4: HEALTH ASSESSMENTS FOR NIGHT WORKERS
- If you
are an employer you must offer night workers a free health assessment
before they start working nights and on a regular basis while
they are working nights. In many cases it will be appropriate
to do this once a year, though employers can offer a health
assessment more than once a year if they feel it is necessary.
do not have to take the opportunity to have a health assessment
(but it must be offered by the employer).
- A health
assessment can be made up of two parts: a questionnaire and
a medical examination. The latter is only necessary if the employer
has doubts about the worker’s fitness for night work.
should get help from a suitably qualified health professional
when devising and assessing the questionnaire. This could be
from a doctor or nurse who understands how night working might
- The health
assessment should take into account the type of work that will
be done and the restrictions on the worker’s working time under
- If a worker
suffers from problems which are caused or made worse by night
work, the employer should transfer him or her to day work if
- New and
expectant mothers should be given special consideration.
consideration should be given to young workers’ suitability
for night work, taking account of their physique, maturity and
| Employers must
- How to conduct the health
- How often health checks
should be carried out.
- Whether any workers
should be transferred to day work.
- What records need to
be kept [more].
To be sure
workers are fit for night work, employers must offer a free health
assessment to anyone who is about to start working nights and
to all night workers on a regular basis.
and working at night
should regularly assess the health and safety risks to which
their workers are exposed. They should identify hazards, assess how harmful
they could be and take steps to reduce any risks.
It is rare
that someone cannot work at night at all because of a medical
condition. However, some workers may be more at risk working at
night if they suffer from certain medical conditions.
workers and workers subject to the Road Transport Directive
Although excluded from the night work limit in the Working
Time Regulations, mobile workers and workers subject to the Road
Transport Directive who are 'night workers' are entitled to health
assessments under the Regulations.
employers should assess workers’ health
As an employer
it is suggested you take two steps to be sure workers are fit
to work nights.
1: You ask workers to fill in a questionnaire which asks
specific questions about their health which are relevant to
the type of night work they will be doing.
2: If you are not certain they are fit for night work following
the questionnaire results, you ask them to have a medical examination.
assessments must be offered before someone starts working nights.
They should then be repeated on a regular basis afterwards.
here for a sample health questionnaire.
When the questionnaire
has been answered by the night worker, it should be checked. Please
remember that some people may not want to say they have a medical
condition in case it affects their chances to work. If there are
any doubts as to whether someone is fit for night work, the employer
should ask the worker to have a medical examination.
for a medical examination to be carried out, employers should
explain to the doctor or nurse what type of work is involved.
examination may produce two types of information:
- A simple
fitness-for-work statement which will be given to the employer.
information which is confidential and can only be released to
an employer (or any other third party) with the worker's written
to do if a worker is unfit for night work?
If a qualified
health professional advises that a night worker is suffering from
health problems caused by or made worse by working at night, the
worker has a right to be transferred, if possible, to suitable
do these rules not apply?
to do if you are not receiving your rights as a worker
records do employers need to keep?