Hearing Tests (Audiometry)
Control of noise at work regulations 2005 requires employers to prevent or reduce risks from exposure to noise at work. Hearing tests should be carried out where the noise exceeds the HSE recommended parameters. The purpose of the health surveillance is to identify any signs of hearing damage, minimise or prevent any damage worsening and introduce and monitor control measures. Audiometric testing should be carried out on new start employees, yearly for 2 years and 3 yearly in the absence of any problems. The examination procedure involves the completion of a health questionnaire, otoscopic examination of the ear and completion of an audiogram which is then categorised using the HSE categorisation scheme. This can be found at www.hse.gov.uk
Many jobs involve using chemicals which can harm your health if they are not properly handled. Under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1994 (COSHH) your employer has to assess the risks to your health from chemicals in the workplace.
Biological monitoring allows an assessment of the level of exposure to be known and prevented or properly controlled as required. Samples are processed via accredited laboratories. Examples of biological monitoring include cholinesterase, isocyanates, asbestos.
Hand Arm Vibration Screening (HAVS) T1-T3
Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome is a risk to those working with vibrating machinery or equipment. Health surveillance must be carried out by accredited OH staff (ACe staff have the appropriate accreditation). The aim of HAVS assessment is to reduce the risk of exposure and associated health risks, from vibration.
The process involves completion of a health-related questionnaire and vascular and neurological assessment of the hands and arms. Assessment should be carried out on new employees and yearly thereafter.
Lung Function Testing (Spirometry)
Occupational respiratory assessment is required to identify and reduce the risk of occupational asthma in the workplace. Employers are required to assess the risk of exposure to respiratory irritants via the COSHH regulations. These can be found at www.hse.gov.uk.
The respiratory health surveillance process involves the completion of a health-related questionnaire and lung function testing carried out on new employees and yearly thereafter. However, employees with abnormal results would be assessed more frequently and management advised on their capabilities and any restrictions.
Regular skin checks will identify any problems with work related dermatitis or exacerbation of pre-existing skin conditions. Skin checks should be carried out on a yearly basis and more frequently if required. Information can be found at www.hse.gov.uk
The process involves a health-related questionnaire, visual examination of any skin that is exposed to irritants.
Checks on provision and correct use of PPE are also undertaken.