Night Shift Workers Health Assessments

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Does your business employ, or have plans to employ night workers?

A ‘night worker’ is classed as an individual who works at least three hours between 11pm and 6am. Under the Working Time Regulations 1998 set by the HSE, employees working night shifts must be offered a night work health assessment before commencing their role, and then this must be repeated at least once a year following this.

Night work health assessments are carried out to help employers identify where risks may be posed, and help decide how to make reasonable adjustments. Although night work is unlikely to pose significant health risks to the majority of workers, it can affect the health of some workers with existing health conditions.

The risk may be higher for those with the following health issues:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Respiratory conditions
  • Individuals required to take regular medication at strict intervals
  • Diabetes
  • Heart problems
  • Mobility issues

In circumstances where employees may be affected negatively by night work, employers are required to find suitable alternative work for the individual, where possible.

If employees work night and day shifts, then it can take some time for the body clock to adjust. It is important that these individuals are checked regularly, as this can cause stress, sleep deprivation and a variety of other issues. Also, easting at unusual times during the night can also cause health issues, for example, acid reflux or heartburn, which is why we like to provide detailed assessments of every individual.

What does a Night Shift Worker Health Assessment involve?

Our Night Work Health Assessments involve a series of health surveillance checks and questions to determine areas of risk. Should any problems be brought to light that could affect their ability to work nights, we will guide the employer on the next steps to take.

Firstly, will carry out the following health surveillance checks (as part of the wider night work health assessment):

  • Audio testing
  • General health screening (such as blood pressure and vision)

Then we will follow with a health questionnaire, including questions such as:

  • Are you diabetic? If so, is it under control and what medication is taken?
  • Have you noticed a change in thirst or in passing urine?
  • Have you any unexplained weight loss or gain recently?
  • Do you have heart disease of any sort e.g coronary artery disease or angina?
  • Do you get chest pains?
  • Do you experience shortness of breath, wheezing or bouts of coughing?
  • Have you had any peptic ulcers or duodenal ulcers?
  • Do you have frequent indigestion, heartburn, belching or have a bowel disorder?
  • Have you had depression, stress, nervous disorders or other mental illnesses, alcohol or drug addictions?
  • Do you have any conditions requiring regular medication at strict times, e.g epilepsy or thyroid disease.

Keeping a record of Night Work Health Assessments

Alike all other types of health assessments, it’s important that you, as an employer, keep a record. You must keep a record of the following:

  • the type of work being undertaken,
  • person details of the worker (so that they can be identified),
  • the results of the assessment,
  • when the assessment was offered, and date if the assessment was refused by the employee, and
  • the date the assessment was carried out.

Need our help with Night Shift Health Assessments?

We can carry out an in-depth occupational health assessment on your employees working night shifts, as well as a number of other occupational health services and checks. If you would like to learn more, please contact us on 07581 489050.

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