Accidents in the workplace can occur in many ways and at different times. However, some sectors, such as the manufacturing industry, are prone to a higher risk of accidents than others.
According to the HSE, a fatal employee accident costs a business just shy of £100k. Non-fatal injuries cost a business £1,400 on average, but injuries that incapacitate an employee for at least 7 days cost 4X as much (£5,100). Statistics show that 3 in 4 of all company-reported accidents (usually the most severe) incapacitate the worker for 7 days or more.
To protect their workforces, comply with legislation and avoid litigation, it is essential that companies in the manufacturing industry take steps to perform Safety Critical Medicals for all employees who need them.
If your business has workers performing ‘Safety Critical’ roles, under current health and safety legislation, those workers must undergo annual Safety Critical Medical (SCM) checks and ensure they have a valid certificate of fitness. Certificates are valid for one to three years, depending on risk and age group, but the HSE recommends that SCMs are performed annually dependant on the job role.
The term ‘Safety Critical Work’ is defined as: “Any work where the ill health of an individual may compromise their ability to undertake a task defined as safety-critical, thereby posing a significant risk to the health and safety of others.”
It typically covers LGV and HGV drivers, plant or equipment operators, and anyone in contact with hazardous chemicals or fuels.
To ensure the safety of any workers carrying out safety-critical tasks and those around them, employers need to check that they are not suffering from medical conditions or undergoing any medical treatment which is likely to cause sudden loss of consciousness or impair their awareness, concentration, balance, coordination or mobility.
The actual tests done in a safety critical medical vary, depending on the job that the employee does.
The time taken for the medical varies, depending on the requirements of the job involved. A standard medical can take up to 60 minutes.
Our Occupational Health specialists will analyse the risks and make recommendations for the best approaches accordingly. Risks increase significantly when heavy equipment is in use. In the renewable sector, heavy blades, large plant machinery, extreme heights and offshore working conditions pose unique threats too that could cause serious injury or death to large numbers of people.
Some risks are not related to accidents, but to illness or injury caused by working conditions. Issues resulting from vibrating tools or equipment are a huge cause for concern in the manufacturing industry. Extreme levels of noise can result in loss of hearing or tinnitus, and excessive vibrations can also cause damage to the nerves and tendons in the hands, wrists, and arms. This can debilitate and reduce grip when operating a machine. Exposure to irritants such as inhalation of gases or skin issues also present risks in chemical-related industries.
To discuss your requirements with our Occupational Health Clinician, or get quotes for conducting Safety Critical Medicals for your employees, either on your own premises or at our Redcar Clinic, please call: 01642 495 420 or email Occ.Health@medacs.com