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For all organisations, keeping staff safe and well is a growing priority. It not only reduces staff absence and the associated costs but also helps improve employee engagement and retention rates when employers show a clear commitment to staff health.

As well as being vital for staff wellbeing, some organisations have a legal requirement to complete staff medicals, known as statutory medicals. So, what’s the difference between health surveillance and statutory medicals and what do employees need?

What’s the difference between health surveillance and statutory medicals?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) describes health surveillance as; “a system of ongoing health assessment, monitoring and surveillance of employees who are exposed to health risks at work”. Put simply; health surveillance is a form of risk assessment for identifying health hazards in the workplace.

Statutory medicals, however, are legally required health assessments, ideally completed by HSE-approved doctors. This medical will include examinations and questions to check whether the work the employee completes is not having an adverse effect on their health.

Who requires a statutory medical?

A statutory medical examination is a legal requirement for employees exposed to health hazards such as dust, noise, vibration and radiation exposure. It is a requirement under certain regulations such as:

  • The Work in Compressed Air Regulations 1996
  • The Diving at Work Regulations 1997
  • The Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999
  • The Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002
  • The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (as amended)
  • The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006

As well as statutory medicals, there are also safety-critical medicals. These are not legal requirements but are considered best practices when ensuring employees are fit and healthy to work on-site.

Why are statutory medicals and health surveillance important?

The purpose of both statutory medicals and health surveillance is to spot the signs of ill health and wellbeing quickly and make proactive changes to work activities where necessary and possible.

By spotting the signs early, it is easier to make changes to protect employee health and improve business processes too.

For best practice, a workplace surveillance program will include pre-employment screening, regular health surveillance and exit health screening to ensure there is sufficient data to detect changes to an employee’s health.

Booking statutory medicals for your team

Take the stress out of collating and assessing health surveillance data with us. Our HSE-approved doctors are on hand to complete statutory medicals to ensure legal compliance and make monitoring employee health as straightforward as possible. Get in touch with our team today to find out how we can help you.