HSENI issued updated guidance on 28 April 2021. This advice issued on 24 August 2021 provides a further update, taking account of some coronavirus restrictions being removed in Northern Ireland whilst continuing to protect the health, safety and welfare of workers and practitioners.
The general principles set out below apply to assessments on both new workers and those undergoing periodic medicals, covering safety critical medicals, and health and medical surveillance where required under the following regulations, as approved for use in Northern Ireland:
- Control of Asbestos Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 - HSE (GB)
- Control of Lead at Work Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003 - HSE (GB)
- Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003 as amended - HSE (GB)
- Ionizing Radiations Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2017 - HSE (GB)
- Work in Compressed Air Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2004 - HSE (GB)
Previous guidance allowed deferral of some medicals subject to a satisfactory remote assessment. However, for any medicals due after 1 September 2021, occupational health providers should return to guidance on health surveillance for the relevant regulations and as below.
Face to face assessments for health surveillance and safety critical medicals should be subject to a suitable and sufficient risk assessment, putting in place appropriate controls, taking into account the public health advice on coronavirus.
Further information can be found at the following links:
- Risk Assessment during the Pandemic - HSE (GB)
- Coronavirus Working Safely NI Business Info - Invest NI & NI Direct
If health surveillance or safety critical medicals require spirometry, it should be subject to a suitable and sufficient risk assessment with appropriate controls put in place, taking into account public health advice on coronavirus including the provision of suitable personal protective equipment.
HSENI will review this guidance as appropriate.