Workplace health surveillance is crucial in order to prevent ill health occurring due to particular working conditions.
An employer should have health surveillance in place for their workers if an illness, disease or detrimental health impact can be associated with exposure whilst employees are at work and if it is likely that the disease or health effect occurred as a result of the nature of their work.
Common risk factors that can cause or contribute to ill health in a workplace are outlined below:
– Vibrating machinery or tools.
– Ionising radiation or radioactive elements.
– Solvents such as glues.
– Fumes such as those given off during an industrial process.
– Dusts for example from sawing woodwork.
– Noise at work exposure.
– Biological agents such as microorganisms and their associated toxins.
– Working with lead or asbestos.
Health surveillance is required by law in situations where there is a risk to employee health despite controls measures being put in place to mitigate this risk, this is especially the case in situations concerning occupational noise exposure, vibration such as use of power tools and machinery or work around substances that are known to be harmful to health. Some further examples are work with lead or asbestos.
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