Guidance on health surveillance

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EI Publications

  • Published: July 2010
  • REF/ISBN: 9780852935569
  • Edition: 1st
  • Status: Current

Good management is the key to good health and safety, and health surveillance can be an integral part of health risk management. Where there is a risk of ill-health arising from workplace exposures, appropriate and well managed health surveillance can identify cases of disease at an early stage and improve the long term outcome for the individual. Equally importantly, the early detection of exposure related health effects indicates a need to review existing approaches to risk management and control, to avoid others being affected and to ensure compliance with the law.

Guidance on health surveillance was prepared by the Energy Institute's Health Technical Committee: this initiative has been welcomed by the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as it demonstrates commitment to addressing risks to health from the workplace that the current HSE strategy calls for from stakeholders in the health and safety system.

The purpose of the publication is to provide occupational health professionals with an approach to health surveillance in order to maintain the health of personnel and in doing so to meet legal and other requirements.

A health surveillance programme comprises a systematic set of procedures designed to detect the early signs of work-related health changes that could indicate permanent damage to the individual's wellbeing. This programme may include specific medical surveillance by health professionals, which in itself may include clinical examinations or biological monitoring to measure and assess uptake or the effects of exposure to certain environments.

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