Annual Health Monitoring as required under HSWA 2015
Sometimes referred to as Health Checks, Health Monitoring is required under the Health and Safety at Work Act (2015)
Workplaces (PCBU’s) who expose their workers to a health hazard as part of their role, are required to monitor the health of their staff, to ensure that their health is not being damaged as a result of their work.
What does this look like in practice?
A Building Company Case Study
In a building company all staff on the tools are regularly exposed to wood dusts, solvents, and noise as a part of normal work. A couple of the team members also work primarily on house renovations and have likely lead and asbestos exposures. This would mean that there would be a requirement for the PCBU to arrange the following workplace health monitoring for their people.
The HSWA requires that hazards be identified and reduced using the hierarchy of controls. Worksafe has some helpful information on how to do this here.
PPE (personal protective equipment which includes RPE) is at the bottom of the hierarchy. Where practicable, measures from higher up the hierarchy should be engaged first. However RPE forms a fundamental element of health hazard risk management.
Effective RPE (Respiratory Protective Equipment)
When using RPE you must ensure that the following has been considered. Ask yourselves;
Is this fit for purpose? Will this mask filter out the particles myself or my workers are being exposed to?
Where does the mask need to be kept to remain free from contamination, both during and after shift?
How do I clean it? How often do I need to replace parts?
Does the mask fit properly? Does it make an effective seal?
Are the staff educated around all the aspects of RPE? Do they know that facial hair will interfere with the effectiveness of the RPE? Do we have a plan or strategy to manage this?
When is Fit testing of Respiratory protective equipment needed? How often will this be done?
This is another type of workplace health monitoring. This involves the collection of urine or sometimes blood to measure the levels of a given substance in a workers body. Some of the common substances used at workplaces in our region which require bio-logical monitoring are
How does the process of Biological Monitoring work?
After being contacted by you, our Doctor will arrange for testing to be done, either in a lab or at our Richmond clinic.
The sample is then sent to the laboratory for analysis, and it takes a week or so for the results to come back to us at Hemisphere Health.
These are then reviewed by the Dr and a report sent to the workplace (PCBU). The report will contain the results and recommendations to the worker and the workplace.
We would like to express our satisfaction and gratitude for the exceptional service provided by Hemisphere Health. At Pic’s Peanut Butter, ensuring the well-being of our production team is paramount and for many years, Hemisphere Health has played a crucial role through our annual health…Read More →
Dave McKenzie & Ashley MessengerPic’s Peanut Butter