If you own a business or are working in a company whose employees are in, what could be considered, constant danger whilst they are working, then undertaking at least some degree of health surveillance is likely to be very important for the company in question to ensure the ongoing management of employees’ health and overall wellbeing.
Health surveillance can be absolutely vital for many businesses across many industries, especially as we come out of the Covid pandemic. Health surveillance gives the company an opportunity to teach their employees about the danger of their job but also to make sure that nobody is being harmed whilst completing their tasks.
On a business level, this allows businesses to save money from potential employee injury lawsuits but on a human level it means that companies are taking care of their employees and making sure that no one is coming into harms way during their work.
Health Surveillance can last for 40 years, with employee records staying for a long time, this allows the occupational health workers to notice any long term effects of the work including if employers have inhaled toxic gases.
What is Health Surveillance?
Health Surveillance is the system that is undertaken by businesses and companies to put in place ongoing health checks around employees and apparatus.
This is so the company can make sure that the employees are staying safe and that the apparatus used is safe for use as well. It is especially common in businesses or companies where there could be danger.
Often taking place at construction sites, factories or engineering plants, employers do not want to injure employees and employees, of course do not want to be injured or become unwell from any toxic fumes!
These health checks are usually required by law, especially for those employees that are constantly exposed to noise, vibration, radiation, fumes, dust and other hazardous substances or apparatus whilst at work.
It is not just injuries that health surveillance checks for and warns against, it is also inhaling fumes that might cause future harm, years down the line and therefore there needs to be ongoing checks all the time to make sure that there will be no future harm to employees.
Why is Health Surveillance Important For Businesses?
Health Surveillance is extremely important for your business, because it brings many benefits to both you and your employees.
These benefits include:
- Detecing Health Problems In Employees – Detecting ill-health effects at an early stage in employees. This means that employers can begin to introduce better controls to make sure that these problems do not get worse
- Employees and Employers can understand health risks – Using health surveillance to provide data to help employers evaluate health risks
- Allows Employees to Raise Occupational Health Concerns – Health surveillance also allows employees to raise legitimate concerns about how their work affects their physical and mental health
- Highlights Health Problems in the Workplace – Health Surveillance highlights problems in workplace control measures and allows businesses to improve their safety before someone gets truly hurt
- Encourages Health Promotion in the Workplace – It can be a platform that businesses can use to employ health promotion and teach employees about the dangers of their workplace and how to avoid them. As well as teaching employees to look after both their physical and mental health
Is Health Surveillance A Legal Requirement For Businesses in the UK?
Yes, in some workplaces, Health Surveillance is a legal requirement. Especially workplaces where employees are constantly exposed to things that could harm their physical health. Check to find out whether your business needs to have health surveillance and if so get in contact with someone who can provide health surveillance as soon as possible.