Duty of care
Under The Health and Safety Work Act 1974, employers have a duty of care to prevent the ill-health of their employees and ensure they are protected from anything that may cause harm during their work duties.
Ill health can compromise the ability to undertake certain occupations resulting in significant risk to the health and safety of employees. Imperial Health Services offers a range of assessments and medicals to ensure you are compliant to health and safety regulations and also minimise any potential litigation.
In addition, employers must comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) by:
- assessing risks
- providing and maintaining adequate control measures
- providing information, instruction and training
- and in appropriate cases, providing health surveillance
The following assessments form legal requirements that you are required to carry out if your workforce operate in these conditions:
Hearing surveillance is a requirement under ‘The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005’, for workers who are regularly exposed to noise over the upper exposure action value of 85 dB (A).
Hearing surveillance should also be carried out where the exposure is either:
- Between the lower exposure action value of 80 dB (A) and the upper value of 85 dB (A) and the individual may be particularly sensitive to noise
- Or occasional exposure above the upper exposure action value and the individual may be particularly sensitive to noise
A new starter must be screened within 6 months of being exposed to noise.
The first screening is referred to as the baseline test, you are then required to screen 1 year later for the second test and every 3 years thereafter. This is as stated in ‘The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005’
When employees are exposed to substances and processes that could affect the skin, a skin assessment is required to help identify early symptoms of dermatitis or other health effects caused by skin exposure in the workplace. The earlier the health effect is recognised the better the prognosis for the sufferer.
Skin Surveillance should be carried out either annually or bi annually depending on the level of exposure to hazardous substances.
Lung function tests are mandatory in any industry where workers might be exposed to hazardous substances.
Spirometry is sometimes referred to as Respiratory Lung Function Surveillance which is carried out to comply with Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations, 2002 (COSHH).
Lung function should be carried out annually for those at high risk and bi annually for those with low exposure levels.
HAVS (Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome)
The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 sets out explicit duties that are only implicit under current provisions.
It should be noted that there are no established safe levels for vibration exposure. As a result, the new EAV does NOT constitute a safe exposure value below which damage cannot occur. HAVS claims can still be successful even below this level. With this being the case annual assessments are strongly advised to protect against litigation.
Employers must provide health surveillance to those at risk, as well as relevant information, instruction and training to affected employees.
A medical assessment is performed to assess whether an employee can safely carry out a specific job or task. The medical assessment determines if an employee is medically fit to perform the job or task that they are employed to do. As is required by The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 states that it shall be the duty of an employer to ensure (so far as is reasonably practicable) the health, safety and welfare at work of all their employees.
A Safety Critical Medical includes:
- Comprehensive Medical Questionnaire
- Blood Pressure
- Blood Glucose
- HAVS Assessment
- Skin Surveillance
- Audiology Test
- Spirometry Test
- Muscular Skeletal Assessment
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Employers are obliged to provide a safe working environment for their employees, that goes without saying. In some businesses, it is not possible to eliminate or substitute a risk due to the nature of the role or tasks the business carries out. In these cases personal protective equipment (PPE) is the next line of defence.
Businesses are required by law to measure the effectiveness of the PPE and any other engineering controls that are in place. If you are using PPE, by law you must carry out relevant surveillance.
At Imperial Health Services, we are able to carry out an extensive range of assessments and medicals to meet your legal requirements. We’ll stay on top of when you assessments are due, leaving you to get on with your day job safe in the knowledge that you are compliant. Get in touch to book a meeting with our healthcare specialists.