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New guidance on plant operator medical fitness

Strategic Forum Plant Safety Group issues new industry guidance on medical fitness to operate construction plant

THE Strategic Forum Plant Safety Group has been working in conjunction with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), UK Contractors Group (UKCG), Constructing Better Health (CBH), occupational health providers, and others to draw up a new guidance aimed specifically at the management of medical fitness issues for persons operating plant.

The Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) published the document on behalf of the Strategic Forum Plant Safety Group on 6 February 2013, and the new guidance was launched at the Executive Hire Show in Coventry, at an outreach meeting of the Strategic Forum Plant Safety Group.

The guidance has been prepared by the industry to provide clarity about the medical fitness assessment process, and outlines the steps that should be taken by employers in ensuring that plant operators have an appropriate level of fitness.

In particular, it deals with planning, setting up and implementation of medical fitness assessment arrangements, including the medical fitness aspects of recruitment and managing those employees who may develop health problems while at work. Contents include advice on medical standards and choosing an occupational health service provider (OHSP).

There is also advice on assessment frequency. The guidance recommends that medical fitness assessments are normally carried out at three-year intervals, regardless of age.

Medical fitness and recruitment is also covered at length and there is a guide on what is deemed appropriate content for job advertisements and application forms. This section also talks about selection for interview, the interview itself and evaluation of candidates.

One of the purposes of medical assessments for construction plant operators is to be able to demonstrate to customers hiring plant operators that the operators are medically fit to undertake the tasks they are asked to do. Guidance is provided to help the employer in this.

All the guidance in the document is aimed at managers of both large and small organizations who might not have access to a human resources department. The guidance is available to download, free of charge, on the CPA website:

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