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Fitness to Travel

Employers have a duty of care to ensure that employees are fit to undertake any travel required as part of their contracted role in addition to any legislative health surveillance, driver, fork-lift truck and/or safety critical medicals.

Typically, a fitness to travel assessment is undertaken face to face however they can be undertaken remotely (phone or video call) with an occupational health nurse (OHA) if necessary. The purpose of the consultation is to discuss any potential underlying health issues which may be impacted by travel and to explore whether any specific arrangements need to be put in place prior to travel to ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of the individual.

Typically, topics for discussion between an OH clinician and the employee may include:

  • Destination – including the local geography, if they will be based in an urban or rural area, the likely climate (temperature) and medical services available in the destination and whether any work will need to be undertaken at altitude

  • Personal safety – including emergency arrangements related to their health (if required)

  • Work activities – including the anticipated working environment, hours to be worked and general health and wellbeing considerations whilst abroad

For some destinations employees may be advised to have specific immunisations including DTP (diphtheria, tetanus, and polio), hepatitis A, hepatitis B, MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella), rabies, tuberculosis (BCG), typhoid, varicella and/or yellow fever*

*Due to the competency requirements (infrequent requests within occupational health) some travel immunisations i.e. rabies, typhoid, varicella and/or yellow fever, may need to be administered by third party travel clinics, these centres will also be able to provide advice on whether anti-malarial medication where required.

It is important to note that the vaccine schedules for immunisation may take several months to implement, therefore advanced planning is recommended to ensure that staff have had sufficient time to develop immunity following immunisation prior to travel.

Where the clinician feels that further exploration of the health issues is required due to significant or complex health issues then the employee may be referred to speak with the Occupational Health Physician.

If you are unsure as to whether your employees require a Fitness to Travel assessment, then contact us here or call us on 01792 321010.

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