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Health Surveillance? What Is It?

24 September 2013

Bethan Stones headshot

Bethan Stones

Group Marketing Manager

Health Surveillance

What Is Health Surveillance?

Health surveillance is basically a system of ongoing health checks that can sometimes be required by law for employees who are exposed to any one of the following:

  • Vibration
  • Noise
  • Ionising Radiation
  • Fumes
  • Solvents
  • Dusts or Biological Agents
  • Compressed Air

The main purpose of health surveillance is to protect the health of the individual employee, identify health problems early and also helps with identifying any corrective action that may be needed.

Health surveillance is also important for highlighting lapses in workplace control measures and providing an opportunity to reinforce training and education of employees.

Examples Of Health Surveillance

  • Vision Screening
  • Occupational Health Assessment
  • Audiometry
  • Spirometry
  • Dosimetry

There are some simple methods that can be done in the workplace which include: Skin surveillance that involves looking for skin damage on employees hands from using certain chemicals or a simple respiratory surveillance that involves asking employees to fill in a respiratory questionnaire in order to assess whether they have developed any breathing problems from substances they work with.

Is Health Surveillance Required In My Workplace?

The starting point of determining any health surveillance is a Risk Assessment. Some forms of health surveillance are required by law. Other forms are undertaken as good practice. Please bear in mind that employers have a duty to carry out health surveillance where any employee is at risk from:

  • Night shift work
  • A wide variety of solvents, chemicals, fumes, dust and biological agents
  • Noisy environments
  • Work with vibrating tools or equipment
  • Substances known to cause dermatitis and occupational asthma

Once a risk assessment has been completed, all health hazards in the workplace should be identified and to then decide what to do to prevent any harm to the employees health. You should always try to remove the hazard altogether, reduce risks by changing the way work is done or provide relevant protective equipment where necessary.

Control measures may not always be reliable despite appropriate checking, so health surveillance can help make sure that any ill health effects are detected as early as possible. If the risks remain after the implementation of all reasonable precautions, you will need to take further steps to protect your employees by putting a program in place.

Experts In Audiometry & Spirometry

Envirocare are experts in Audiometry and Spirometry and can assure you the highest possible level of service around. Our knowledgeable experienced consultants currently aid several high profile customers around the UK and further afield.

Please call us on 01274 738668 or fill out our quick and easy Envirocare Enquiry Form for any queries regarding health surveillance, spirometry, audiometry or risk assessments if you feel you could benefit from our services in these fields.