Periodic Medical Examination (PME)
The Dutch Working Conditions Act prescribes that an employer should provide its employees with the opportunity to undergo periodic occupational health examinations. Offering a Periodic Medical Examination (PME) is an integral part of the Plan of Approach that results from a Risk Inventory and Evaluation (RI&E).
Preventing or mitigating risks
First and foremost, the PME intends to establish any health damage resulting from occupational risks at an early stage to enable interventions that prevent or mitigate these risks as much as possible. The second objective of the PME is to monitor and promote health in relation to work, both individually and at group level.
RI&E as the starting point
The PME is not a general medical examination. Instead it focuses work-related risks. Therefore, a PME is usually tailored to the individual employee. The necessity of offering a PME depends on the level of exposure and on how serious the detrimental effects are on health. This is determined in a Risk Inventory and Evaluation (RI&E) and/or through in-depth workplace investigations. RI&E thus provides the basis for the PME, so that damage to health can be prevented or limited by means of a highly targeted approach. It is important to properly follow the RI&E cycle. Please note: we base this cycle on the assumption that the RI&E (or any other research method used) covers all possible occupational risks.
Types of PME
PME is often considered a large-scale examination involving a large group of employees. We think this idea is too limited and a narrow interpretation of the law. A PME can also be offered to a single employee or a small number of employees. This depends on the risk that requires assessing and the target group involved – or in danger of exposure.
Setting to work with the results
Based on the outcome of the assessment, we draw up a Plan of Approach, in close consultation with the organisation. The concrete tools are then put into use to reduce health risks and to improve fitness, health and productivity of employees. The PME is tailored to the organisation, the work situation and the individual employees and is therefore always custom-made.
The PME is a voluntary examination; employees are free to participate. This clearly distinguishes the PME from compulsory, function-related examinations such as pre-employment examinations, license examinations and so on.