Wrightway Health

The importance of Health Surveillance

Monitoring and Health Surveillance programmes could be the difference between managing a risk or managing a serious health issue. Take ownership of this part of the process to avoid future costs to your employees health or your business.

‘The HSE requires employers to assess the Health and Wellbeing of their employees as a duty of care’.

The construction industry is subject to a number of statutory medical requirements. Wrightway Health doctors are accredited to provide HSE’s statutory medical checks for any employees working with asbestos, radiation or lead.

As part of this, HSE also expects you to undertake Health Surveillance and monitor your employees’ fitness on an on-going basis, tracking any changes in their health, medication and in the role they undertake.

Health Surveillance Case Study

A recent case investigated by HSE found a manufacturing firm to be grossly negligent, breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act for Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) amounting to a fine of almost £120,000.

The case found there were no controls on the types of hand-held power tools workers used, or how long they operated them for, and there was no system for replacing old tools, so workers used worn out devices that no longer minimised vibration. Further risk included a lack of training for workers about the risks from vibration or how to limit their exposure and there was no Health Surveillance to look for the early signs of problems.

Exposing these uncontrolled risks has cost the company time and money in putting things right, and nine construction workers were left with a diagnosis that will have a lasting effect on their trade.

How can we help?

Regular screening is needed to detect the risk of HAVS in a workplace. Initially a paper-based questionnaire is assessed by an Occupational Health nurse and if symptoms are identified, the employee will then see a Doctor. HAVS assessment can be carried out for £20 annually per employee or part of an overall Health Surveillance programme as a more cost effective option.

Don’t forget, if your employees are working with, or in, other hazardous environments – such as with asbestos, radiation, lead or diving – then providing HSE Medicals is required as a duty of care.

Click here to find out more or read our online brochure.

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