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COSHH-Health Surveillance Duties in the Workplace.

Health Surveillance Duties

The employer must ensure that, where appropriate, suitable healthsurveillance is provided for the protection of the health of his employees who are, or are liable to be, exposed to a substance hazardous to health.

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations do not require the employer to carry out health surveillance as regards other workers or non-workers. However, where non-employees face the same risks as employees for whom health surveillance is appropriate, the employer may decide to carry out health surveillance as part of his general duty in the Health and Safety at Work Act to protect non-employees.

Where Health Surveillance Is Appropriate

Health surveillance is appropriate under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations where the employee is exposed significantly to any carcinogenic substance; or any substance and process specified in Schedule 5 of the COSHH Regulations.

Health surveillance is also appropriate under COSHH where:

  • there is a known link between an employee's exposure to a substance and an identifiable disease or adverse health effect;
  • there is a reasonable likelihood that the disease or effect may occur under the particular conditions of his or her work; and
  • there are valid techniques for detecting indications of the disease or effect.

In cases where there can be a latent period between exposure and any health effect, for example exposure to a carcinogenic substance, there may be a need for continuing health surveillance after exposure has ceased.

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