Do forklift drivers need to undergo medical in the UK? 


A forklift driver is accountable for transportation, conveying, loading, and unloading of goods from distribution centres or warehouses to the construction sites. 

Lift trucks are commonly used in industries or warehouses for transporting goods, However, these heavy vehicles also feature prominent accidents which could not only impact the health of the person, but also result in damage to expensive lift trucks, buildings, and goods.

Why do employers need medical from forklift drivers?

The employers need a medical from forklift drivers to affirm his ability to work. The employer could request a medical while applying for the job or during the work period. It is advisable to get the medical done if the employer request one to safeguard his employees.

It is a common procedure followed by the organisation to know the well-being of the employees before hiring them or on a customary basis at least annually or bi-annually to undergo the medical. 

It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure the safety of their employees and know if they are medically fit to work as the forklift operation involves strenuous physical movements.

 

Forklift drivers who operate forklift trucks should be physically fit and certify the same with a medical certificate to ensure they do not have a medical condition that could jeopardize their health or safety or the safety of the other employees who along with them. 

 

However, forklift drivers with any medical condition need not be excluded from working with forklift trucks, provided they get their medical check-ups and follow their GP’s advice regarding their ability to perform a particular task. 

 

How often do I get a medical done?

As per the driver and vehicle licensing agency (DVLA), medical for forklift drivers can be performed once between the age of 21-45. 

 

If the driver is between the age of 45-65 years, he needs to undergo a medical every 5 years, and the driver has to undergo a medical annually after the age of 65 years.

The frequency of follow-ups of the medical will be entirely based on the individual’s medical condition. 

 

The medical assessment is a prerequisite for forklift drivers set out in the official guidance document given by the health and safety executive (HSE) to ensure the safety of people working with forklift trucks based on HSG6 policy. 

 

What does the medical include?

 

Some medical tests are imperative to the kind of work the employee performs and the employer may compel the employees to undergo medical to understand their physical and medical abilities to conduct the assigned work. 

 

Most forklift driver’s medical assessment covers basic diagnostic tests that include:

  • Physical test (Height and weight) 
  • Vision test – 
  • Blood pressure test
  • Basic cardiac test
  • Lung functioning test 
  • Urine analysis 

The medical can further include a hearing test, an ECG, cardiovascular examination, kidney functioning test, and liver capacity. The medical assessment for alcohol and drug consumption can be performed reliant on the requirement of the employer. 

 

If the forklift driver has encountered a cardiac problem in the past, the doctor might suggest some additional tests, including:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) – a non-invasive and painless test to analyse the electrical activity of the heart. Based on the condition or stress, the driver might have to undergo an ECG by lying on the bed or walk on the treadmill to monitor heartbeat and body reaction to stress.
  • Echocardiogram – an ultrasound test performed to monitor related heart conditions including problems in the heart valves and chambers and determine the pumping action.
  • 24-hour mobile blood pressure monitoring test – a test performed on a continuous basis even while the individual sleeps to track the blood pressure and evaluate the heart activity. The test involves wearing the machine on the waist for throughout 24-hours that records the data.

 

What is the importance of employment medical for forklift drivers?

Performing a medical screening of drivers indisputably helps in maintaining safety in the workplace and reduce the risks of mishaps.

 

A forklift driver with a prevailing medical condition can hugely impact his capacity to work that could risk his health. Employing a person who is not medically fit only puts himself and his co-workers at risk.

Regular alcohol and drug test to screen the forklift drivers may be carried out. It is pivotal as these substances can impair their mental and physical performance which could result in a major accident that puts everyone at risk because of a person’s carelessness. 

 

Such carelessness could expose the organisation to the investigation by the authorities, face penalties and fines which might impact the business.

Hence, it becomes the duty of the organization to carry out medical assessments for forklift drivers to guarantee that the workplace matches the company standards, maintains safety, and enhances productivity.

 

The medical not only ensures the fitness to work and keep track of a good health condition for the job but alerts the individual of any unseen medical condition that is likely to become grave and helps forklift drivers seek early treatment.

 

What can I expect during a medical test?

The medical assessment can roughly take 30-45 minutes based on the health condition of the person. 

 

The test includes:

  • A confidential basic questionnaire with the doctor regarding your health history
  • Diabetes risk assessment based on BMI
  • Eyesight test where an optometrist ensures your eyesight is not compromised and matches the eyesight standards to be on the road
  • Blood pressure monitoring with a BP machine 

 

What are the other things to consider for my medical screening?
  • Medical test time differs from person to person based on their age and requirements.
  • Based on the screening, you might be asked to change into a hospital robe. 
  • Do not forget to carry your glasses based on the current prescription for an eye test and it is advisable to not wear your contact lenses 24 hours before the test.
  • Carry a hearing aid if you have to undergo an auditory test. 
  • Avoid smoking few hours before the test in case of a lung function test.

 

Barnetby Private Medicals offers a medical assessment service for forklift drivers with a license to drive the forklift trucks to help avoid any unseen medical condition and reduces the risks caused by the driver to self and the public.