Many workplaces monitor the health of their employees by completing a variety of health tests, including lung function and hearing. Others monitor the environment of their workplace, including the atmosphere and noise levels. They all should be doing both. Here’s why.
Occupational Health deals with protecting the safety, health and welfare of your people engaged in your workplace or employment by monitoring the impact of hazards on your employee’s health and adopting changes where required. By completing testing of the lung function and hearing of your workers, we can gain greater understanding of whether or not your workplace may be having a negative impact on your employees’ health, and if your hazards are being effectively managed.
For this data to be useful and to implement controls to minimise these hazards, an environmental risk assessment can be completed by one of our Occupational Hygienists.
Occupational Hygiene is the science of identifying, evaluating, reporting and controlling factors within the workplace environment that may cause your workers’ harm or illness.
Environmental monitoring equipment is used to detect the extent to which workers may be exposed to workplace environmental hazards such as chemicals, noise, dust and airborne contaminants.
When these factors have been established the Occupational Hygienist can then recommend suitable engineering or work practice controls, to substitute, eliminate, isolate or minimise potential health risks and hazards.
A Workplace Noise Assessment must be taken every 5 years, or sooner if you’ve moved premises, removed or introduced any machinery, or increased or decreased any shift times. Chemical, Fume, Vapour and Dust Exposure assessments should be done on a regular basis to ensure that the exposure levels in your work site are within the WorkSafe NZ Workplace Exposure standards. These assessments will help you implement controls for the identified hazards and effectively manage them.
By then monitoring the health of your employees through annual assessments you can ensure your hazard control systems are effective.
Occupational Hygienists and Occupational Health Nurses work in close collaboration with each other. The Occupational Hygienist identifies, evaluates and reports on the environmental hazards and provides recommendations for control of the hazard. The Occupational Health Nurse measures and monitors any effects that exposure causes to the workers’ health. The Occupational Health Nurse can then report any changes which may indicate that the controls are not being maintained or are inadequate.