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The Order of Employees’ Medical Examination

Viimati uuendatud: 26.02.2017

The working environment risk assessment determining the hazardous factors that the employee comes in contact with is the basis for sending the employee to a medical examination.

The employer is obliged to organize a medical examination:

  • for employees whose health may be influenced by a risk factor of the working environment or by the nature of the work;
  • after employees come to contact with physical (e.g., noise and vibration), chemical (e.g. asbestos dust, lead), biological (e.g. mould that could cause allergies) or ergonomical working environment hazards;
  • for employees forced to look at display monitors;
  • in the case of other risk factors or a working mode that could cause work-related illnesses (e.g. psychosocial risk factors that could cause changes in the employee’s physical form);
  • for night shift employees prior to starting night shifts, and regularly during working night shifts. A night shift employee is a person working during night-time (22:00 – 06:00) for at least three hours of their daily work time, or at least a third of their yearly worktime.

Physical risk agents must also be taken into account which do not cause occupational illnesses but could cause serious injuries (e.g. moving or sharp parts of devices and equipment, lack of lighting, risk of falling or electric shock).

If the employee in contact with such risk factors is sent to a medical examination due to some other risk factor, it is recommended to check counter-indications for other risk factors or working modes that the employee comes in contact with as well. In this case, the additional purpose of the medical examination is to determine the employee’s suitability to carry out one or another hazardous work task.

A medical examination is not required if the risk assessment states that:

  • the workplace does not have any risk factors;
  • the employee has minimum contact with the risk factor (e.g. the chemical risk factor has been measured and the concentration is significantly below the marginal rate);
  • the exposure to the risk factor is minimal (1-2 hours per week).

However, the two latter examples should be interpreted with caution as each person is unique and a health problem might also occur when they are exposed to a chemical that seems harmless.

The employer retains a right to impose stricter occupational health and safety requirements in the company than legally stipulated – for example, a mandatory medical examination for all employees regardless of the risk factor extent, exposure time, etc. In the case of certain biological risk factors, it might occur that despite a high risk level, a medical examination is not grounded – for example, when the illness is avoidable with an efficient vaccine (tick-borne encephalitis, rabies, flu, and hepatitis of types A, B and C) and the need for a medical examination is practically absent because the illness does not start slowly, but has a specific pattern instead: contact, incubation period, falling ill.

NB! A medical examination is organized during worktime and at the cost of the employer.

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