What are Night Worker health assessments and why are they necessary?

The Working Time Directive Regulations require employers to identify those employees who work long hours or shift patterns. Under the Working Time Regulations 1998, employers are required to ensure that workers are fit for night work and must offer a free health assessment to anyone who is about to start working nights and to all-night workers on a regular basis.

The purpose of a Night Worker Health Assessment is to determine whether an employee is medically fit to undertake night work or has any underlying conditions that may be affected by the employee working nights.

Most Night Workers’ assessments are paper-based health questionnaires that are reviewed by an Occupational Health Adviser on an annual basis. If required, a referral for a telephone or face-to-face consultation can be advised.

Frequently asked questions

Do I have to have a night worker health assessment?

Workers do not have to accept a health assessment, and a record will be kept of the dates when assessments were offered (if a worker did not want one)

Why are night worker health assessments necessary?

  • Irregular hours of work and work patterns that include night and early morning shifts can lead to disruption of the internal body clock, sleeping difficulties and fatigue.
  • If workers are fatigued, they will be less alert, their reaction time will be slower, they will find it harder to concentrate, and they may make poor decisions. This can lead to accidents and injuries.
  • There are certain medical conditions which may require taking regular medication, and this may be difficult to administer when working shifts/nightwork.
  • There may be a requirement for workplace adjustments for some employees.

How long does a night worker health assessment take?

Most Night Workers’ Assessments are paper Questionnaires and will normally take 20 minutes to complete. If a Referral to a Clinician is advised, these would normally be approximately 45 – 60 minutes.

As occupational health providers, we help ensure that you and your employees are compliant with our health surveillance and safety-critical medicals.

Call us today and take the first step to a safer night work environment.