Your fitness to drive can be affected by a medical condition, by temporary illness and by the environment where you work, drive and live.
Employers have a duty to assess and monitor any staff whose job includes driving.
Health issues including stress, sleep disturbance, migraine, flu, severe colds and hay-fever can lead to unsafe driving. The treatment of these conditions can also impact your fitness to drive.
HSE suggests employers screen all existing and potential drivers for fitness before employment and at five-yearly intervals from age 45. It is recommended that a driver who continues working after age 65 should have annual assessments for fitness.*
Assessments look for:
- GGT (Gamma GT) - Gamma-glutamyl transferase is an enzyme from the liver. High levels can indicate alcohol abuse.
- MCV (Mean Cell Volume) - mean corpuscular volume (size) of the red blood cells. Alcohol causes this volume to rise. This happens as a result of several factors: impact on the red blood cell membrane, vitamin deficiencies (folate) or impact on the bone marrow.
- Alanine transaminase (ALT) – Alanine transaminase is an enzyme that helps you process protein. There are large amounts of ALT in your liver. Increased levels of ALT in your blood can indicate liver injury or inflammation.
- Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) – Aspartate aminotransferase is also an enzyme. Increased levels of AST in your blood could indicate liver injury or inflammation. However increase in AST can also indicate heart or muscle damage. For this reason AST and ALT are often screened together.
- Carbohydrate Deficient Transferrin (CDT) – Carbohydrate deficient transferrin is a marker for prolonged, heavy alcohol consumption Typically the level of alcohol required to produce a CDT result of 3.0% is the equivalent of about 5 pints of beer, a bottle of wine or one third of a bottle of spirits daily. The half-life of transferrin in blood is 7-14 days, so excess intake would need to fall within this time to affect the result.
Nuffield Health offers comprehensive driving risk profiles as well as DVLA/alcohol assessments.
* Source: HSE website, Medical Standards for Drivers
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