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Asbestos medical examination requirements

Medical examinations to comply with Control of asbestos regulations

The HSE has revised the Control of Asbestos Regulations. This means that the UK regulations are now fully compliant with the European Commission's directive on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to asbestos at work (83/477/EEC). 

The revisions will introduce a new category of asbestos work, known as 'Notifiable Non-Licensed Work (NNLW)'. Workers in this category will be exempt from requirements to hold a licence. However, employers will be required to notify NNLW with asbestos to the relevant enforcing authority and maintain registers of work (health records). All workers carrying out NNLW must have a medical examination. 

A fee for this work has not been determined, and should be agreed before the examination is carried out.

Please check our guidance on agreeing fees in advance.

Medical examination requirements

By 30 April 2015, to comply with the revisions, all workers carrying out NNLW must have a medical examination to assess their state of health. The examination will need to be repeated every three years, for as long as the worker continues to do NNLW. Those workers who begin NNLW after April 2015 will be required to have a medical examination prior to beginning NNLW.

The medical examination must be carried out by a licensed medical practitioner (see below) and comply with the following:

  • The medical examination should include an examination of the chest and a lung function test;
  • Medical examinations should be carried out in work time at the employers' expense; 
  • The fee should be agreed with the doctor before the examination is carried out;
  • The doctor must issue a certificate to confirm the examination has taken place and on what date. The employer needs to keep this certificate for 4 years.

Those workers already under surveillance via a licensed contractor and in possession of a valid certificate do not need to have the NNLW medical.

Registered Medical Practitioners

Medical surveillance can be conducted by Health and Safety Executive (HSE) senior medical inspectors (SMIs), and medical inspectors (MIs) (formerly known as senior employment medical advisers or employment medical advisers). However, HSE can appoint registered medical practitioners to undertake statutory medical surveillance. This is done by issuing a Certificate of Appointment under the appropriate regulations if the doctor satisfies HSE requirements. It authorises the appointed doctor to conduct medical surveillance under specified regulations for a stated period. -

Although appointed by HSE, appointed doctors are not employed by HSE. The company requiring statutory medical surveillance is responsible for agreeing conditions of service and payments with the appointed doctor.

Visit HSE website for more information on appointment requirements


Useful links

Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 - Health and Safety Executive