Health Screenings: What Are They and What Are Their Benefits?

Physical and mental health both play integral roles in our overall health and well-being – if one of these isn’t as it should be, it can lead to wider issues. When it comes to maintaining our health, it is education and awareness that are key in helping us make long-lasting healthy decisions.

That’s where occupational health screenings and employee health checks are important. You book your car in for an MOT and quickly rectify any issues to ensure it stays safe; why wouldn’t you do the same for your physical and mental health?

This article looks into what health screenings are and their benefits, so both employees and their employers can reap the rewards of a healthier workforce.



What Are Health Screenings?

All employers have a duty of care to protect the health and well-being of their staff. As such, health screenings are conducted to help reduce the risk of work-related illnesses and injuries. 

Through bespoke questionnaires and medical tests, health screenings will assess the physical and mental health of an employee to measure their capabilities against the requirements of the role. For example, their physical capabilities might be assessed if their position involves heavy lifting, or perhaps hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) tests need to be carried out for those working with handheld power tools.


Types of Health Screenings 

There are a variety of employee health screenings which involve different tests and measures, but all share the same goal of identifying any health risks among staff to protect their well-being. These include:

With this ultimate goal in mind, job health screenings are beneficial to both employees and their employers to provide support and help, not hinder.

Pre-employment Health Checks (Pre Placement) 

What Is a

Pre-employment Health Check?

As the name suggests, pre-employment checks are offered to new workers to determine whether an employee requires any adjustments to their role or support during their working day. They include fit for work medicals which are only carried out where there is a safety reason – for example, an eye test for a pilot or medical check on a safety critical worker – and are conducted in line with standards such as SOM construction guidance.

Typically conducted after a job offer has been made, this health screening for employment is carried out by a healthcare professional who tailors the details of the screening based on the occupation of the employee. This will usually include a bespoke health questionnaire, discussion about any pre-existing medical conditions, job-specific health checks and physical ability tests. 

Benefits of a Pre-employment Health Check (Pre Placement) 

Pre-employment health checks give a reference point of health information for both staff members and their employers to work from. It provides employees with the chance to voice any health-related concerns about their new job, as well as suggesting ideas for work modifications if they have a pre-existing medical condition. 

It also shows prospective and existing employees that the company promotes a culture that values their health and well-being from the outset.

When it comes to these checks, it’s worth noting that they can’t tell in advance whether potential employees will have poor attendance when in their roles or judge their character when it comes to performance.


NHS Health Checks

In the UK, we are fortunate enough to have access to NHS health checks which can detect potential health problems before employees or their colleagues are put at risk. 

These free checks are carried out every five years for those aged between 40 and 74 who do not have a pre-existing medical condition. They typically take between 20 – 30 minutes, during which time a healthcare professional carries out some tests to determine whether someone is at higher risk of experiencing heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease or a stroke. To do so, they ask questions about lifestyle and family history, check height and weight, take blood pressure, and do a blood test. 

Based on the results, expert advice will be given to discuss how to reduce the risk of the aforementioned conditions as well as dementia through changes to lifestyle, diet, physical activity and medication, to name just a few.


Mini Health & Lifestyle Checks

What Is a Mini Health & Lifestyle Check?

When it comes to our health, being proactive and taking preventive measures is key. The longer we put things off or leave symptoms unchecked, the harder the treatment can be. The aim of mini health and lifestyle checks is to identify any health issues so they can be monitored by staff and their employers for a safe working environment. These checks include a: 

  • Blood pressure test
  • Height and weight assessment
  • Blood glucose test
  • Cholesterol check
  • BMI test

Upon completion, employees will receive their results along with suggestions for any positive lifestyle adjustments – such as dietary changes or quitting smoking – and ways to contact a local health professional who can help provide support. 

Benefits of a Mini Health & Lifestyle Check

With a focus on helping employees make viable lifestyle changes that can improve their physical and mental health, these checks ensure a continued healthy workplace for businesses. By providing ongoing support, it allows employees to shift towards healthier habits for a prolonged period of time which, in turn, has a positive impact on the motivation and performance of teams.


Health Surveillance

What Is a Health Surveillance Check?

Supervised by a qualified occupational health (OH) practitioner, a health surveillance programme is a series of health checks that observe the health of employees.

These ongoing checks benefit the employer by helping them stay compliant while protecting employees from health risks and ensure a safe working environment. 

They are usually carried out at the beginning of a placement and then at set periods throughout an employee’s time in a role that carries risks of exposure to noise, respiratory or other physical or chemical dangers.

If the results of these checks identify any problems that could impact someone’s ability to carry out their job role, the OH practitioner will provide expert advice and recommendations to their employer for safeguarding purposes. This can range from additional training or implementing work adjustments to highlighting poor working environments.


Overall Benefits of Health Checks

A healthy, thriving team is the driving force behind any successful business – without this, the chain is only as strong as its weakest link. A lack of involvement or appreciation from leaders has traditionally seen a high staff turnover or spike in sickness leave. With this, many modern employers are choosing to take a forward-thinking approach by arranging health screenings for employees to educate, identify any health problems and promote a healthier way of living, both mentally and physically. 

Employer Benefits

When it comes to health screenings, by investing in the health and well-being of their staff, businesses will see increased staff retention and job satisfaction in their teams which has a positive impact on productivity levels. Not only will this benefit employers financially, but they also won’t have to spend large sums on sick pay and absenteeism.


Employee Benefits

Promoting a culture where staff feel that their health and well-being is genuinely important to the business supports them in managing existing health problems and gives them the opportunity to make long-term lifestyle changes. Having access to professional advice and information allows employees to make informed decisions when it comes to their physical and mental health which creates a safer, better performing working environment.


Feeling inspired? Book a health screening with us today. By contacting our experienced team, you are one step closer to a healthier workforce. Our nationwide network of OH practitioners means that our services are easily accessible up and down the country. Simply contact us today to find out more so we can tailor our approach to your individual needs.