Guide

Agency workers' health and safety

Monitor agency workers' health and safety

Depending on your assessment of the risks, you may need to carry out health checks on employees (whether you are the user business or the agency). For example, you might need to do this if employees work with chemicals that can damage health. While health checks are not a substitute for controlling risks, they can help you tell whether your controls are working.

Businesses using agency workers

If you are the user business and you decide health checks are necessary, you may want to include agency workers even if they are not your employees. You should co-ordinate with the agency about this, and make sure that all parties are clear about who will provide it if it's required.

Don't forget that you need to give workers clear information about these health checks, too, whether they're your employees or those of the agency.

In some cases, you may decide that all that's needed is to check sickness records and reports of diseases. In other cases, you may need direct checks such as inspections for skin rashes.

Agencies

If the agency workers you supply are your employees, you are responsible for any health checks needed.

Before placing workers with a user business, you need to check with the user business whether they will be doing work that requires health checks. If so, you'll need to get information from the user business about what's involved. You might be able to arrange for the user business to do the checks on your behalf - but you are still responsible for making sure they are done.

You may also need to organise some health checks yourself. For example, you might arrange annual medical check-ups for workers who are exposed to potentially serious health hazards, such as asbestos or radiation.

Agency workers can be injured or made ill at work. The user business and agency should clarify, before the placement, who is the 'responsible person' for any necessary RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations) reports for agency workers. They should also ensure that all relevant information is exchanged so that RIDDOR forms can be completed in full. The responsible person should submit completed RIDDOR forms to the appropriate enforcing authority.