Most offers for mining jobs will be subject to the successful candidate passing a pre-employment medical check before the job offer is confirmed and the employee starts work. The thought of a pre-employment medical is nervewracking for most mining professionals but it is essential given the conditions that many mine workers operate within.
Would you pass a pre-employment medical?
We’ve outlined below some of the general questions and procedures that you may face.
You will probably be requested initially to complete a detailed written questionnaire responding to questions about general medical history, including family history and so on. Typical questions on all general questionnaires will include:-
- Are you currently taking prescribed medication?
- Do you, or have you ever, smoked?
- How much alcohol do you drink?
- Family history of major health issues, such as heart disease, diabetes and so on.
- Your own current health issues, for example, a history of asthma would need to be managed careful for certain mining jobs.
- Details of any recent surgery.
- Information on recent medical consultations.
It is essential to be honest as most employers will also request permission to carry out a check with your physician. This will include any emotional or psychological issues which may impact your ability to carry out your work successfully.
Any concerns over your health which may impact on your co-workers will also have to be addressed.
If you have secured your role through a mining recruitment agency, you may wish to discuss any concerns in confidence with your recruitment consultant prior to completing your questionnaire.
In addition to the written questionnaire, some mining jobs will require a physical fitness test which may include:-
- Sight test – Typically this will include reading letters from a chart to assess your eyesight.
- Hearing test
- Lung Function Tests – to assess the function of your lungs that measure the oxygen level in your blood.
- Body Mass Index (BMI) assessment. This test assesses your body fat based on your height and weight to gain an overall idea of your general fitness. While this is a good general indication, it does have some limitations as people with a more muscular build may produce a misleading test result.
- Urine Test – you will be asked to provide a urine sample. In some cases this may also be for the purposes of screening for drugs so may be done in front of a medical examiner.
- Blood pressure test.
- Test for physical fitness; as some mining jobs demand a certain level of physical fitness you may be asked to run on a treadmill or cycle on an exercise bike to assess your cardio fitness. In addition there may be some musculoskeletal tests to examine your physical strength.
Things to Remember
- Bring prescribed medication you are currently taking with you.
- For fitness assessments remember either to wear appropriate clothing or take some with you.
Depending on the role there may be a requirement for additional tests such as X-rays, MRI scans, spinal examinations and possibly ECG tests.
Health assessments may vary from country to country and ongoing health checks may also be carried out. For example, in Western Australia all mining workers must undergo a Mining Workers Health Surveillance Test (MWHS) periodically (at no more than five yearly intervals) to monitor any changes in their health.
This is not, however, intended to evaluate whether or not an individual is fit to work so a pre-employment medical questionnaire must still be carried out.
Again, for those candidates who have secured their role through a mining recruitment agency, you may wish to discuss any concerns with your recruitment consultant who handled the placement.
Pre-employment medical examinations may be a daunting prospect even for the fittest of candidates but they are essential to maintain and improve health and safety standards in the global mining industry.
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