Safety Critical & Medicals Explained

Safety Critical Medical


As a recruitment consultant at Darcy Associates, I still struggle resourcing for positions that require Safety Critical Medicals. Whilst I understand it has never been a big requirement, times are changing. More contractors than ever are requiring Safety Critical workers to operate plant machinery on most building sites including carrying out rail and road works and even in confined spaces.

While many will see the Safety Critical Medical as a deterrent there will soon be no option but to get checked. It is quite quickly becoming the norm for Health & Safety on site to prevent injuries and avoid accidents that can be caused by ill health. In simple terms, if an operative lost consciousness while operating a 35 tonne Excavator, ADT or a Dozer - the results could be catastrophic which makes operating machinery a safety critical position.

Some of the positions within the construction are recognized as Safety Critical and a small amount of information and these include:

  • All mobile plant operators
  • High-speed road workers
  • Rail track side workers
  • Asbestos licensed operatives
  • Tunnelers, or those working in a confined space
  • Tasks carried out at heights
  • Others as identified by the risk assessment process
Safety Critical is important as ill health could compromise the ability of the worker to undertake tasks safely, thereby posing a risk for their own health & safety and others whom they work with.

Workers in these critical roles should not be suffering from medical conditions, or be taking medical treatment that is likely to cause:
  • Sudden loss of consciousness
  • Impairment of awareness or concentration
  • Sudden incapacity
  • Impairment of balance or co-ordination
  • Significant limitation of mobility
These tests are not a form of medical selection or disability discrimination. They are to keep the safety of others at the top of the priority and reduce accidents on site.

Failure to meet the medical standards will require a review with an occupational physician and an operational risk assessment before being permitted to continue to work in a safety critical role. This could be temporary restriction allowing further investigation and testing - depending on symptoms and clinical opinion.

If you would like helping securing your medical - we would love to help you. Darcy Associates has many contacts in the assessment industry and can help get your medical complete at a reasonable cost.

Call the office and speak to Nick Hazell for further help

BRISTOL 01172140052
LIVERPOOL 01513175440
LONDON 02039626990