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Manage performance and act on results

Once your health surveillance arrangements are up and running, and you start receiving feedback from your service provider or responsible person, you need to act on the results. It is often useful to appoint someone  to be in charge of making sure that any findings are promptly fed back to management, who can use this information to review the risk assessment and controls.

What do I do with the results of health surveillance?

Once you have the results, you should:

If the number of employees permits, it can be useful to view the results of health surveillance in terms of groups of similarly exposed employees, or those involved in similar tasks. This can provide a clearer view of how effective your controls are in local areas. It is important to ensure that analysis groups are big enough to protect anonymity and prevent the disclosure of confidential medical information.

From the outset of a health surveillance programme, it is helpful to agree with your provider how they will present the results to you, eg:

For further information, see: Checklist when purchasing occupational health provision. You should also inform your employees about the information you will receive and what you will do with this.

Occupational health referral

Health surveillance is designed to detect evidence of work-related disease in your employees.  You should consider what you will do if ill health means a worker is no longer fit to perform their job, or there are restrictions on what they can do.  You may need to adapt the workplace or even move affected staff to alternative duties. An occupational health provider would be able to assist with some of these decisions.

You may have a legal duty as an employer to make sure that anyone identified with work-related ill health through health surveillance is referred for diagnosis and/or treatment, as appropriate. You may also be required to inform HSE or your local authority under Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences (RIDDOR) 1995.

Action on health risks

Control measures need to be improved where indicators of ill health are found. As an employer, you ultimately need to demonstrate that you took action to make sure everything reasonable was done. You should consider the following:

You should consider all the above, in tandem with the results from the subsequent health surveillance, when implementing additional or improved control measures.

Manage performance and act on results represents the seventh part of the health surveillance cycle.