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Health Surveillance of Workers


As part of their duty of care towards employees, managers need to ensure that they perform regular surveillance of their workers. This is to observe and identify health conditions which may be caused by and/or affect their ability to work safely, such as using machinery which has the potential to seriously injure themselves or those around them.

The Danger from Hazardous Substances

This possibility exists in just about every industry, but is a particular concern in those industries where workers will frequently encounter hazardous substances as they go about their duties, either through actively using the substances as part of their job, or encountering them as a by-product of the tasks they perform, e.g. dust from drilling or paint fumes.

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health regulations, or COSHH for short, have been put into place in order to ensure the health and safety of workers. These regulations make it mandatory for employers to take steps to prevent harm coming to their employees as a consequence of them coming into contact with substances which can be harmful to their health.

Even with such suitable precautions in place, it is still necessary for employers to monitor employees to identify any signs associated with illness caused by the substances involved. Not only will managers and supervisors need to be suitably trained themselves so that they know about the changes and signs that signal the beginnings of an illness related to the substances, but they also need to ensure that sufficient monitoring of workers takes place. Even with all suitable precautions taken, procedures put in place and safety controls enacted in the workplace, there is still always the potential for these measures not to be 100% effective, making it vitally important that consistent health monitoring takes place to notice any signs of illnesses related to the substances as soon as possible. Identifying illnesses early may make all the difference between a complete recovery and a life-shortening illness.

Not just COSHH

Hazardous substances are by no means the only risks to health and safety which need monitoring by managers and supervisors. The effects of other conditions such as workplace stress, psychological trauma (e.g. witnessing an accident to a colleague), alcohol and substance abuse, persistent loud noise etc all need to be looked out for as a worker who is suffering from such issues may not only have their own health and safety at risk, but might also put their fellow workers at risk if they were to cause an accident to take place. The dangers from hazardous substances and these other conditions are all covered on a NEBOSH General Certificate course such as is their importance. It is crucial that managers are aware of such risks, with health and safety training courses like the NEBOSH General Certificate being suitable for both managers and workers alike.

Selected Courses

Please see below for a selection of health and safety courses and qualifications which you may be interested in:

NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety is the flagship NEBOSH qualification, and is the first UK vocational qualification to be developed specifically for health and safety professionals.

The NEBOSH National Diploma provides the core health and safety knowledge (transferable across industry, commerce and the public sector) which, combined with understanding and appropriate application, underpins the competent performance of an occupational health and safety practitioner.

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NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH General Certificate is one of the most popular and widely-held health and safety qualifications in the UK. It is intended to be taken by managers, supervisors and any other employees who require an understanding of general health and safety issues.

The NEBOSH General Certificate covers the main legal requirements for health and safety in the UK, along with the identification and control of workplace hazards, and the practical application of this knowledge. The general content of the NEBOSH General Certificate syllabus means it is suitable and relevant for those working in virtually any industry, and is often used as a solid foundation for those going on to further study and specialising in a particular area such as construction site health and safety or fire safety.

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IOSH Managing Safely Course

The IOSH Managing Safely course is designed for managers and supervisors of organisations in virtually all industry sectors, in order to give them all they need to know to effectively manage health and safety in the workplace.

Recently updated, the new high impact programme covers key health and safety issues, and includes references to international case studies.

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CITB Site Management SMSTS Course

The Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) is one of the most popular health and safety training courses, and is intended for construction site managers, project managers and senior supervisors, as well as proprietors of smaller companies.

Client-based personnel would also benefit from attending the SMSTS course.

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CITB Health and Safety Awareness Course

This course is for those who have entered, or are about to enter, the construction and civil engineering industry as a member of the workforce to help them understand the potential hazards that they face at work on site. It aims to provide a practical summary of health and safety, welfare and environmental health and safety issues.

The course also allows delegates to identify their individual responsibilities for looking after themselves and others, what the employer's duties are and what should be done if they think anyone's health and safety is being put at risk.

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