The importance of the medical examination at work

What is the importance of the medical examination at work? In terms of safety at work, the health surveillance activity carried out by the occupational doctor has always been of great importance.

This is carried out in accordance with the provisions of the consolidated text on the safety and health of workers. But let’s see more specifically the process that leads to its implementation in the company. To do this, we take a cue from an article on the company’s blog Sicurya.

It is a company specialized in services regarding safety at work. From training to instrumental investigations. The multitude of services offered can guarantee a complete range to companies. Such as to enable them to face all these complex issues with serenity.

The goal of health surveillance

The primary objective of health surveillance is to protect the health of the worker. More precisely, this activity aims to prevent the onset of any occupational diseases which are often irreversible.

Since any pathologies usually manifest themselves over a fairly long period of time, usually several years of exposure. Here the medical examination at work is placed in a context that is that of prevention. That is, the activity carried out by the competent doctor aims to support the employer in choosing the correct measures to be taken.

The figures who benefit from this activity are not only those of the workers but, if you think about it, also the employer himself. In fact, since this activity aims to protect workers this has immediate direct benefits.

First of all, workers will feel “safer” at work and therefore will be able to carry on the various work activities with due serenity. Furthermore, through the activity carried out by the competent doctor. The company reduces the risks due to having to then go to manage any limitations. In fact, these could also be particularly impacting from the point of view of productivity.

The medical examination as a tool to ensure safety at work

The employer has the obligation established by Legislative Decree 81/08 to protect the health and safety of its workers. In relation to this, each employer will have to carry out the risk assessment activity. To proceed with this activity will use the support of RSPP and competent doctor.

Specifically, the competent doctor evaluates for the various work activities present in the company which may be the risk factors that may have an impact on the health and safety of the worker himself.

On the basis of this evaluation, a document will be drawn up which takes the name of health and risk surveillance protocol. This document will indicate the medical examinations scheduled for each job and the relative frequency.

It should be noted that in general, with regard to the periodicity, there may be two situations in which a medical examination at work is necessary. The first is the one just indicated. That is, when the latter has expired and refers to the periodic company medical examination.

There are also a number of cases in which a medical examination is still necessary and these are indicated in the Legislative Decree 81/08 article 41. For example, during a change of duties, or in the event of absence from work for reasons of health if the same exceeds 60 days. Again, upon termination of the employment relationship, in very specific cases, and so on.

All these situations have been designed by the Legislator precisely with the aim of trying to guarantee the health and safety of workers at the highest level. Therefore, the visit is framed as a tool to check the health of the worker and from this perspective it can certainly be considered as one of the various safety measures.

The process linked to the medical examination at work

The Consolidated Law on health and safety at work provides that once the visit has been carried out, the competent doctor compiles a health and risk file which he will then have to update at subsequent visits.

This document records all sensitive information relating to the health of the worker. Clearly this document is managed in compliance with professional secrecy and the only people who can have access to it are, in fact, the doctor himself. That is, the inspection staff of the supervisory bodies.

In addition to this it is expected that, after the visit, the competent doctor issues the judgment of suitability for the specific task. In this document, the doctor provides a summary indication and without providing any information regarding any pathologies of the worker. The outcome of the medical examination.

This document containing the doctor’s judgment in relation to the work visit carried out on the worker must be delivered in copy both to the worker himself and to the employer.

In fact, it is very important that the employer is aware of the judgment of suitability for the job of the worker because only thanks to his knowledge will he be able to implement the doctor’s instructions aimed at guaranteeing the safety of his staff.

In fact, the judgment of suitability for the job could contain requirements to be respected, for example. In this case the employer will be required to put in place what is necessary to comply with them.

The various possibilities

One thing that should be pointed out is that the suitability judgment must always refer to one or more specific tasks. in fact, there is no worker who, after a medical examination, is suitable for all possible tasks. From miner to office work, through to productive worker or construction worker.

Therefore the suitability judgment must always refer to and be contextualized in relation to the job. Having clarified this important aspect, we can say that there are basically four situations that can arise.

The suitability judgment does not contain any limitation or prescription to the job performed. In this case there are no particular criticalities. If, however, the suitability judgment contains limitations. That is, prescriptions.

It will be the employer’s responsibility to prepare what is needed to comply with them. This may mean adopting appropriate organizational measures. Rather than adopting ergonomic measures by providing for adequate investments and so on.

A third possibility that may occur relates to a judgment of non-suitability or suitability with temporary limitations and / or prescriptions. This may, for example, be due to the fact that the worker presents a clinical picture that the competent doctor believes is rapidly evolving over time. In this case, the competent doctor will indicate the duration of validity of the judgment in question and clearly what indicated by the doctor must be respected.

Finally, a last case is represented by a judgment of permanent non-suitability for the job issued after the medical examination at work. In the latter case, the rule provides for a clear procedure. Where possible the worker can be assigned to another job. Otherwise, assuming clearly that you have to face an extreme situation, you could also resort to dismissal for just cause.

The unsuitability of the worker

Given the fact that typically cases that lead to the unsuitability of a worker presuppose very particular situations. We can say that this is certainly a situation that can be very unpleasant.

However, we must not forget that we are touching a good defended above all by the Constitution. That is people’s health. It is therefore something absolutely fundamental.

At this point we stop here without going further into the subject. For any doubts, however, we invite you to contact experts such as Sicurya Srl technicians.

Source: RSS Salute by

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