Control of Substances Hazardous to Health - COSHH Level 2 (VTQ)

49 videos, 2 hours and 3 minutes

Course Content

COSHH Health Surveillance

Video 40 of 49
2 min 51 sec
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Importance of Health Surveillance in the Workplace: Guidelines and Procedures

Understanding Health Surveillance

Monitoring employees' health is crucial for early problem detection and intervention.

Definition by HSE

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines health surveillance as any activity that gathers information about employees' health to protect them from work-related health risks.

Objectives of Effective Health Surveillance

The main goals include:

  • Early detection of adverse changes or diseases.
  • Collecting data to detect or evaluate health hazards.
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of control measures in place.

Distinguishing Health Surveillance

It's important to note that health surveillance differs from general health screening or promotion activities.

Risks Requiring Surveillance

Risks such as noise, vibration, solvents, dust, fumes, biological agents, asbestos, lead, compressed air work, and ionising radiation necessitate health surveillance to prevent issues like asthma, dermatitis, or cancer.

Implementation and Action

Health surveillance involves planned assessments of workers' health, including tests or examinations. However, it's not enough to conduct tests; results must be interpreted, and action taken to eliminate or further control exposure.

Roles and Responsibilities

Occupational health service physicians or competent healthcare professionals like doctors or nurses may conduct health surveillance. Employers must ensure competent professionals perform these tasks.

HSE Guidelines

The HSE recommends a four-stage approach for employers:

  • Determine if there's a health risk.
  • Evaluate the need for occupational health monitoring.
  • Identify the best provider for health surveillance.
  • Assess the effectiveness of implemented measures.


Records of health surveillance must be securely stored in compliance with data protection regulations. Essential details include individuals' names, National Insurance Numbers, exposure details, testing outcomes, and frequency.