Imperial Health at Work
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Q&A

Do you employ any night/ lone workers?

Night worker assessments

Do you have people working for you regularly at night? Are you aware of your legal obligation to offer health checks for these employees? Are you confident your night workers don’t have any medical conditions or medication requirements which may be affected by them working at night? The Working Time Regulations 1998 require that employers offer free health assessments for workers who are required to work regularly at night and periodically thereafter. A ‘night worker’ under these regulations is someone whose daily work includes at least three hours of night time: on most or some of the days they work, as specified in a collective or workforce agreement, or often enough for it to be said that they work such hours ‘as a normal course’ (ie. on a regular basis). A Court ruling has said that a worker who worked at night for one third of their working time was a night worker. Occasional, or ad hoc, work at night doesn’t make the employee a night worker. Working at night doesn’t pose significant health risks to most workers. However, it can affect some people’s health, which may mean they need to be transferred onto day work. Some conditions that may be affected by night work include diabetes, epilepsy, some respiratory conditions, depression and anxiety, as well as other conditions, particularly where medications have to be taken at strict intervals. In some cases, night work may affect an employee’s medication schedule, which could make their condition more unstable or cause other problems. Night worker health checks can help you identify employees in any of these groups and allow you to access effective advice.

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