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Occupational Health


Q. I have been told by my manager that I need to attend Occupational Health to register on the appropriate health surveillance programme but don't know why or what that means?

If your work involves exposure to certain substances that could be harmful to health then health surveillance may be necessary. All hazardous substances should risk assessed and appropriate local control measures in place to prevent harm to your health. However under health and safety legislation such as the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations and the Noise at Work Regulations, monitoring workers health by carrying out specific assessments and tests is a necessary extra measure to ensure that your health is not being affected by your work. The results of the risk assessment should identify the need or not for health surveillance.

Q. If I have been identified as needing health surveillance carried out by OH, do I have to attend?

Yes. It is a statutory requirement that workers who are identified through the risk assessment process as requiring health surveillance attend for this during work hours.

Q. What is the difference between health surveillance and health screening?

Health surveillance is a way of monitoring any possible ill health effects that could be related to your work exposures e.g., noise surveillance for those exposed to noise at work or hand arm vibration surveillance for those working with vibration emitting tools at work.

Health screening is a means of ensuring that you do not have a health condition that could be detrimental to you working in certain areas e.g., uncontrolled diabetes or epilepsy and driving or working at heights.