Occ health: Municipal initial health assessments (IHE)

MUNICIPAL INITIAL HEALTH ASSESSMENTS

Pre-placement assessments are not necessarily the same as pre-employment assessments. Preplacement assessments imply that the person is already in the employ of the organisation at time of clinical examination. The term initial health assessment (IHE) is a better term to use for evaluating prospective candidates prior to employment

PURPOSE OF THE MUNICIPAL IHE
The purpose of the IHE is to find a good man-job fit

PROCEDURE OF THE MUNICIPAL IHE
– The employee presents for a pre-placement examination
– The employee fills in the health questionnaire describing the health issues the employee has. The form requires information on previous illnesses, previous occupational workplaces and hazards in those occupations and hobbies. The prospective employee signs consent that clinical information may be collected. The prospective employee certifies that they are giving correct information.
– The prospective employee is examined by the OMP or ONP
– The prospective employee goes for special investigations performed by the ONP (spirometry, urine testing, drug screening, eye testing, audiometry testing)
– The prospective employees are referred to their own practitioners if any pathology is noted which can adversely their ability to work
– The diseased employee brings back a medical report from their own practitioner and the OMP makes a decision on fitness-to-work taking equity and disability issues into consideration
– The OMP and ONP issue a certificate on fitness to work; “Not fit for work”,”Fit for work, without restrictions”,”Fit for work, but with restrictions”
– The certificate indicates suitability or rejection, whether the employee is disabled or not, and whether the employee must be registered onto a medical surveillance program or not. The document must also indicate whether an exit health evaluation should be performed at the employee exiting the organisation. The certificate should indicate whether there are any restrictions the employee has in the performance of their job
– The certificate of fitness is signed by the employee and sent to the employer (Human Resources). A copy is kept on the file

KEY INFORMATION NEEDED IN MUNICIPAL IHE
– Demographics and particulars of the applicant
– Previous illnesses, treatments and medication usage
– Previous jobs, exposures and hobbies

SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS PERFORMED IN A MUNICIPAL IHE

SPIROMETRY Welders, fire fighters, boilermakers, electricians, printers

AUDIOMETRY Noise area workers such as boilermakers, fitter and turners, fire personell, shooting range officers, jack hammer operators, lawnmower operators

VISUAL FIELD AND VISUAL ACUITY
Operational drivers such as tractor drivers, forklift drivers, municipal light and heavy vehicle drivers and lower cadre managers with vehicle allowances.

COLOUR BLINDNESS TESTING
Electricians
DRUG SCREENING

Traffic officers, heavy vehicle drivers C1 and higher