Branch Meeting Report - 18 February 2016

“Using Risk Assessment to Determine Fitness for Work”

24 February 2016

Another great turn out for the Yorkshire Branch meeting in February. The presentation was given by Amanda Dowson, Managing Director and Specialist Practitioner in Occupational Health Nursing and Safety Management for Peritus Health Management.   

Amanda talked about a number of jobs where fitness for work assessments were expected, and accepted as the norm (i.e. police, airline pilots, divers, firefighters, HGV drivers, food handlers and military personnel).  She also discussed other roles where fitness for work assessments were also necessary but not necessarily undertaken (teachers, child carers, scaffolders, electricians, and school crossing patrol workers).

Amanda explained the requirement that any limitations on fitness to work should be based on a legitimate and justifiable reason. She discussed the need to:

  • look at workplace hazards;

  • assess the risks to individuals (or others) from existing medical or health problems; and

  • use these risk assessments to create fitness for work criteria.

Various national, international, professional and regulatory standards were referred to as providing guidance, including the Latvian requirement for monthly health checks for Prostitutes.  Amanda showed different examples of how this information may be documented and recommended that fitness for work should be considered:

  • at the pre-employment stage (after the job has been offered);
  • during or immediately following sickness absence;
  • where changes in health status have been reported; and
  • periodically for high risk tasks.

Glasgow bin lorry crash driver ‘would have been deemed unfit to drive’

Glasgow bin lorry
Press association 7 August 2015

Six people were killed in the centre of Glasgow just before Christmas.

The tragic incident of the Glasgow bin lorry driver who did not declare his history of blackouts or loss of consciousness to the company doctor was discussed. This served as a reminder to all attendees to ensure that their processes were ‘fit for purpose’.

The presentation was followed by a lengthy question and answer session on specific situations which demonstrated the interest held by all those who attended. 

Podbean - Presentation

The Yorkshire Branch arranges its branch meetings in order to provide opportunities for members to meet, network with other members, ask questions and to attend informative presentations for free.

For those members who are unable to attend the meetings, or wish to re-visit presentations on particular subjects, with the speaker’s permission we record the presentations and convert these to Podcasts.

IOSH: Log on to IOSH main website using your log in details.

Yorkshire Branch: Select your branch.

Members Only: Chose this tab

Podcast Library Access: Follow the instruction on this page to access podbean. There you will find the latest podbean and many others form previous Yorkshire branch meetings.