Health Surveillance

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Health Surveillance

In the UK, there are a staggering 1.6 million workers who are currently suffering from a new or long-standing work-related ill-health issue (2019/2020). This is costing businesses a serious amount of time and money.

It is always within an employer’s best interest to keep their staff happy and healthy. There are many ways you can support the health of your team, from legal responsibilities down to general guidance and support. Health surveillance screening is an important tool in this process. It can help protect your workers and, in turn, your business.

What is Health Surveillance in the Workplace?

Health surveillance involves carrying out a series of employee health checks over a prolonged period of time. They should only be done after health and safety risk assessments have been completed. And they should never be used in place of a separate risk assessment.

These checks are a way of monitoring the impact of any tasks, environments and work patterns that have the potential to cause ill health for your employees. While a risk assessment will assess the potential risks, ongoing health surveillance is about measuring the unavoidable results.

What is the Purpose of Health Surveillance?

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

Is Health Surveillance a Legal Requirement?

All employers face a legal obligation to protect the health and safety of their workers wherever possible. In certain circumstances, this means that health surveillance programmes can be legal requirements too.

To find out if you are legally obliged to run ongoing health assessments you must first carry out a risk assessment of the workplace environment to identify any potential health risks.

If these health risks can’t be prevented or avoided, then you will need to put provide a system of ongoing health checks for your employee. These established workplace wellbeing checks will make sure that your company is detecting ill-health effects that it could be causing.

Occupational health surveillance is required by law for any members of staff that are exposed to noise, vibration, ionising radiation, solvents, fumes, dusts, biological agents or substances hazardous to health.

Who needs Health Surveillance in the Workplace?

The Health And Safety Executive dictate that you should put in a health surveillance programme if your workplace meets the following criteria:

  • there is evidence of identifiable disease/adverse health effects due to workplace exposure
  • it is likely the disease/health effect may occur
  • there are valid techniques for detecting early signs of the disease/health effect
  • these techniques do not pose a risk to employees

Do I need occupational health surveillance?

When you need to start a health surveillance programme for your workplace it can be easy to assume that employers can easily evaluate health risks for their own employees. After all, you know the environment and tasks of your workplace best.

However, this is rarely the case. It is easy for employers to underestimate the impact certain tasks can have. Particularly when they have been ongoing for years. Engaging outside occupational health services to conduct health surveillance brings in a clear, unbiased eye to spot every potential issue and assess it proportionately.

It can also help provide more legal protection, as well as help your employees feel more supported and valued.

To decide whether you require the support of an external occupational health services provider to protect your employees, ask yourself the questions on our checklist below:

Employers checklist:

  • Is there a risk to health in my workplace?
  • Is it safe to control it internally? Do I need specialist support?
  • Do I need to take action?
  • Am I able to review measures on a regular basis, especially with new staff members and for introduced business processes?

What is the Health Surveillance Procedure?

There are a number of potential procedures, assessments and health checks that can be used as part of health surveillance.

Here at David Barber Occupational Health, we offer a range of specific assessments and checks designed to help protect your employees from ill-health caused through work.

We offer the following:

Where can I get Occupational Health Surveillance in the Workplace?

Here at David Barber Occupational Health, we are specialists in supporting businesses with workplace health. You and your employees can rely on us to give advice, actionable steps and support that makes an impact.

We carry out health surveillance checks to show any measures already in place are reducing risk effectively.  We will also identify if current measures aren’t enough, and help you put together a new policy and implement workplace control measures to further protect your staff.

Occupational Health Surveillance in Derby

If you’re looking for support with health surveillance services in Derby, David Barber Occupational Health are here to help. We can carry out checks onsite at your workplace, and certain tests can also be run at our office in Derby.

Simply contact our team to arrange your specialist consultation.

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