Occupational Health Service


Health Surveilance

For some types of work, we monitor the health of staff, to meet our legal obligations.

Health Surveillance involves tests or health checks designed to detect health effects from occupational hazards.

People subject to such checks include:

  • Night workers
  • Laboratory animal handlers
  • Those working with respiratory irritants
  • Clinical workers working with human tissues
  • Laboratory workers working with chemical, biological or carcinogen substances
  • Drivers
  • Those working with loud noises
  • Those working with lasers

These checks are:

  • To ensure that controls and procedures are in place and are effective.
  • To protect your health by detecting adverse health effects as early as possible.
  • To assess the effectiveness of measures to control exposure.
  • To collect information about hazards in the workplace.

Most checks can be carried out by questionnaire.

Staff exposed to certain hazards are also invited for tests such as hearing tests (Audiometry) or breathing tests (Spirometry).

Examples of hazards we have a legal duty to check are:

  • Very noisy workplaces
  • Some vibrating tools
  • Substances which can cause asthma
  • Substances which can cause dermatitis

Outcomes

In most cases, no adverse health effects are found. In a small minority of cases further investigations are needed to assess any possible adverse health effects.

If a serious adverse health effect is found, the doctor or nurse may recommend some adjustments to work which could include the following:

  • Improved systems of work
  • Installing safer equipment
  • Additional training
  • Use of additional protective clothing
  • Transfer to other work

We will issue a fitness certificate after screening stating any restrictions to work and a note of when you will be recalled.

Managers will only be made aware of medical details if it’s required in order for them to be able to carry out their management responsibilities.

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