Health and Safety Executives New Online Guidance makes it easier to understand Health Surveillance
The Health and Safety Executive have published a new online service on health surveillance to make it easier for employers to understand their obligations in relation to protecting their employees health where there is a risk of exposure to chemicals or other hazardous substances, even after all precautions have been taken.
The new guidance has been described by the Health and Safety Executive as “clear and simple”.
Developed with industry, the clear and simple guidance makes it easier for employers to decide whether their workers need health surveillance, how to go about it and how to use the results. The guidance also makes it clearer when action is not needed, saving lower-risk businesses, such as those that are office- based, from wasting time and money.
The Health and Safety Executive estimated in 2011/12 that 591,000 workers had an accident at work with 212,000 of these accidents leading to over a 3 days absence from work and 156,000 accidents leading to over 7 days absence from work. The Health and Safety Executive estimates that past exposure to harmful substances at work is responsible for 12,000 deaths at work each year.
Paul Beaumont, Health and Safety Executive’s policy lead for health surveillance, said:
“We know from our work with industry that some businesses can be unclear about when health surveillance is needed and how to implement it, so are deterred from taking action.
“Other companies could be wasting money unnecessarily by implementing it where it’s not needed.
“This new guidance, developed with industry, should help take any mystery away and give employers the confidence to know whether or not health surveillance is appropriate.
“Ultimately, better targeted health surveillance can lead to a healthier workforce and a more productive business.”
The new online guidance can be found online here
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