Night Worker Screening
Remote health assessment for night shift workers
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Night Worker Screening

Night work is strongly tied with disrupted sleep patterns and natural bodily rhythms. Therefore, this could have an effect on not just the safety and effectiveness of performance but also the health of the workers. Links have also been identified between night work and digestive disorders, heart disease, headaches, and stress. Also, it could worsen some existing health conditions such as epilepsy, depression, anxiety, diabetes, or any other ongoing condition that requires regular medication.

Night workers are entitled to regular health checks, and as an employer you are required to offer repeat assessments. In situations where health problems are as a result of night work, employers must offer an appropriate work alternative if they can. Also, you should keep records of worker health assessments for up to two years and if an employee declined an assessment then you should record the dates it was offered.

These assessments come under the Working Time Regulations 1999 which also state that a night-worker is someone who normally works at least three hours a night – between 11pm and 6am, although workers and employees may agree to vary this.

Employers must offer night-workers a free assessment but completion of the assessment by the worker is voluntary.

Our questionnaire screening forms part of the on-site Occupational Health Advisor provision and individuals can be referred for a medical in the event of any medical trigger points being identified.

Health tips for night shift workers

As well as creating shift patterns to ensure there is enough rest time between working hours and providing healthy food options onsite for night workers, further advice you can offer to your night shift employees include:

  • Avoiding morning exercises as it promotes wakefulness.
  • If possible, try not to go to bed on an empty stomach. If you aren’t feeling hungry at that time, drinking a glass of any dairy product can help to induce sleep.
  • Steer clear of all caffeinated drinks as they could disrupt sleep, this includes tea, coffee, and fizzy drinks.
  • Eat meals at the same time every day to help maintain your body clock and routine.
  • Increase your vitamin D intake to make up for the reduced exposure to daylight.

Benefits of Screening

From experience there are a number of benefits to screening night workers at your business:

  • Demonstrates compliance with HSE regulations
  • Provides a cost-effective triage method for employers, focusing further assistance only where it is needed
  • Highlights any medical conditions that may become worse by working night-time hours
  • Provides recommendations to support employees transitioning to night work

How does it work?

Our night-worker screening questionnaire is available online or in a paper format for employees and it can be offered to employees annually, or on a more regular basis if employers feel it is necessary.

If the employee wishes to complete the assessment, they will complete the comprehensive questionnaire and submit it to our team along with their signed consent form

The results will be reviewed by our specialist Occupational Health advisers and a telephone call will be placed to discuss anything which may have been highlighted, taking into account the type of work that will be done and the restrictions on the worker’s working time under the regulations.

A fitness letter will be created and this will either:

  • Confirm employee is suitable for night work (with or without adjustments)
  • Recommend that employee is not suitable for night work
  • Recommend further investigation by a Doctor or specialist before a decision can be made

Medical conditions taken into consideration:

  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Heart disease
  • Intestinal problems
  • Kidney disease
  • Thyroid or glandular disease
  • Mental illness
  • Chronic sleep problems
  • Back, joint and neck problems
  • Asthma and pulmonary disorders

If an employee suffers from one or more of the above conditions it does not automatically mean that they are unsuitable for night-working.

The medical conditions will be identified, along with all risk factors, and then advice given so that they can be managed effectively within the role – ensuring that the employee’s health, or other people’s safety, remains unaffected.

Contact My Occ Health Today

To enquire about night worker screenings call 0330 094 5866, email or complete our contact form below.