Employers have a legal duty to provide information, training and instruction for employees to protect their health at work and worker involvement and engagement is vital if occupational health is to be taken seriously. Some sectors may require specialist occupational health support to undertake hearing tests or provide fit for work advice where employees are starting to show symptoms of developing certain conditions.
How to carry out health monitoring, you should, consider the method and frequency of monitoring when planning and implementing control measures. Consult employees so that they are fully aware of the monitoring procedures, understand they are in place to help protect their health and that they know their part in them. Encourage employees to report symptoms they may be suffering as early as possible to stop any further aggravation. Having a system in place to do this on a regular basis, such as a brief simple questionnaire, can improve the likelihood that you get this information in the format most useful to you.
There are other things you can do to gain information on whether or not your workforce may be suffering. These include, using administrative resources such as reviewing entries in the accident book, sickness absence records/fit notes, staff turnover etc. Although this information is already available you may need to interpret it, if workers are reporting symptoms consider a referral to an occupational health provider or suggest they see their GP to get treatment. When you have gathered all the available information it is important that you interpret this data and look for patterns in, comments from employees and symptoms reported along with existing risk factors and results from surveys.
Reviewing the results of health monitoring provides an opportunity to look at the overall performance of your risk management control systems and may identify susceptible individuals. This process should be considered as an integral part of the management process. An effective review is an opportunity to learn from experience gained in managing risk factors, signs and symptoms, helps determine whether interventions are effective and establishes whether risks have been controlled where reasonably practicable. Provides an opportunity to assess whether new control measures need to, or should, be introduced. If as a result of health monitoring it looks like your controls may be failing you should review your risk assessment accordingly. You may need professional help and advice on this.
Your staff are a key business asset and essential to productivity and profitability. Occupational health teams keep people well at work – physically and mentally. Occupational health services will help keep your employees healthy and safe whilst in work and manage any risks in the workplace that are likely to give rise
to work-related ill health.