Health Surveillance

Health Surveillance Medicals are carried out for those employees that are exposed to certain hazardous, or scheduled substances in the workplace. If your business handles hazardous substances, you are obligated by law to have a health surveillance program in place.

 

A Health Surveillance Medical monitors the health of a worker, the purpose is to identify early changes after exposure to hazardous substances. Immediate action can then be taken to prevent irreversible harm to the workers’ health.

 

Workscreen Medicals health monitoring system is dedicated to assisting employees to avoid health-related risks to a range of substances including:

  • Arsenic

  • Asbestos

  • Crystalline silica

  • Isocyanates

  • Leads

  • Mercury 

  • Organophosphate

  • Silica Dust

 

 

Examples of jobs that may involve exposure to hazardous substances:

 

Isocyanates

  • Automotive spray painting

  • Boatbuilders and spray painters

  • Foam-blowing

  • Manufacturing Polyurethane products, such as chemicals, polyurethane foam, insulation materials, surface coatings, car seats, furniture, foam mattresses, under-carpet padding, packaging materials, shoes, laminated fabrics, polyurethane rubber, and adhesives, and during the thermal degradation of polyurethane products.

Lead

  • Smelting or casting lead, Lead production; scrap metal recycling, refining lead, melting lead, pouring lead, fire assays of ore samples containing lead (gold ores)

  • Removing lead coatings, Welding, cutting, brazing, grinding, sanding or blasting of old paint: houses and buildings (painted before 1978); bridges; ships; steel towers; water, petroleum or underground tanks

  • Spraying lead products, Radiator repair; Battery repair; Welding, cutting, brazing, machining or grinding lead alloys; Repair and removal of water lines or cast iron soil pipes; Elevator cable babbitting; Brazing pipes and sheets; Electrical cable splicing and resplicing; Installation or removal of terne roofing (Terne is used to coat sheet steel to inhibit corrosion); Spraying of molten lead, leaded glass or lead paint; Stained glass window removal and repair; Firing ammunition

  • Making lead products, Lead-acid battery manufacturing; Glaze manufacturing; Lead-glazed pottery making; Crystal glass manufacturing; Making lead joints/Babbitt (Babbitt metal is most commonly used as a thin surface layer in a complex, multi-metal structure, but its original use was as a cast-in-place bulk bearing material); Pewter production; Cable production; Leaded or stained glass production; Ceramic glaze mixing and kiln firing; Paint and ink manufacture; Leaded plastics manufacture; Ammunition manufacture; Electronic components (ceramic coated capacitors and resistors) manufacturing; Manufacturing electrical components using fritted glass; Production of lead pipe, sheet, solder, type metal, cable shielding, or anodes; Mixing and weighing of lead powders

 

Organophosphates

Organophosphate compounds are used to destroy insects such as fleas, lice, flies, and mosquitoes. These chemicals are used for pest control on crops in agriculture and on livestock, for other commercial purposes 

Occupational exposure                                                                                    

  • Agricultural workers                                                                                      

  • Manufacturing industry workers                                                            

  • Pesticide exterminators                                                                              

  • Greenhouse workers and florists

  • Health care workers, Contaminated organ donor

  • Veterinary employees, Close proximity to farms

  • Prosectors performing autopsies

  • Gulf War veterans

                       

 

What is included in a Health Surveillance Medical?

 

On WorkSafe Western Australia Health Surveillance issued paperwork, the medical typically includes full work history and health questionnaire, a physical examination and specific tests depending on the health effects of the hazard e.g. Spirometry (Lung testing), Chest X-Ray

 

How often is a Health Surveillance Medical required?

 

The Health Surveillance Medical is required before the worker commences employment, at regular intervals depending on the substance and at the termination of the employment.

 

The regular intervals are generally 6 weeks after the initial medical then 6 months later and yearly thereafter.

 

Our Medical professionals will provide the worker with education about the potential effects of the substance, the importance of PPE and personal hygiene. Workscreen Medical will provide feedback to the employer regarding the effectiveness of control measures based on the health surveillance results and provide explanations to the worker.

If there is evidence of adverse effects due to the substance, Workscreen medical will provide the employer with interventions to take including removal from work.

When required, WorkSafe Western Australia will be notified, and Health Surveillance records are kept for at least 30 years as required by law.

 

For further information on Health Surveillance, please see here

https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/worksafe/health-surveillance-0