Other safety critical activities


The term safety critical is not directly defined in law. Nevertheless, in common usage it usually means an activity that, if it would go wrong, could put other peoples' lives and/or significant investments at risk.

The principle can therefore apply to a tower crane driver, a commercial diver who is part of a dive team, a control room operator in a chemical plant or on an offshore oil/gas installation. From a risk assessment point of view a useful question to ask is, what could happen if someone's health or fitness would fail? If that could put other people directly at risk, cause a lot of damage or loss of containment with significant environmental risk, then you are probably looking at a safety critical activity.


Driving a car on the public road is an example of such a safety critical activity most of us are familiar with. The DVLA has published detailed guidancefor health professionalson fitness to drive. However, at work, the duty on employers is greater than on the public road because the employer has to ensure 'so far as is reasonably practicable' that the risks from work are adequately controlled. This higher 'duty of care' means that a driver's license for the public road is not always sufficient for safety critical driving or plant operating activities.

Examples of safety critical activities at work may therefore include:

  1. Driving of forklift trucks, (tower)cranes, LGVs;

  2. Diving in water, entry into storagetanks filled with inert gasses (CO2 or Nitrogen);

  3. Working in remote places, lone working;

  4. Entry into confined spaces, including asbestos enclosures;

  5. Activities of very high physical nature such as Fire & Rescue teams, including those on offshore installations, or climbing long vertical distances. The latter activity may include climbing of pylons, towers, cranes and wind farm towers onshore or offshore.

Booking medical Examinations:

Please see the home page for booking places and contact details.LGV, diving and offshore medicals are routine medical examinations. For other safety critical activities it would be necessary to know more detail about the workplace and the job requirements beforehand to make a suitable risk assessment and advise on the content of the medical examination. Please see our contact page for further discussion on the specific job requirements prior to making a booking.

OHRMS Ltd 2012