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Occupational Health During Coronavirus

Occupational Health During Coronavirus

occupational health remotely

how to ensure the health and welfare of employees

Continuing Health Surveillance during a Pandemic

During this coronavirus pandemic (March 2020) where sites are locked down, new guidance was issued by The Society of Occupational Medicine for employers, on how to maintain occupational health checks and health surveillance for their employees still working, allowing continued compliance with health and safety legislation. 

Safewell's Occupational Health

During the coronavirus pandemic our occupational health service is still operational and we have moved, temporarily, to paper based occupational health screening and telephone / video call based occupational health assessments. Visit our normal occupational health services…

Provision of Coronavirus Testing Kits

14/4/20 Currently there are no approved publicly available Coronavirus self testing kits. The Government has stated any conronavirus test kits currently being sold for personal or business testing are not CE marked and should not be used because the results are currently unreliable. Government’s Page on Coronavirus Testing Kits  Visit our normal occupational health services…

Guidance for occupational health providers, appointed doctors and employers on performing health/medical surveillance.

In the light of advice from Public Health England on COVID-19, HSE has set out in guidance below, a proportionate and flexible approach to enable health/medical surveillance to continue. It applies where workers are undergoing periodic review under several sets of health and safety regulations. The guidance balances the current constraints presented by the COVID-19 outbreak and the need to protect the health, safety and welfare of workers.

The guidance will be subject to review.

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Call us on 01793 852951 or use one of the contact forms to get in touch

Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH)

For health surveillance under COSHH regulation 11, the assessment can be undertaken as a paper review by administering the appropriate health questionnaire (eg respiratory) remotely. If no problems are identified, then a full assessment can be deferred for three months. Those with problems can be assessed further, for example, by telephone in the first instance. A judgement can then be made on whether to see the worker face to face and, if so, how to do so safely.

For medical surveillance under COSHH Schedule 6, the appointed doctor can use discretion to determine the content of the review. Therefore, they can perform a telephone review and if there are no problems, schedule a full review three months later. Where there is a problem, a judgement can then be made on whether to see the worker face to face and, if so, how to do so safely.

Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR)

To undertake medical surveillance under CAR, appointed doctors can establish the worker has no significant symptoms by using a respiratory symptom questionnaire undertaken remotely. Providing there are no problems, they can then issue a new certificate for three months. Those with problems can be assessed further, for example, by telephone in the first instance. A judgement can then be made on whether to see the worker face to face and, if so, how to do so safely.

Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 (IRR)

For routine medical surveillance of classified persons under IRR, the appointed doctor can conduct a paper review. For high risk radiation workers such as industrial radiographers, or those classified persons at the end of the five-year cycle where a face to face review is planned, they can carry out a telephone consultation and review the dose records and sickness absence records. If there are no problems, a follow up face to face review can be scheduled three months later. Where there is a problem, a judgement can then be made on whether to see the worker face to face and, if so, how to do so safely.

Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002 (CLAW)

For medical surveillance under CLAW, where workers continue to be significantly exposed to lead, blood tests should continue. However, where a worker has been having annual blood tests, their blood lead level is low and stable and their risks from exposure to lead have not changed, the blood test can be deferred for three months.

Where a worker’s periodic medical assessment is due, the appointed doctor can assess them by telephone. Providing there are no problems, the next full review can be scheduled three months later. Where there is a problem, a judgement can then be made on whether to see the worker face to face and, if so, how to do so safely.

Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005

Providing the worker does not identify any relevant problems, audiometry can be deferred for a period of three months. Where there is a problem, a review can be undertaken by telephone and then a judgement can be made on whether to see the worker face to face and, if so, how to do so safely.

Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005

The usual tiered approach to health surveillance will apply. Questionnaires can be administered remotely. Where there is a problem, a review can be undertaken by telephone and then a judgement can be made on whether to see the worker face to face and, if so, how to do so safely.

For Safewell’s occupational health customers still operating we moved their health surveillance from site visits over to paper based screening with telephone follow up.

All occupational health assessments are still continuing and are all done over the telephone or Microsoft Teams for video call. 

If you would benefit from our flexible approach to maintain your occupational health through this period from the expertise of Safewell’s Occupational Health Team, please get in contact via a contact form or 01793 852951.

Coronavirus: Risk Assessments

Make sure you have a detailed, robust coronavirus risk assessment in place to ensure the safety and protection of your workers and to safeguard your business.

Coronavirus: Lone Working

If you are still working during this period you must still follow government guidelines around social distancing.
For some transport, construction, manufacturing and trades activities this may lead to an increase in lone working as you are adapting to the current requirements.
Ensure you carry out a risk assessment and take reasonable measures to protect lone workers!

Facefit Training and Fitting for Dentists

Safewell is here to help you get back to work safely and with the confidence to be able to treat your dental patients knowing you’re protected.

Return to Work Coronavirus Risk Assessment Download

We are all getting ready to return to work, find out the safety considerations to make and get your free return to work coronavirus risk assessment download

HSE Guidance on Fit Testing during Covid-19

There is a lot of talk and speculation about masks currently surrounding Covid-19. There is a clear difference between a surgical mask, a face covering and a face mask such as an FFP3 or FFP2. FFP3 masks require a specific face fit test if used for the purposes of work. The HSE have updated their guidance on safely conducting face fit testing during Covid-19.

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