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RR948 - Uptake and quality of health surveillance for hand-arm vibration and noise exposure - A telephone based survey among dutyholders

Health surveillance (HS) is the systematic supervision of workers looking for early signs of work-related ill health in employees exposed to certain hazards. Health surveillance for hand-arm vibration (HAV) is largely based on the collecting of appropriate symptoms in individual workers, while quantitative pure-tone audiometry is a large element of HS activity for noise.

This report details a telephone-based questionnaire study on the uptake and quality of HS for the hazards of noise and HAV. The study was undertaken during 2009-2010 and was centred on an agreed number of industry sectors, where the risks from such hazards are generally considered to be high. A total of 632 companies were involved.

The levels of uptake of HS presented in this report appear better than data collected in 1995 and similar to that from 2004 for HAV. The size of the firm, rather than industry sector, is important in defining the uptake of HS, with smaller firms having a lower uptake. The results clearly demonstrate and provide further evidence of the specific needs of SMEs in relation to HS for noise and HAV.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

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Updated 2012-10-05