What is occupational health screening?
The occupational health screening aims to detect work-related diseases at an early stage in order to be able to act in time. This preventive examination is fundamentally defined in the ordinance on hazardous substances and in the catalog of tasks of the company physician of the Occupational Safety Law.
The occupational health screening is based on the duty of care of employers under labor law. This duty is defined among other things in the Work Protection Law. The creation of appropriate working conditions prevents the development of work-related health problems. By the respective and individual precautionary measures can be prevented that illnesses aggravate.
Employers are obliged to enable occupational health screening as well as to bear the costs incurred for it. Occupational health screening usually takes place during working hours. All findings during the examination are subject to medical confidentiality. The information is not passed on. The employer only receives a certificate of the examination performed and the date of the next occupational health checkup.
What is the procedure for an occupational health screening?
At the beginning of the preventive medical examination,basic questions about previous illnesses and current work-related complaints are asked. On this basis, a medical history sheet is prepared. In addition to a physical examination, special examinations may be performed.
Occupational medical screening includes:
- the assessment of work conditions, stresses and hazards.
- the recommendation of improvement measures of the working conditions.
- occupational medicine-based recommendations for the control of workplaces.
- the individual occupational health examination.
The examination include depending on the industry and activity the following priorities. The examination:
- of the eyes by an eye test with a test of color vision, spatial vision, contrast vision, glare sensitivity or visual field determination be.
- of the ears by a hearing test.
- An ECG to measure cardiac function.
- a pulmonary function test and a chest x-ray.
- in the form of a psychometric performance test or laboratory testing of blood and urine.
The respective preventive examinations depend on the specific hazards in the workplace and can vary greatly depending on the industry.
In general, an appropriate screening should be carried out before starting work. Basically, it is a second examination before the end of the following six months and any further examination every 36 months take place.
The occupational health screening may only be carried out by physicians who are specialists in occupational medicine or have training in occupational medicine. When assessing working conditions, close cooperation with the occupational safety specialist is expedient.