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Health screening company failed its duty to employees

In March 2012 the press reported that a health screening company was prosecuted by HSE under Section 3 of the HSWA because the company used unqualified staff to carry out assessments on employees. Employees had not been referred to an occupational health professional possibly allowing their condition to deteriorate. Also employers had not been provided with suitable feedback to enable them to manage their staff and control exposure.

This shows that when Health surveillance should be done, it should be done right as there may be health consequences for employees if there is no proper feedback to employers to enable them to manage their staff and control exposure.

The employer should gain agreement on how to share the results of tests etc in advance with all parties involved. If there is a Health surveillance provider then, with the employees consent, results of tests etc. can be passed from health professional to health professional. Also if there is a Health surveillance provider, and there are groups of employees that make it possible to preserve anonymity then the results for groups of employees should be provided to the employer. This will allow the employer to manage the situation and to improve control of exposure.

Where individual employees have given their consent for the employer to get test results and there are possible health implications the employer can encourage the employee to share the information with the employees GP as well as acting on the health surveillance test results.