Night Workers and Shift Workers
General Health and Shift Work
Shift workers, particularly those who work at night, maybe at risk of ill health because shift work can disturb our body clock, disturb sleep and cause fatigue.
In recognition of the particular risk to night workers, the Working Time Directives 1988 include a right for these workers to receive free health assessments.
Individual and social factors may also contribute to the risk of ill health effects.
Shift work may exacerbate existing health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy and psychiatric illness.
General tips to improve health and wellbeing if you are a night shift worker can be found at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/humanfactors/topics/shift-workers.htm
Health AssessmentNight workers are entitled to a free health assessment. This should be offered before the member of staff commences night work and to all existing night workers on a regular basis.
The health assessment consists of a Night Workers Health Questionnaire and a follow up health interview/telephone call if appropriate.
The questionnaires will be sent on a biannual basis. This will be initiated by the Occupational Health Service.
All completed health questionnaires will be assessed by the Occupational Health Adviser in confidence and a statement of fitness sent to the manager.
General advice on fitness to work will also be given if appropriate e.g. where the individual's ability to work nights has been affected by a particular health problem. In such cases, written consent will always be obtained.