Health screening

Employers have both a common law and a statutory duty of care to protect the occupational health and safety of all employees. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) requires documentary evidence that all risks associated with all roles in the workplace be identified.

Request a workplace risk assessment to understand what risks your workforce is exposed to, and organise on-site health screening to protect your workforce, and to prevent any work-related ill health litigation.

What is Health Surveillance?

Health screening can take many different forms from non-technical surveillance such as questionnaires and skin surveillance, to technical forms such as hearing checks (audiometry) and lung function testing (spirometry). Any health surveillance undertaken is in the least invasive form possible, and is always explained to the individual by the medical practitioner.

The provision of a suitable health screening programme is intended to protect employee health during their period of employment. It also:

• enables early detection of any health condition caused through exposure;

• identifies specific monitoring required from a statutory perspective;

• evaluates the efficacy of existing control measures; and

• demonstrates compliance.

What type of tests are involved?

The following are some of the tests that can be done to check the health of employees. Which tests are used in any specific case will depend on the risk assessment for that particular job.

• Hearing

Hearing is tested by audiometer. The hearing threshold at a range of frequencies is checked and limits are set for specific jobs. The test takes 15- 30 minutes.

• Respiratory / Lung function (spirometry)

The person blows into a spirometer (portable) and the machine measures lung function. This can detect asthma and other lung diseases.

• Skin check

A questionnaire is completed asking whether or not the person gets skin symptoms, particularly at work. The person’s skin is examined to look for signs of sensitivity to gloves or chemicals, for example, used in the work environment.

• Safety critical worker

The purpose of a safety critical medical is to identify if there is any risk or likelihood of developing a health problem that could cause sudden illness, for example, whilst undertaking work, and there are certain tests that can highlight this likelihood.