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Construction Medicals

The construction industry is subject to some of the most stringent occupational health and safety regulations.

The 2014 update of the Construction Regulations in the Occupational Health and Safety Act sets out the requirement for comprehensive, risk-based medical testing for all construction workers.

The aim of the construction medical is to:

Determine whether the employee is physically and mentally fit to do the work.
Identify medical conditions that may render employees temporarily or permanently unable to perform their duties.
Determine whether the employee’s current health status may affect risks and safety at work for both the employee and other workers.
Issue recommendations to the employer on the necessary actions to protect and maintain the health of employees.
Occupational Health Nurse Practitioner

Our occupational medical practitioners (OMPs) and occupational health nurse practitioners (OHNPs) are highly experienced in conducting the necessary medical examination and completing the all-important Annexure 3 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, along with a medical certificate of fitness. This includes a “fit with restrictions” or “fit with conditions” certificate, if applicable.

Annexure 3 highlights the possible exposures to which an employee will be subjected, the job-specific requirements the employee face, and the protective equipment the employee needs to perform his or her duties as per his or her job description.

Our OMPs and OHNPs ensure each employee is given a full clinical assessment with all the required medical tests. We also identify the employee’s work conditions and risks and apply them in our testing methodology. This ensures a professional assessment with recommendations that are in the best interest of both the employee and the employer.

By law, construction workers fall into three categories, all requiring a medical certificate of fitness and a completed Annexure 3:

01.
General (limited risk exposure to dust, noise or hazardous chemicals).
02.
Working on heights (on moveable scaffolding/suspended platforms 1.5m and higher from the ground).
03.
Operators/drivers of tower cranes and/or mobile plant and construction vehicles.

In addition to construction medicals, we offer specialist training for workers in the industry, including working on heights and scaffold erecting and inspection. This training is available at our head office in Midrand.

FAQs

01. What is the difference between a Snellen and a Keystone eye test?
The Snellen eye test is a visual acuity test that is done using the Snellen standardised wall chart. It is primarily used to test distance/far vision. A Keystone test is done using the Keystone Vision Screener, which can, in addition to near and far vision, accurately test depth and colour perception and peripheral vision, for example. It is thus a far more complete eye test.
02. How often must a construction worker undergo a medical fitness test?
An employee in the construction field requires a pre-placement/entry medical fitness certificate before starting a job or project. If his or her contract is longer than a year, the employee would need another medical one year after the starting date of his or her employment. An exit medical is necessary when the job or project is finished, or if the employee resigns or is transferred to another position. Fit for employment medicals must be done annually and a fitness certificate is valid for one year.
03. What are the training requirements for construction workers?
The 2014 update of the Construction Regulations in the Occupational Health and Safety Act states: “No contractor may allow or permit any employee or person to enter any site unless that employee or person has undergone health and safety induction training pertaining to the hazards prevalent on the site at the time of entry.” To comply with this regulation, the contractor must ensure that all employees required to work on suspended platforms (working on heights) have the necessary training, which includes how to access and egress the suspended platform safely, and how to correctly operate the controls and safety devices of the equipment. The employees must also have information on the dangers related to the misuse of safety devices, as well as the procedures to be followed in case of an emergency or the discovery of a suspected defect in the equipment. Instructions on the use of a body harness are also mandatory.

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