Health surveillance and monitoring is advised in many industries where certain risks and hazards exist in the workplace.
Wrightway Health offers a comprehensive range of flexible, cost effective health surveillance programmes, each created as a bespoke package around your company’s needs. We create a package to suit each job role within your organisation. Testing is carried out by fully-qualified occupational health clinicians, and planned to create minimal disruption for your employees and your business.
Packages can include all or some of the following assessments
- General Health Check – height / weight / BMI / BP / Cholesterol
- Audiometry – Hearing
- Spirometry – Lung Function
- Hand Arm Vibration – HAVS
- Skin Assessments
- Grip Strength
- Vison Screening – colour, peripheral, glare and acuity
- Drug and Alcohol Screening
- Biological Monitoring – for chemicals such as Isocyanates
Assessment can take place in one of our clinics, or if you have larger numbers of employees we can come to your site. We have a fully equipped mobile clinic to attend your site, or we can use an appropriate room.
As an employer, it is your legal responsibility to provide health surveillance in the form of hearing tests if:
- The noise level in your workplace exceeds the upper exposure value of 85dB(A)
- An employee has a predisposed risk to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL)
Workplace hearing tests help you to fulfil your legal requirements by:
- Identifying employees that show early signs of hearing damage
- Providing an opportunity to prevent hearing damage from getting worse
- Checking the effectiveness of existing control measures
Lung function tests are mandatory if your employees are exposed to hazardous substances that contain acknowledged respiratory sensitizers. Testing should also be performed on employees who are potentially exposed to irritant dusts, gases and vapours in the workplace.
A lung function test aims to detect early lung damage from exposure to respiratory sensitizers from activities such as:
- Airborne dust on construction sites
- Isocyanates found in two-pack paint sprays
- Jack-hammering bitumen in roadworks
- Wearing powdered natural latex gloves
- Dusty roofs from laying insulation
These substances can cause Occupational lung disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or Occupational Asthma.
The occupations most at risk include:
- Painters and the Automotive Bodyshop industry
- Healthcare services
- Bakeries and food production
- Repairers in the electronics industry
- Woodworkers including the forestry industry
- Cleaning service industry
- Beauty service industry
The current table of products covered by EH40, along with their risk phrases and exposure limits is provided here.
An important health and safety issue facing many heavy-industry and construction workers is the risk of vibration injury from certain handheld tools that leads to a condition called hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS).
The Control of Vibrations at work regulations 2005 define a daily exposure action value and a daily exposure limit value for hand transmitted vibration (HTV). Health surveillance must take place when:
- Employees are regularly exposed to HTV above the action value of 2.5 minutes over a standard 8 hour day.
- If an employee is occasionally exposed to HTV above the action value and the risk assessment identifies that this exposure may pose a risk to health
- If an employee has a previous diagnosis of HAVS.
The tools most likely to create risk include chainsaws, grinders, jack-hammers, floor polishers and impact drills. The occupations that involve regular and frequent exposure to vibration include but are not limited to:
- Automotive industry
- Ship building and repair
HAVS is often a painful medical condition that can impact on the everyday lives of those affected by it. HAVS symptoms include:
- Numbness and tingling in the fingers
- Reduced sense of touch and temperature
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Blanching of the fingers, sometimes known as vibration white finger
The objective of health surveillance for HAVS is to safeguard the health of employees and ensure the effectiveness of a company’s existing control measures.
Tier 1 / 2 – Pre-employment and annual assessment
- Completion of a self-assessment questionnaire before exposure begins.
- The questionnaire is assessed by a suitably qualified Occupational Health Advisor who gives advice about measures that will help reduce the risk from transmission of vibration.
- Those with possible symptoms are referred to a specialist physician (tier 4).
Tier 4: Formal diagnosis
- Conducted by a specialist Doctor.
- The doctor advises about the worker’s continued fitness for work and what restrictions may be required.
- Formal diagnosis for reporting under RIDDOR.