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Occupational Health


The new employee health assessment process is summarised in the flow chart: OHG02 Occupational Health Recruitment Guidance Flowchart

As shown in the flowchart the new employee health assessment is separated into two processes based on the Job Hazard Evaluation Form and Guidance. Only jobs that require health surveillance/immunisation to protect the employee against health risks or in jobs where sudden incapacity could pose a risk to safety, or jobs where there is a regulatory or safety requirement for a health assessment (most clinical, animal facility, garden maintenance and workshop staff) will require specific health screening by Occupational Health (OH).

If health screening/surveillance is required as determined by the Job Hazard Evaluation Form (OHF29), OH will be notified by the recruiter and conduct the relevant baseline health surveillance prior to or on commencement and inform the department or the outcome. In some circumstances the department should not allow individuals to commence specific duties until OH advice has been received e.g., classified radiation work; work with hazard group 3 pathogens.

However, in no circumstances should a requirement for a health screening/surveillance be treated as essential before employment (i.e. recorded as essential in CHRIS and RAS). This is because it should always be possible for new employees to conduct other duties which do not require health screening/surveillance if this process has not been completed before they commence employment. The aim of health screening/surveillance is to protect employees against risks to their health during employment and identify any required reasonable adjustments.

For all new employees (academic, academic-related, researchers and assistant staff) a simple work health declaration (OHF30)will be sent with the job offer letter and the new staff member asked to return the completed declaration to the recruiting officer before the individual starts work. This will be kept in the person's departmental personal file. Occupational Health will not routinely be involved in this assessment, unless health surveillance or screening is also indicated. Should specific advice be required from the individual or the recruiting officer in relation to work and health, the applicant will be referred to Occupational Health using the OHF04 On-Offer Referral Form. Administration and office based support staff will not routinely be screened by occupational health but complete this simple work health declaration.

For some jobs (marked with * in the eligibility section below), screening will be delayed until the person is due to start the specific work for which a health assessment is required, although individuals who are aware they have health problems which may require additional attention will be encouraged to advise Occupational Health at the earliest opportunity to ensure they are adequately protected in the workplace.


Screening will continue for new staff in jobs that involve:

  1. Contact with patients or young children (including NHS Honorary Contract Clearance)
  2. Work with laboratory animals
  3. Laboratory work with Category 3 human pathogens* and unscreened human blood or tissue
  4. Other work requiring health surveillance e.g., noise / HAVS
  5. Classified Radiation Workers*
  6. Safety-critical work
  7. Fork lift truck and UMS messenger drivers
  8. Food handling
  9. Security work

* Screening to be delayed until the person is due to start the specific work for which a health assessment is required.


  1. The recruiting officer will complete the OHF29 Job Hazard Evaluation Form and, where the job role indicates a need to do so, forward a copy to OH, keeping the original in the new employee's personal file. This form replaces the hazard section of the pre-employment health form. An appointment will then be arranged and the employee and recruiting officer informed. The outcome will be notified to the new member of staff and to the recruiting officer.
  2. For some work the assessment may be deferred until the new member of staff is due to commence the specific activity as details of the work pertinent to the health assessment may not be known on commencement of employment e.g., hazard group 3 pathogens.
  3. Individuals will be asked to declare any disability on the OHF30 Work Health Declaration form, which they return to the recruiting officer with their acceptance letter. If they require any specific adjustment or support to accommodate a disability or health problem the line manager/recruiting officer can refer the individual to OH for advice using the OHF04 On-Offer Referral Form. Following an OH assessment, either telephone or face-to-face, specific recommendations will be provided to the manager/recruiting officer.

Recommendations to accommodate a health problem or disability

Where a person has a health problem that may limit their fitness for specific tasks, or require some adjustment to duties or specific support measure to protect their health, or which may significantly affect attendance OH will advise the person’s line manager of this.  Recommendations on measures to accommodate a health problem or disability should be implemented whenever it is reasonably practical to do so.


All information on health provided by a member of staff OH is held in medical confidence.
Recommendations on necessary adjustments will include information on the effects of a health problem or disability usually without disclosure of the underlying medical condition.
The information provided should be treated as sensitive and disclosed to others only if necessary for them to assist in the effective implementation of adjustments or with the individual’s consent.

Further Information

Specific enquiries about new employee health assessments should be addressed with Occupational Health