Health surveillance and hazard control in the workplace

Health surveillance and hazard control in the workplace

Health surveillance is a process of on-going monitoring of employees when they’re working in circumstances that could be harmful for their health.
Companies need to have health surveillance when hazards such as noise, manual handling, biological agents or other factors influence the workplace. Employers sometimes wrongly consider surveillance as a method for preventing harmful situations. Although this may seem like the most convenient approach, it can not avoid exposure to dangerous situations. Complete prevention of these serious situations, as far as possible, is the most appropriate way of controlling risks to health.
Health surveillance can be considered part of health risk management. It requires a systematic approach for early detection of diseases and follow-ups to prevent progression. It can be valuable for employees to know that an effective health control programme is in place.

Hierarchy of hazard control

The system is used in this industry to minimize or even eliminate exposure to hazards. The infographic below is used by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).