Occupational health questionnaires (OHQs) are valuable tools for identifying and assessing potential health risks associated with work activities. These questionnaires gather information about an individual’s work environment, physical demands, exposure to risks, and overall health status, providing insights into potential risks and areas for intervention.

Purpose of Occupational Health Questionnaires

OHQs serve several vital purposes in the workplace:

  • Risk Assessment: Identifying potential occupational hazards and assessing the risks associated with specific job tasks or work environments.
  • Disability Management: Evaluating the impact of work-related injuries or illnesses on an individual’s ability to perform their job duties.
  • Health Promotion: Identifying opportunities to promote employee health and well-being through preventive measures and lifestyle interventions.
  • Compliance with Regulations: Assisting organisations in complying with health and safety regulations and preventing work-related injuries and illnesses.

Types of Occupational Health Questionnaires

There are various types of OHQs, each designed to address specific aspects of occupational health and safety. Some common types include:

  • Job Safety Analysis (JSA) Questionnaires: Assessing the physical, chemical, biological, and ergonomic hazards associated with specific job tasks or work environments.
  • Health Risk Assessment (HRA) Questionnaires: Evaluating an individual’s pre-existing health conditions, lifestyle factors, and exposure to potential hazards to assess their overall health risk.
  • Disability Management Questionnaires: Evaluating the impact of work-related injuries or illnesses on an individual’s ability to perform their job duties and identifying potential interventions.
  • Return-to-Work Questionnaires: Assessing an individual’s readiness to return to work after an absence due to a work-related injury or illness.

Administering Occupational Health Questionnaires

The effectiveness of OHQs depends on proper administration and interpretation. Considerations include:

  • Confidentiality: Ensuring the confidentiality of individual responses to protect sensitive health information.
  • Training: Providing training to those administering the questionnaires to ensure consistent and accurate interpretation of responses.
  • Implementation: Following up on any identified risks or concerns to implement appropriate interventions or preventive measures.

Case Study: Identifying and Addressing Workplace Hazards

A manufacturing company conducted an OHQ to assess the health risks associated with exposure to noise and solvents in the workplace. The questionnaire revealed that several employees were experiencing hearing loss and respiratory symptoms potentially linked to these exposures.
Based on the questionnaire findings, the company implemented the following interventions:

  • Noise Reduction Measures: Install noise-reducing machinery and provide hearing protection equipment to employees.
  • Improved Ventilation: Enhancing ventilation systems to reduce solvent exposure levels.
  • Employee Training: Providing training on the risks of noise and solvents and educating employees on safe work practices.
  • Medical Monitoring: Implementing regular medical monitoring for employees exposed to noise and solvents.

As a result of these interventions, the incidence of hearing loss and respiratory symptoms among employees significantly decreased.


Occupational health questionnaires play a crucial role in promoting workplace safety and employee well-being. By identifying potential risks, evaluating individual health risks, and providing insights for intervention, OHQs help organisations prevent work-related injuries and illnesses, enhance employee health, and foster a safe and healthy work environment.

Speak to an Occupational Health professional today.

Article fact-checked and approved by Dr. Amun Kalia and Dr Deryk Waller