health risks.

What is an occupational health examination?

The resolution of the ordinance on preventive occupational medicine took place at the end of 2008. This resulted in a higher structure of the laws, which were previously regulated in subject-specific ordinances. However, there were still ambiguities concerning the splitting of “occupational medical check-ups” and “occupational medical aptitude tests.” For these reasons, there were terminological delimitations in a change in 2013 and additional strengthening of the employee’s right to self-determination.

Occupational medical examination – how often and when?

Before commencing a hazardous activity, companies are obliged to offer their employees occupational medical care or provide it according to the Ordinance on Occupational Health Care.

The company doctor sets the re-appointment period after the first check-up. This depends on the individual workplace conditions and the health requirements of the person. Normally, the second provision must be initiated or offered within one year and any additional provision (including subsequent provision) no later than 36 months after the previous provision.

Exceptions are activities involving exposure to hazardous substances with a sensitizing effect on the skin or the respiratory tract or working substances with a sensitizing or toxic effect, as well as in wet work. In such cases, the second check-up must take place after six months at the latest.

If there is sufficient vaccination protection against vaccine-preventable diseases as a reason for advice, the next screening appointment is based on the upcoming re-vaccination date. 

Is an occupational medical examination compulsory?

A compulsory examination is necessary for special professions. A specialist in occupational medicine must certify that the employee being examined is capable of performing the job.

The company doctor should determine whether employees can be accepted without hesitation and whether their health is not endangered. The activity may then be carried out if the employee has participated in the mandatory examination, and further employment has been assessed as harmless by the company doctor.

The risk assessment is the basis for determining which activities require a mandatory examination. For example, this is always the case when working if the employee comes into contact with a hazardous substance. Furthermore, the risk assessment shows health hazards and risks that are linked to a workplace. 

Occupational medical assessment – reasons

This generally includes all professions that pose a health risk. Which includes:

  • Working in the chemical industry
  • Working with hazardous substances in the laboratory
  • Professional firefighters and drivers
  • Work in nursing (high risk of infection)
  • Continuous activity in a high-noise environment

How does occupational medical assessment work?

Before the actual examination, a professional risk assessment occurs. The company doctor analyzes the working conditions and a specialist in occupational safety.

Now the occupational medical examination occurs: The company doctor assesses the extent to which possible health consequences of an employee can be attributed to the work performed. In addition to musculoskeletal disorders due to excessive physical exertion, employees can also suffer from mental illnesses, such as addictions.

Occupational medical assessment – duties of the doctor

For you to be able to perform an occupational medical examination, medical professionals need a qualification as a specialist in occupational medicine. An alternative is to acquire an additional qualification in industrial medicine.

Obligations of company doctors are to maintain the ability to work and employ people and promote and maintain their health. In some cases, they also help restore the health of people in the company. In this context, they consider the employees holistically, considering psychological, somatic, and social processes.

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