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COSHH Health Surveillance, What is it?

Posted By Kerry Budworth on 2015-07-21 15:10

What is health surveillance in the workplace?

Simply put, Health surveillance is any activity which involves obtaining information about employees' health on an ongoing basis and which contributes to protecting employees from health risks at work.

The objectives for health surveillance are:

  • Protecting the health of employees by early detection of adverse changes or disease;
  • Collecting data for detecting or evaluating health hazards;
  • Evaluating control measures.

It should not be confused with general health screening or health promotion.

Health surveillance is necessary when:

  • there is a disease associated with the substance in use (eg Asthma, Dermatitis, Cancers);
  • it is possible to detect the disease or adverse change and reduce the risk of further harm;
  • the conditions in the workplace make it likely that the disease will appear.

Health surveillance is a process; it may be a regular planned assessment of one or more aspects of a worker's health, for example: lung function or skin condition.

However, it is not enough to simply carry out suitable tests, questionnaires or examinations. Employers must then have the results interpreted and take action to eliminate or further control exposure. It may be necessary to redeploy affected workers if necessary.

Health surveillance should be completed by an occupational health service physician (doctor or nurse) or occupational health technician.

The clinical outcomes from health surveillance are personal. The service provider must interpret the results of health surveillance for each individual. The service provider must supply general information for you to keep up-to-date health records.

Employers checklist- 4 stage approach

  • Do I have a health risk problem, or a need for occupational health input, in my workplace?
  • What/who do I need to control/provide it (a doctor or nurse or a responsible person)?
  • Take that action.
  • Is it working (check on whats been done)

Healthscreen Can Help.

HealthScreen provide high quality and cost effective occupational health solutions, tailored to meet your budget and the needs of your organisation, keeping your employees fit, healthy and most importantly performing for you whilst in work

Utilizing specialist equipment and fully qualified staff, we provide a full remit of medical checks in the field, with a comprehensive report on completion that will allow you to make changes to the way you work for the benefit of your company, the welfare of your employees and the evaluation of their fitness to work.

If you are looking for health & safety services in Leicester or across the United Kingdom, If you have any questions in relation to Health & Safety services or requirements in general, give us a call on 01455 234 600 or contact us online.  

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