Health Surveillance

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In the UK, there are a staggering 1.6 million workers that are currently suffering from a new or long standing work-related ill health issue (2019/2020), which is costing businesses a serious amount of both time and money. Health surveillance is important in order to keep your employees safe from harm in the workplace and to minimise losses.

What is health surveillance?

Health surveillance involves a series of employee health checks over a prolonged period of time, which are only carried out after health and safety risk assessments have been completed (and shouldn’t be in place of a risk assessment). Health surveillance, otherwise known as occupational health surveillance, is required by law for any members of staff that are exposed to noise, vibration, radiation, chemicals, fumes, bio agents, solvents, or hazardous substances.

Occupational health surveillance objectives:

  • To protect the health of staff members by detecting adverse changes or disease in the workplace;
  • To collect data for detecting or evaluating health hazards;
  • Control these measures.

Do I need occupational health surveillance?

Employers checklist:

  1. Is there a risk to health, or a need for occupational health input, in my workplace?
  2. Is it safe to control it internally? Do I need a specialist occupational health provider?
  3. Take action.
  4. Review on a regular basis, especially with new staff members and for introduced business processes.

Our occupational health surveillance services

We offer the following occupational health surveillance services (see below for more information):

Health surveillance checks are carried out in order to show that the measures you have in place to reduce risk are working effectively. Alternatively, if current measures you have implemented aren’t working, health surveillance can identify this and our team can help you put together a more comprehensive health surveillance policy, where we can help you to implement measures that do work. Simply contact our team to arrange your specialist consultation.

What Is Health Surveillance Important For?

  • Detecting ill-health effects at an early enough stage that measures can be put in place to effectively reduce and manage these risks
  • Providing employers with the right data and guidance to help them to evaluate ongoing health risks in the workplace
  • Giving employees the opportunity to raise any concerns about how their work is affecting their health and safety
  • Highlight any areas workplace safety and control measures need to be improved
  • Educating employees on the importance of using protective equipment that is supplied to them, and if they choose not to follow procedure the health and safety impacts they may face.

The Law On Health Surveillance & Health and Safety

What is the law on health surveillance? Health surveillance is required by law for businesses that expose employees to the following:

  • Noise or vibration
  • Ionising radiation
  • Solvents
  • Fumes
  • Dusts
  • Biological agents and other substances hazardous to health
  • Working in compressed air

The HSE specifies that if you expose employees to any sort of hazard, you must reduce the risk as far as reasonably practicable. Make sure your business complies with all relevant regulations by getting in touch with our Derby based team today.

How We Ensure Workplace Safety

We provide health surveillance services in the following areas and the appropriate legislation is listed;

  • Audiometry – Noise at work regulations
  • Lung function testing – COSHH regulations
  • Forklift medical, mobile plant and company driver surveillance – Mobile plant regulations
  • Skin surveillance – COSHH regulations
  • Hand-arm vibration (industrial white finger) – HAVS regulations
  • Pre-placement health surveillance – Noise at work, COSHH and working time directive if night shift worker
  • Night shift worker – Working time directive

Health surveillance usually takes place onsite, making it most convenient for you and helps us to fully understand your environment, and the risks it poses.

Health Surveillance at Work: Protecting Your Business

You should minimise your risk of litigation by providing occupational health surveillance to new recruits, and then in regular intervals throughout their career. Our findings can help provide you with the reassurance that the measures you have in place to control risks are effective. We help you to put the right healthy surveillance policies in place to prevent repeated absences, helping you to increase productivity, and ultimately helps your employees to work better, healthier and more safely.

How David Barber Occupational Health Can Help

We can help ensure that you remain fully compliant with all workplace and governmental laws that surround health surveillance in the workplace, whilst getting you the results you require. Contact us to discuss your requirements and we’ll help ensure your workplace remains safe and healthy.

Online Management System

One of the many benefits we offer at David Barber Occupational Health is the use of our online management system. You will be able to access your reports from our various services and tests for each of your employees. The online system we use ensures all of your data is secured, only accessible to you via a unique login and has ISO accredited security standards. Find out more about our client system by emailing us.

Get in touch to see how David Barber Occupational Health can help your workplace with professional health surveillance services.

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The guidelines from HSE say a ‘responsible person’ can be elected to manage your health surveillance, but when it comes to more serious hazards it is often more effective and much safer to use an Occupational Health Provider like us. We are all fully trained and qualified to manage and protect against any kind of danger your employees could be put in during their job.

Without proper health surveillance, your employees are exposed to dangers that could have serious consequences on their working abilities and as such, your business as a whole is subject to the risk. As an employer, it is your moral and legal responsibility to ensure the safety of employees whilst in your care at work. Health surveillance is the answer to this responsibility as it helps to put procedures in place that keep employees safe whilst at work.

Health Surveillance is the practice of recognising, understanding and protecting against any kind of risk or danger to your employee’s health. From creating risk assessment to regular testing on employees to monitor and improve pre-existing or new problems with employee health.

Health Surveillance is required by all businesses that expose employees to noise, vibration, solvents, fumes, dusts, biological agents, compressed air and any other substances that could be deemed hazardous to their health and wellbeing. However, providing health surveillance even when it’s not required by law can keep employees healthier and happier which is always a bonus for your business!

The clue is in the name, health surveillance is a series of relevant and on-going checks and tests to ensure employee health isn’t being negatively affected because of their job role. Here at David Barber Occupational Health, we do checks around: audiometry, lung function, skin surveillance, HAVS, working time and more.

If an employee works with noise, vibration, solvents, fumes, dusts, biological agents or compressed air on a regular basis they are definitely at risk. Other signs include regular absence, complaints of feeling unwell, noticeable physical changes like shaking and scarring or cuts. If you are at all unsure if your employees need health surveillance, get in touch with our expert team.

The records are kept on a confidential data base. The reports are released to management to help to ensure that their risk assessment remains appropriate.

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