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Changes to Blood Pressure Testing Procedure Explained

One area that has caused continued frustration for our clients over the years has been advice from the Occupational Health industry around elevated blood pressure readings as part of a fitness for work assessment.

Previously, when a worker presented with a BP over 140/90 they would be given an ‘Advice Sheet’ and advised to see their GP at their convenience. If it was felt that this would affect their ability to carry out a safety critical or driving role this would be highlighted on the workers fitness certificate and a temporary restriction recommended.

We have recently reviewed this process to ensure workers and management are better informed and in a timely manner, which we hope will help to keep employees at work. Hampton Knight are also understanding that the reading could have been caused by a number of external factors, like having a stressful morning or rushing to the appointment, rather than an underlying health issue.

If a worker presents with a BP over 140/90 they will be issued with a booklet published by the British Heart Foundation. It will contain their BP reading and information on what this means to them. They can then consult their GP at their convenience should they feel this is necessary. 

The DVLA standards for drivers and the CBH standards for safety critical workers state that workers should not carry out driving duties or safety critical duties if their BP is 180/100 or higher.

 Therefore, any workers in a driving and/or safety critical role will be advised of this and our Practitioner will also notify their on-site contact should any workers be advised of any temporary restrictions to their role.

Please be assured that this will be a temporary restriction, with high blood pressure being a temporary condition which can be managed and monitored with the support of a GP. We believe that this ensures that this is dealt with as promptly and safely as possible for all affected.