Health surveillance allows for early identification of ill health and helps identify any corrective action needed. Health surveillance may 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.
What is health surveillance?
Health surveillance is a system of ongoing health checks. These health checks may be required by law for employees who are exposed to noise or vibration, ionising radiation, solvents, fumes, dusts, biological agents and other substances hazardous to health, or work in compressed air.
Health surveillance is important for:
- detecting ill-health effects at an early stage, so employers can introduce better controls to prevent them getting worse
providing data to help employers evaluate health risks
- enabling employees to raise concerns about how work affects their health
- highlighting lapses in workplace control measures, therefore providing invaluable feedback to the risk assessment
- providing an opportunity to reinforce training and education of employees (eg on the impact of health effects and the use of protective equipment)
Company risk assessments should be used to identify any need for health surveillance, this may be as simple as undertaking regular monitoring of your hands for dermatitis or more thorough screening completed by a professional.
HSE Website – Health Surveillance Guidance
Skin checks for dermatitis poster (PDF)
Health surveillance for HAVS – guidance for employers (PDF)
Initial screening questionnaire (PDF)
HSE Guidance Health monitoring for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease G401
HSE Guidance: Welding fume: protect your workers