Employees should be encouraged to get involved in developing and using health surveillance because it is only effective with their co-operation. Workplaces where employees are involved in taking decisions about health and safety are safer and healthier. Collaboration with your employees on health surveillance will help you to manage in a practical way by:
- helping you spot workplace risks
- making sure your arrangements are practical
- increasing the level of commitment to health surveillance and control measures
You are legally required to consult all your employees on health and safety matters, including health surveillance. In workplaces where a trade union is recognised this will be through your union health and safety representatives. In non-unionised workplaces, you can consult either directly or through other elected representatives. Consultation involves employers not only giving information to employees but also listening to them and taking account of what they say before making health and safety decisions. Your consultation should include describing the preventative and protective measures that are already in place, as well as the system of health surveillance required. You should tell employees why health surveillance is important. You should also share general anonymised information from the results of the health surveillance process with employees and privately tell individual employees what you will do with the information received about them, see: Managing the results of health surveillance.
In work where health surveillance is needed, employees also have duties under health and safety law, and should understand:
- that health surveillance has been identified for this situation as a statutory requirement
- that they must attend their appointments
- what action their employer may take if they refuse to attend
Employees are entitled to attend health surveillance appointments within paid working time and the employer must bear the cost.