Health Surveillance Guide For Employers

If your employees are exposed to noise or vibration, solvents, fumes, dusts, biological agents and other substances hazardous to health, or work in compressed air then Health Surveillance may be required by law.

Health surveillance allows for early identification of ill health and helps identify any corrective action needed.

The purpose of this article is to raise awareness of the need for regular health checks amongst certain categories of employees and to direct you towards the information provided by the HSE.  As such, we’ll briefly outline the principles and then provide a few links to the relevant sections of the HSE website.

Health surveillance is typically required where employees are at risk from;

  • noise or vibration
  • solvents, dusts, fumes, biological agents and other substances hazardous to health
  • asbestos, lead or work in compressed air
  • ionising radiation

What Is Health Surveillance?  

It is a system of ongoing health checks.  The requirement to conduct these is identified by your risk assessments (you are doing those aren’t you?!). When the risk is present, a health surveillance programme needs to be implemented in your business to ensure the ongoing safety of your employees.

How Do Employers Implement Health Surveillance?

You may have an in-house Occupational Health service which can conduct these checks, if not you will need to utilise the services of an external occupational health provider.

HSE Health Surveillance

The HSE have set up a dedicated health surveillance section on their website; HSE Health Surveillance.  This provides detailed information about the principles of health surveillance and how it can be implemented in your business.  Further, using the navigation to the left side of that page, there are additional pages detailing the rules to establish when it is required in a business and specific examples for certain industries (see ‘Resources’ for that information).

If you have any queries regarding this information, please contact a member of our team.

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