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Health Focus

This section looks at articles and information on aspects of both occupational health, absence from work and general well being.

What is health surveillance?

Health surveillance is a system of ongoing health checks.  These health checks may be required by law for employees who are exposed to noise or vibration, ionising radiation, solvents, fumes, dusts, biological agens and other substances hazardous to health, or who work in compressed air.  Health surveillance can also be used to monitor the wellbeing of employees in relation to manual handling.

Health surveillance is important for:

- Detecing ill health effects at an early stage, so employers can introduce better controls to prevent them getting worse
- Providing data to help employers evaluate health risks
- Enabling employees to raise concerns about how work affects their health
- Highlighting lapses in workplace control measures, tehrefore providing invaluable feedback to the risk assessment.
- Providing an opportunity to reinforce training and education of employees (eg on the impact of health effects and the use of protective equipment)

The risk assessment should be used to identify any need for health surveillance.  You should not use health surveillance as a substitute for undertaking a risk assessment or using effective controls.

When putting in place a health surveillance programme, avoid blanket coverage for all employees as it can provide misleading results and waste money.
 

BACK CARE

Simplyhealth and Nuffield Health have launched a free online back care awareness guide for businesses.  The website includes a range of factsheets which cover issues such as persistent back pain, desk exercises, back problems in pregnancy and ergonomics.  There is also a selection of posters on lifting correctly, getting comfortable and general back awareness.
The Awareness section of the site includes a manager's checklist to help spot the signs of musculoskeletal issues in employees and a list of 'red flats'; symptoms which may indicate a serious health problem.

www.simplyhealth.co.uk/backcare

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HWL wellbeingSMALL FIRM HEALTH RISKS DVD - August 2012
A new DVD available to buy or download free click here

SAFETY GROUP UK INITIATIVE HEALTH RISKS AT WORK - May 2012
Taking action to manage health doesn't have to be costly to deliver significant business benefit
Link to the safety group website to view the initiative click here

FLAIR ON A SHOESTRING -Workplace health promotion - April 2012

EXCESSIVE OVERTIME LINKED TO DEPRESSION - March 2012

OFFICE WORKERS URGED TO BE MORE ACTIVE  - March 2012