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Legal Requirements of Occupational Health
Do You Have Health Surveillance in Place
Did you know the Health and Safety Executive advises employers that they have a legal duty to implement a health surveillance programme if their employees are exposed to certain health risks. The programme should ensure that procedures are in place to detect early signs of work-related ill health, with the results swiftly acted upon.
For certain health risks, there is a statutory duty on employers to provide occupational health surveillance, although this can be fulfilled by appointing a competent person (such as a Safewell occupational healthcare provider).
Health surveillance allows for early identification of ill health and helps identify any corrective action needed. Health surveillance may also be required by law if your employees are exposed to noise or vibration, solvents, fumes, dusts, biological agents and other substances hazardous to health, or work in compressed air.
Health surveillance is required in any workplace where each of the following are met:
- The work is known to harm health in some way
- There are valid ways of detecting the disease or condition
- There is a reasonable likelihood that damage to health may occur under the particular conditions at work
- The surveillance is likely to benefit the employee
- The technique of investigation is of low risk to the employee
Occupational Health The Next Step
The occupational health assessment is used to advise management on an employee’s health issues in relation to their work, and to make recommendations on reasonable adjustments that could be considered to ensure a safe/healthy working environment for that employee.
Safewells occupational health assessments are confidential; a report will be written with the employees consent to be sent to the employer. Each report is tailored to the employee and their individual situation. The report will include advice on any medical conditions and the effect on work, symptoms, prognosis, and likelihood of recovery, what adjustments could/should be considered, and over a suggested timeframe.