In terms of regulation 7 of the Hazardous Chemical Substances Regulations of 1995, medical examinations and tests must be conducted on farms, in cellars, and in production facilities. These medical assessments should be done in cases when employees have been identified in the risk assessment as being exposed to the below risks:
- Exposure to hazardous chemicals
- Exposure to harmful biological agents
- Insufficient ergonomic practices
- Negative psychological impacts
- Extreme/high levels of physical work
On farms, handling and contact with pesticides or other agro-chemicals is fairly common. Workers who come into regular contact with pesticides should be identified as part of the risk assessment to undergo medical screening. Typically, the focus is placed on spray operators as the most obvious candidates for testing; however, there are often other workers that should be considered. Examples include stock controllers, store clerks, workers that provide assistance with mixing, and even workers who clean areas where chemicals are stored and used. It is furthermore important to remember that these medical screenings must be conducted by a registered Occupational Health Practitioner. The frequency and potential further action will be determined by the practitioner following an employee’s evaluation.
For more information on medical screening, feel free to visit the SIZA Health and Safety Management Guide for Agriculture.