National Standards for Health Assessment

KiwiRail has a national standard for health assessments for rail safety workers. The standard is designed to benefit rail safety workers by helping them maintain a sound level of health and fitness. The level of assessment is determined by the tasks being performed. Full details of the health assessment can be viewed below.

Category 1 - High Level Safety Critical Worker

Safety Critical Workers will undergo a comprehensive physical and psychological assessment. This is to detect conditions that may affect their safe working i.e. heart disease, diabetes, epilepsy, sleep disorders, alcohol and drug dependence, psychiatric disorders, hypoglycemia, heart block, transient ischemic attacks and eye or ear problems. Conditions which cause inattentiveness such as excessive daytime sleepiness or anxiety states are also considered. The assessment comprises of a self-administered Health Questionnaire and clinical examination. The questionnaire includes:

  • Epworth Sleepiness Scale (to screen for sleep disorders);
  • AUDIT Questionnaire (to screen for alcohol dependency), and
  • K10 Questionnaire (to screen for psychological problems).

The clinical examination includes cardiovascular, neurological, psychological, musculoskeletal and visual systems. In addition to the components of the Safety Critical Worker Health Assessment, a High Level Safety Critical Worker must have a Cardiac Risk Score assessment to identify their risk of cardiovascular disease or sudden incapacity from heart attack or stroke. These tests include:

  • Fasting plasma glucose;
  • Fasting serum cholesterol (total and HDL); and
  • Resting ECG.

Results are combined with other risk factors such as age, cigarette smoking and blood pressure to calculate a Cardiac Risk Score. Once employed, periodic assessments occur depending on age. 

Category 2 - Safety Critical Worker

Safety Critical Workers will undergo a comprehensive physical and psychological assessment. This is to detect conditions that may affect their safe working i.e. heart disease, diabetes, epilepsy, sleep disorders, alcohol and drug dependence, psychiatric disorders, hypoglycemia, heart block, transient ischemic attacks and eye or ear problems. Conditions which cause inattentiveness such as excessive daytime sleepiness or anxiety states are also considered. The assessment comprises of a self-administered Health Questionnaire and clinical examination. The questionnaire includes:

  • Epworth Sleepiness Scale (to screen for sleep disorders);
  • AUDIT Questionnaire (to screen for alcohol dependency); and
  • K10 Questionnaire (to screen for psychological problems).

The clinical examination includes cardiovascular, neurological, psychological, musculoskeletal and visual systems. Once employed, periodic assessments occur depending on age. 

Category 3 - Non-Safety Critical Worker Uncontrolled Environment

Category 3 health assessments comprises of eyesight and hearing tests and an assessment to ensure safe mobility around the track. The assessment also includes a self-administered Health Questionnaire and clinical examination. The questionnaire includes:

  • Epworth Sleepiness Scale (to screen for sleep disorders);
  • AUDIT Questionnaire (to screen for alcohol dependency); and
  • K10 Questionnaire (to screen for psychological problems).

Once employed, periodic assessments occur depending on age. 

Category 4 - Non-Safety Critical Worker Controlled Environment

There is no physical examination for Category 4 tasks. However a self-administered Health Questionnaires are included during the recruitment process. The questionnaire includes:

  • Epworth Sleepiness Scale (to screen for sleep disorders);
  • AUDIT Questionnaire (to screen for alcohol dependency); and
  • K10 Questionnaire (to screen for psychological problems).