Managing construction health risks: Health surveillance
Health surveillance is a means of detecting any harmful changes to someone's health, and importantly at an early stage to help identify if further corrective action is needed. This page gives an overview of what you must do, when and how.
Health surveillance checks that the health risk management system is correctly working. It is a statutory risk based system of ongoing health checks when exposing workers to substances or activities that may cause them harm. It allows you to identify any ill health symptoms early and highlights the controls you need to improve.
There can be confusion about what you legally have to do as a number of different health 'checks' are available. These range from chest x-rays to measuring blood pressure. You need to be clear about the difference between those that are:
- Legally required - the law states that health surveillance is needed for some employees depending upon their risk of exposure to issues like noise, asbestos or silica.
- Industry best practice - some employers choose to do more than the law requires because of the benefits they see in doing this. For example, health monitoring for musculoskeletal problems.
- Well-being - these checks are not legally required or work related. Again some employers promote well-being because of its benefits for them.