Health monitoring is a way to check if the health of workers is being harmed from exposure to substances hazardous to heath while carrying out work, and aims to detect early signs of ill-health or disease.
Examples of health monitoring include:
> spirometry testing to detect early changes in lung function
> audiometric testing to detect early hearing loss.
Health monitoring is not:
> wellbeing checks (eg cholesterol checks) or programmes (eg promoting healthy living)
> fitness to work examinations.
There are times when health monitoring must take place as stated in regulations.
An example is the Health and Safety At Work (General Risk and Workplace Management) Regulations 2016(external link). These regulations describe:
- what work triggers the need for health monitoring to take place
- who must carry out the monitoring
- what kind of monitoring must be carried out
- who pays
- what to tell workers about the monitoring
- what information to give to the person carrying out the monitoring and what the report given back to you must cover
- who receives a copy of the monitoring report
- when do you need to tell us about health monitoring findings
- how long monitoring reports must be kept.
We have produced guidance for PCBUs about health monitoring. The fact sheet Health monitoring under the Health and Safety at Work (General Risk and Workplace Management) Regulations 2016 summarises the health monitoring required under these regulations.
However, even if you don’t need to monitor under these regulations and meet the requirements described in the fact sheet, you still must monitor worker health so far as is reasonably practicable.