Looking for work in offshore energy sector? Your oil and gas medicals explained

For one to take up work or find employment in any offshore work such as in a cruise ship, yacht or as offshore energy, oil and gas engineers, coordinators, managers, supervisors, planners, health and safety inspectors, construction officers, document coordinators, planners, welders, platers and pipefitters; one has to be medically fit for the rigors that come with undertaking these lucrative jobs. All about offshore work, oil and gas medicals

What does an oil and gas medicals include?

As it is with medical examinations, the oil and gas medical involves you undergoing the three steps doctors use to come to make a diagnosis, or raise an acceptable assessment of the state of your health. These steps are:

  • Undertaking a medical history
  • Doing a medical physical examination
  • Performing necessary diagnostic and laboratory tests

Types of oil and gas medicals

That said, not all oil and gas medicals are the same. Depending on the specific requirements of your role and job oversees, there are different types of oil and gas medicals to asses your medical fitness that one can undergo as they prepare for offshore work and travel. The following tests are widely accepted internationally:

  • Oil Gas United Kingdom (OGUK) Offshore Standard Medical
  • OGUK Medical with Bi-Deltoid Shoulder Measurement
  • Oil and Gas United Kingdom (OGUK) Medical with fitness for Emergency Breathing System (EBS). This test is often combined with the OGUK Offshore Standard Medical.
  • OGUK Medical with Food Handlers Questionnaire
  • RenewableUK (RUK) Wind Turbine Medical which is designed to address issues specific to wind and renewable energy.
  • Emergency response teams (ERT) Fitness Medical which requires a higher level of medical fitness given the nature of work which involves dealing with acute or life threatening situations.
  • Crane Operators Medicals
  • Climbers Medicals
  • Confined Space Medicals
  • Medicals that are specific or required by various countries

What to expect

Industry leader in oil and gas or Medical standards, Oil and Gas United Kingdom (OGUK), lists the following assessments as necessary for one to be said to have met requirements of medical fitness for offshore work.

  1. Clinical and occupational history that should ideally be conducted by an occupational health doctor and supplemented by completion of a health questionnaire.
  2. Height, weight and body mass index, blood pressure and pulse measurement.
  3. Other appropriate clinical examination including neurological tests.
  4. Visual test for acuity which assesses your eyesight.
  5. Urinalysis which is a test that assesses your health by subjecting your urine to tests including a dipstick. Some of the information that one can get from a dipstick includes: suspicion of diabetes, infections of the urinary tract including kidneys and suspected cancers of the urinary tract.
  6. Audiometry i.e. test to asses hearing. OGUK requires that these tests are done to standards defined in BS EN ISO 8253-1:2010 which specifies procedures and requirements for pure-tone air conduction and bone conduction threshold audiometry; and British Society of Audiology recommended  procedure for pure-tone air-conduction threshold audiometry, with and without masking [Sept 2011]  (For more details, see: http://bit.ly/BSApta)
  7. Appropriate relevant clinical examination, to include an assessment of dental health.
  8. Additional tests if indicated. Such tests may include: blood tests, electrocardiograph (ECG) for the heart and spirometry for lung function. It is important to know that such tests may be required to clarify findings but are not a routine requirement.

How long does the oil and gas medical take?

Leading UK occupational health clinic Fleet Street Clinic estimates the standard oil and gas medical at 60 minutes with 15 minutes for registration.

What do I need to bring with me?

You will need to being with you:

  • A way to positively identify you such as a photo ID
  • Job description for the role you are applying for (if available)
  • Medical correspondence or asses to personal medical records about relevant medical conditions


  1. Featured image is a photo remixed from the work of Warner on Unsplash
  2. ‘What to expect’ section adopted from the Overseas application to join OGUK’s Registered Doctors List Form


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