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Published Monday, 23rd April 2018

Legislation to minimise the risk to employees of adverse health effects due to hazardous substances at work has been introduced in all States and Territories of Australia. Many companies have a legislative obligation to provide their employees with consistent health surveillance to detect changes in a worker’s health, should they be exposed to such hazardous chemicals.

An example of this relates to crystalline silica; if your employees perform work tasks that expose them to respirable crystalline silica dust, then they must undergo a baseline, periodic, and exit health surveillance assessment.

Integrating this baseline health surveillance assessment with your pre-employment medicals, so that they are conducted at the same time, is a great way to kill two birds with one stone and save time and money.

 

Hazardous Chemicals

Under work health and safety legislation employers are required to undergo health monitoring where there is significant risk of workers developing an occupational disease due to exposure to the following hazardous chemicals:

  • Acrylonitrile
  • Arsenic (inorganic)
  • Asbestos
  • Benzene
  • Cadmium
  • Chromium (inorganic)
  • Creosote
  • Crystalline silica
  • Isocyanates
  • Lead (inorganic)
  • Mercury (inorganic)
  • 4,4′-Methylene bis(2-chloroaniline) (MOCA)
  • Organophosphate pesticides
  • Pentachlorophenol (PCP)
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)
  • Thallium
  • Vinyl chloride.

 

Why integrate these processes?

Integrating pre-employment medicals and baseline health surveillance assessments can benefit your business in a number of ways by creating efficiencies and saving time.

Candidates are already required to undergo a pre-employment medical assessment when they start work, so combining the two assessments is a time saver because all requirements can be fulfilled in the one appointment. Many of the components that need to be covered in a health surveillance assessment are checked (or can be easily checked) within a pre-employment medical, so there’s no need to conduct them separately.

Another reason to integrate your workers’ baseline health surveillance assessments, is because they often get forgotten once the employee starts work and is busy with induction and training, and this can be dangerous.

If you’re employing someone to perform tasks where they are exposed to hazardous chemicals, you need to understand their current health status to ensure they are fit for the role. For example, if you are employing someone to work with crystalline silica, you need to ensure they don’t already have signs and symptoms of silicosis when they are employed with you.

 

How KINNECT can help

KINNECT can assist with integrating your health surveillance program into your pre-employment medical by creating custom paperwork that incorporates your health surveillance testing at the pre-employment medical stage.

Data captured during the assessment is then loaded into our CloudHealth platform where you are able to view and track your health surveillance program in real time.

CloudHealth will then notify you when the employee is due for their next health surveillance test, meaning you won’t need to track anything yourself and there’s no need for confusing spreadsheets and no chance of missed appointments.

KINNECT then use that baseline data to compare against any subsequent tests to identify changes in health in the worker, which allows you to be confident that you’re on top of your workers’ health status at all times.

Integrating your health surveillance program into your pre-employment medicals can save you time and money in the long run and provides peace of mind that you’re protecting you workforce and fulfilling your requirements as an employer.

Contact KINNECT for an obligation-free discussion about your health surveillance program.

 

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