WHY IS MEDICAL SURVEILLANCE ESSENTIAL?
Employers have a moral and legal responsibility to protect their workers, and any other person within the boundaries of the workplace, against health risks and hazards that might arise from their activities.
Legislation prescribes the legal duties and rights regarding monitoring the health of workers exposed to specific health risks and hazards associated with their occupations.
Medical surveillance is a planned program to monitor the health of workers and is permissible in terms of legislation and justifiable in terms of medical evidence, conditions of employment and the inherent requirements of the job.
Monitoring the health of workers protects and maintains the health and safety of the work force as well as that of co-workers.
Failure to comply with the prescribed medical surveillance of employees holds serious financial implications for the employer and employee as result of occupational injuries and/or disease.
WHAT ARE THE AIMS OF MEDICAL SURVEILLANCE?
- To determine if the employee’s present state of health and determine if an employee is physically and mentally fit to perform the appointed duties associated with the job.
- To identify underlying conditions that may be negatively influenced by the job or place of work.
- To record and inform the employer of any area and/or job restrictions placed on an employee to ensure safe placement.
- To record baseline health indicators against which subsequent changes in the employee’s health status can be evaluated, prompting corrective intervention.
- To detect occupational disease at an early stage and proactively intervene to safeguard the employee and employer alike.
- To recommend necessary actions to protect and maintain the health of workers and comply with legal requirements concerning the work.