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Workplace Health Monitoring

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.

All staff on the tools:

  • Audiometry (hearing screen)
  • Spirometry (Lung function test)
  • A solvent / neurotoxin screening tool

Villa Renovation team:

  • Audiometry
  • Spirometry
  • A solvent / neurotoxin screening tool
  • Blood lead test
  • Asbestos medical

Biological Exposure Monitoring

This is another type of workplace health monitoring. This involves the collection of most often urine or occasionally blood, to measure the levels of a given substance in a worker’s body. Some of the common substances used at workplaces in our region which require bio-logical monitoring are:

  • Copper
  • Chromium
  • Arsenic
  • Lead
  • Cobalt

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.

What else can the Workplace do?

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, or as well. However RPE forms a fundamental element of health hazard risk management.

All respiratory equipment needs to be fit tested – Find out about how we can help with your Mask Fit Testing here.

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