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#1 Posted : 09 February 2018 13:10:42(UTC)
Rank: Forum user

Hi Folks

Is there any guru out there in relation to health surveillance.  What is the legal requirement for health surveillance?


A Kurdziel  
#2 Posted : 09 February 2018 13:29:40(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

What do you mean by health surveillance?

The HSE says (in various regulations, ACOPs and guidance) that you need it to:

  • detect ill-health effects at an early stage, highlighting the need for  better controls before the health effects of a hazard  get any worse
  • provide corporate data to help the employer strategically evaluate health risks
  • enable employees to raise concerns about how work affects their health
  • provide invaluable feedback to the risk assessments and controls measures currently in use
  • provide an opportunity to reinforce training and education of employees (eg on the impact of health effects and the use of protective equipment)

In particular you need it when employees are exposed to risk from:

  • work with asbestos*
  • work with lead*
  • work with those substances hazardous to health that are listed to Schedule 6 of The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 *
  • work with ionising radiation*
  • Noise
  • vibration,  
  • certain biological agents
  • certain solvents, fumes, dusts and other substances hazardous to health,
  • or if working in higher than normal air pressure (eg in a diving bell or some tunnelling operations) *

For those hazards with an * it’s a statutory requirement.

You only do it if:

  • there is an identifiable disease/adverse health effect and evidence of a link with workplace exposure
  • it is likely the disease/health effect may occur in the workplace involved
  • there are valid(proven) techniques for detecting early signs of the disease/health effect
  • these techniques do not pose an unacceptable  risk to employees

I am no guru, but have just written a report on this for management!

thanks 2 users thanked A Kurdziel for this useful post.
Tigers on 09/02/2018(UTC), JohnW on 10/02/2018(UTC)
#3 Posted : 09 February 2018 15:27:47(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user

I think you might be missing something. Take a look at the current ACoP for COSHH...

Paragraph 237 states:

Examples where health surveillance is appropriate under the criteria in regulation 11(2)(b) are:

where there have been previous cases of work-related ill health in the workforce/place;

where there is reliance on PPE, eg gloves or respirators, as an exposure control measure; eg printers wearing gloves to protect against solvents used during press cleaning, or paint sprayers using two-pack paints wearing respirators to prevent asthma. Even with the closest supervision there is no guarantee that PPE will be effective at all times;

where there is evidence of ill health in jobs within the industry; eg frequent or prolonged contact with water (termed ‘wet-working’) causing dermatitis in hairdressers and healthcare workers, or breathing in mists from chrome plating baths causing chrome ulcers in platers.

Paragraph 238 amplifies this:

This is not a definitive or exhaustive list and there will be many other instances where health surveillance is required. Employers will need to seek information or advice on the specific health risks identified in the risk assessment, or through any topic-specific HSE guidance, trade associations or other professional sources.

Note the third 'where' which inplies that even though you may believe that you have no potential problems, if others in your occupational sector are experiencing health issues you need health surveillance!


thanks 1 user thanked chris.packham for this useful post.
JohnW on 10/02/2018(UTC)
#4 Posted : 16 March 2018 14:49:55(UTC)
Rank: Forum user

Noise at work and vibration at work health surveillance is a legal requirement if employees are exposed to the set levels in those regs. You should base your health surveillance on what your employees are exposed to during their work. 

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