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When do I need Medicals in my Safety file for my employees?

In South Africa, employers are required to provide a safe working environment for their employees, and this includes conducting medical examinations if necessary. The need for medical examinations in a safety file will depend on the nature of the work and any potential health risks that employees may face in the course of their job.

For example, employees who work with hazardous materials, operate heavy machinery, or work in environments with high levels of noise or radiation may need to undergo regular medical examinations to ensure they are fit for duty.

The frequency and type of medical examination required will depend on the specific risks involved in the job and any regulations or industry standards that apply.

It’s always advisable to consult with an occupational health and safety specialist or a qualified medical professional to determine the specific requirements for your workplace and your employees.

According to the OHSA, employers must ensure that employees undergo a pre-employment medical examination if the job they are being hired for is likely to pose a risk to their health or safety. In addition, regular medical surveillance may be required for employees who work with hazardous substances or in hazardous conditions, or who have been exposed to health risks as a result of their job.

Medicals keep both employers and employees safe.

Without medicals, it would be very difficult to disprove a claim from an employee. Employers can be found guilty and sentenced for anything that contravenes the Occupational Health and Safety Act, unless they can prove they took all reasonable steps to prevent it. Consulting with an occupational health practitioner is the best way to ensure you’re up to date in the ever-changing landscape of occupational health and safety regulations. (Section 42 of the OHS)

Check out our Safety File Template already set up just to add your medicals in

You get Three types of medicals

  1. ENTRY/ pre-employment medical examination – determine the health status
  2. ANNUAL/ baseline medical – to compare old and new certificates
  3. EXIT/ exit medical examination – will protect your company against future claims It will serve as proof of the employees’ health when he/she left your company.

What is Exit medicals?

Besides the medicals required by law in dangerous workplaces, such as construction sites and workshops, there are three types of occupational medicals: pre-employment, annual, and exit medicals. Legally, a person moving from a non-hazardous to a hazardous department would need to undergo a pre-employment medical – even within the same company. An employee moving from a hazardous to a non-hazardous department would also require an exit medical. (OHS Hazardous Chemical Substances Regulation)

Mine Health and Safety Act No. 29 of 1996 and Regulations In terms of section, employers are required to arrange an exit medical for employees. Failure to comply with the act can result in a maximum fine of up to 1 million ZAR.

It’s always advisable to consult with an occupational health and safety specialist or a qualified medical professional to determine the specific requirements for your workplace and your employees in South Africa.

Check out our Safety File Template already set up just to add your medicals in

Who can do medicals in South Africa?

In South Africa, medical examinations can be conducted by a qualified medical practitioner who is registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). This includes general practitioners, occupational health practitioners, and specialists such as doctors, nurses, and radiologists.

The specific qualifications and expertise required for conducting medical examinations will depend on the nature of the examination and the risks associated with the job. For example, an occupational health practitioner may be best suited to conducting pre-employment medical assessments, while a specialist in radiology may be needed to conduct X-rays or other imaging tests.

It’s important to ensure that the medical practitioner conducting the examination is appropriately qualified and experienced, and that the examination is performed in accordance with the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and any other relevant regulations or industry standards.

In general, it’s recommended that employers use medical practitioners who are experienced in conducting occupational health assessments and are familiar with the specific requirements for their industry. Employers should also ensure that the results of medical examinations are kept confidential and used only for the purposes for which they were obtained.

Here is a list of some occupations that need medicals in South Africa

  1. Work with hazardous substances: Employees who work with hazardous substances or materials may need to undergo regular medical examinations to ensure they are fit for duty and to monitor for any health effects from exposure.
  2. Work at heights: Employees who work at heights or in high-risk environments may need to undergo medical examinations to ensure they are physically and mentally fit to perform their duties.
  3. Work with heavy machinery: Employees who operate heavy machinery may need to undergo medical examinations to ensure they are physically fit and do not have any medical conditions that could affect their ability to operate the machinery safely.
  4. Work in confined spaces: Employees who work in confined spaces may need to undergo medical examinations to ensure they are fit for the specific conditions and risks associated with that type of work.
  5. Work with hazardous noise levels: Employees who work in environments with hazardous noise levels may need to undergo regular medical examinations to monitor their hearing and check for any damage.

It’s important to note that the specific requirements for medical certificates will vary depending on the industry and the regulations that apply. Employers should consult with an occupational health and safety specialist or a qualified medical professional to determine the specific requirements for their workplace and their employees.

Check out our Safety File Template already set up just to add your medicals in

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