Many organizations have introduced post-hire and periodic medical exams to address the hazard that common health conditions pose in the workplace and to promote a healthy and safe workforce in the short and long term. Introducing medical exams into health and safety standards is a critical measure for managing health risks in the workforce, as well as risks to the public.
Establishing medical fitness is common practice in the Canadian workforce; in fact, it is mandated by many pieces of federal legislation, under the authority of Transport Canada, Labour Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS).
Statistical data underscores both the short and long-term risk of sudden incapacitation and cognitive impairment within the Canadian population. According to recent data from Statistics Canada, 15% of the population (five million people) do not have a family physician, 17.1% report having high blood pressure, 6.3% of females and 5.4% of males are diagnosed with diabetes, and according to Transport Canada, 2% of the population will have a seizure in their lifetime.
Many organizations have introduced post-hire and periodic medical exams to address the hazard that common health conditions pose in the workplace and to promote a healthy and safe workforce in the short and long term.
The nursing medical exam with physician review is an ideal choice for employers seeking to mitigate the risk that health conditions pose on the job. The medical exam is available nationally and assesses medical status quickly, offering critical flexibility and responsiveness in a competitive recruitment environment. The exam consists of a comprehensive history, current health status, a review of the physiological systems, and a physical examination.
The medical exam takes 45 minutes to an hour to complete and consists of four parts:
Introducing medical exams into health and safety standards is a critical measure for managing health risks in the workforce, as well as risks to the public. The exams are often done to achieve legislative or contractual compliance, but they are now emerging as a new minimum standard of due diligence for all safety-sensitive industries.
The main purpose of the medical is to identify any immediate medical risks to individuals operating in safety-sensitive roles or environments. The goal of the assessment is to determine whether an individual is fit to perform his or her job without risk to him/herself, others and the environment.
An employer’s duty to address short-term medical risks is well established. Short-term medical risks are classified as a sudden incapacitation or cognitive impairment—both of which prevent the safe performance of job duties.
*These events are also some of the main causes of cognitive impairment.
An employer’s responsibility to complete due diligence to address long-term risks is also well established.
The medical exam is designed to identify emerging risks and prevent future risks on the job.
Employees in many industries and roles are legally obligated to undergo health monitoring. These include:
According to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, all employers have a duty to “Provide for safety-related medical examinations and tests for workers as prescribed.”
Additionally, an emerging trend is for work sites to mandate baseline medical fitness status as a condition of entry. In these cases, a failure to meet the site requirements results in a contractual violation.
Employers of safety-sensitive operations who proactively take steps to address workplace hazards achieve greater fiscal success and operational stability, and promote a culture of productivity and safety.
Safety is the most basic requirement of attraction and retention in a safety-sensitive workplace. If personal safety is in question, no other benefits matter. Employers who recognize and address all the possible risks to the safety of their workforce demonstrate a higher level of commitment and are rewarded by attracting, retaining, and engaging a safe and productive workforce.
For any questions regarding occupational health testing, please contact your sales associate at CannAmm or Mark Pearce, Occupational Health Specialist: firstname.lastname@example.org.