Is a Preventive Medical Examination (PMO) mandatory?

Written by

Anna Roell
26 March, 2024

Medically checked article All HOMED-IQ content is reviewed by medical specialists

Employee wellbeing is important for businesses, helping to reduce absenteeism and keep employees engaged. A concept you hear more and more about in the Netherlands is the Preventive Medical Examination (PMO). But is a PMO mandatory? In this article, you will read whether a PMO is mandatory, how to apply it, and what the benefits are.

Is a PMO mandatory according to the Occupational Health and Safety Act?

The Netherlands Occupational Health and Safety Act sets specific requirements for the health, safety, and wellbeing of employees at work. According to Article 18 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, employers are obligated to periodically subject their employees to an examination. The purpose of this is to prevent and limit health risks associated with work as much as possible. Although the law mandates that a PMO must be offered, it does not provide strict guidelines on the frequency or specific content of the examination. This is usually determined in consultation with occupational physicians and depends on the risks in an industry or organization ( – Regulation – Occupational Health and Safety Act – BWBR0010346, 2023).

Exceptions to a mandatory PMO

Usually, participation in a preventive medical examination (PMO) is not mandatory for employees. In certain sectors, such as construction and agriculture, it is required due to occupational risks such as hearing damage or exposure to dangerous substances. Additionally, employees must also undergo a PMO if they work more than 55 night shifts per year (Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, 2019).

For whom is a PMO intended?

A PMO is intended for all workers; it’s not just for employees working in risky environments. Whether you have an office job or work in construction, a PMO offers valuable insights into your health and helps identify potential risks early on ( – Regulation – Occupational Health and Safety Act – BWBR0010346, 2023).

The benefits for employees

Participating in a PMO offers employees several benefits. It enables them to gain early insight into their health and identify potential risks. They also receive advice on how to improve their health, for example, through adjustments in their lifestyle or work environment. This is not only good for wellbeing but also serves as a preventative measure against possible long-term health problems (I may want to do a health test |, 2019).

The benefits for employers

There are also benefits for employers in offering a PMO. By focusing on the health and wellbeing of employees, absenteeism and related costs are reduced. In addition, a healthy work environment contributes to higher productivity and employee satisfaction. Moreover, offering a PMO shows that you as an employer value good employer practices, which contributes to a positive company image and strengthens employee loyalty (National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, n.d.).

How to apply a Preventive Medical Examination in practice?

Applying a PMO in practice starts with clarifying organizational needs and risks. A PMO consists of the following components:

  1. An employee survey consisting of a questionnaire and a preventive health test.
  2. Feedback provided to the employee about their health situation and any risks.
  3. Advice to the employee on improving health, if necessary.

The results provide insight into the health condition of employees and can be used to take targeted measures for improving health and wellbeing at the workplace.

How often should you conduct a PMO?

The frequency of a PMO depends on various factors, such as the nature of the work, the age of the employees, and the general health risks within the organization. Although the Occupational Health and Safety Act does not prescribe a specific frequency, it is advisable to establish an appropriate schedule in consultation with the occupational physician and based on the risk assessment and evaluation (RI&E) ( – Regulation – Occupational Health and Safety Act – BWBR0010346, 2023).

What about privacy?

When conducting a PMO, the privacy of employees is of utmost importance. The individual results of a PMO fall under medical confidentiality and cannot be shared with the employer without the employee’s consent. Employers only receive anonymized, aggregated data that does not allow for individual identification (Professional secrecy, 2023). Also, with a preventive health test from Homed-IQ, the privacy of employees is guaranteed.

Ordering a Preventive Medical Examination

Are you convinced of the benefits of a PMO and want to implement it in your organization? Order Homed-IQ’s preventive health test for your employees. With this test, employees can easily take a finger prick test at home or at work. This is then sent to our certified lab. Within a few days, the employee receives the results and receives valuable insight into their health.


About the author

Anna Roell

Anna is a trained nurse and health economist specializing in epidemiology, combining her medical and scientific interests. Her goal is to improve others' understanding of medical information and to communicate it in an understandable way. Anna is originally from Germany and now lives in Amsterdam. What she appreciates most about Amsterdam is the open-minded, active attitude of the people, the markets, and the beautiful nature in the areas surrounding Amsterdam.