Are you meeting your health monitoring requirements?
30 September 2016
As a PCBU, you have legal requirements to protect the health of your workers by identifying hazards and managing the associated risks.
Within the construction industry, harm might result from your workers being exposed to, for example:
- noise or vibration
- high exposure to sunlight/UV rays
- temperature extremes of hot and cold
- Solvents, fumes
- Biological agents such as fungi/mould, insect bits, faecal matter
If you identify that your workers are likely to be exposed to any health hazards such as these, you have a primary duty to manage the risks of their exposure.
This can be done by undertaking a detailed risk assessment of the hazard and by referencing the Hierarchy of Controls either to Eliminate the risk or, if not possible, then to minimise it by Substituting, Isolating, Engineering Controls, Administration, PPE (note that there may be multiple controls to minimise the risk).
Health monitoring may be required in the management of particular risks, such as substances that are hazardous to health.
Health monitoring is a way of checking if your workers' health is being harmed from exposure to hazards while carrying out their work. Examples of monitoring include spirometry testing (lung function), audiometric testing (hearing) and mole mapping (skin health).
The PCBU must select an occupational health practitioner with relevant knowledge, skills and experience to carry out or supervise health monitoring. Find out more information about providers at www.hasanz.org.nz
This topic will be covered in more detail in the October-November edition of NZ Plumber magazine,out on 25 October.
You can also read the WorkSafe factsheet on health monitoring HERE.