Carrying out Health Surveillance where Required

Carrying Out Health Surveillance where Required


The employer must, in making his risk assessments, identify any risks where health surveillance of employees is required.

The employer must, where such health surveillance is required in relation to a risk, ensure that employees who are exposed to that risk are provided with appropriate health surveillance.

Health surveillance is required where the employer is obliged to provide it under more specific rules, for example COSHH. It is also required in any circumstances not covered by more specific rules but where the risk assessment shows the following criteria apply:

  • there is an identifiable disease or adverse health condition related to the work concerned;
  • valid techniques are available to detect indications of the disease or condition;
  • there is a reasonable likelihood that the disease or condition may occur under the particular conditions of work;
  • surveillance is likely to further the protection of the health of the employees concerned.

    In addition to exposure to substances, where health surveillance may be required by COSHH, disease or adverse health conditions can arise from many other hazards such as stress, vibration, the sun, extreme cold and others. The employer must therefore ensure that appropriate competent persons are involved in risk assessments since it would be easy for inappropriate managers or professionals to make incorrect assumptions over whether or not the required criteria are met.

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