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Occupational Health

Guidance from the HSE points out that employers are required by law to prevent physical and mental ill health in their workers that may occur as a result of business activities. A risk assessment will help determine what actions are needed to do this.

An important part of occupational health is concerned with how work and the work environment can impact on workers’ health, both physical and mental. It also includes how workers’ health can affect their ability to do their job. This means the effect of work on health and that of health on work.

In health and safety law, there are things that must be done to ensure workers’ health is not adversely affected by their work and that workers are medically fit to carry out their work safely. This includes:

  • Implementing health or medical surveillance when necessary.

  • Ensuring workers are medically fit to undertake the role required (your industry may produce such standards).

  • Reviewing your risk assessment when a worker is returning to work following sickness absence or declares a health condition.

There are other things that should be done where workers have health conditions or disabilities, either work-related or not. This includes complying with equality legislation when supporting workers both in and returning to work.

This guidance, which also looks at buying support from occupational health professionals, as well as assessing competence, is available in full here. HSE May 2021


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