Vocational Health Surveillance & Screening

Vocational Health Surveillance or Screening is an integral part of an Occupational Health function.  This type of activity is undertaken within organisations for compliance with legislation or in line with best practice.   Over-arching legislation is: The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1992, amended 2006), the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations (2002, amended 2004 & 2013) combined with The University of Kent’s Health and Safety Performance Standard (HSPS) 008: Health Surveillance.  Other specific pieces of legislation govern some health surveillance processes and these are detailed below. 

The University of Kent Occupational Health team undertakes vocational health surveillance/screening in the following areas:

  • COSHH Records for contact with human blood/bodily fluids (COSHH Regulations 2002)
  • COSHH Records for contact with hazardous chemicals (COSHH Regulations 2002)
  • Respiratory Health Surveillance under COSHH (COSHH Regulations 2002; HSE G402)
  • Skin Health Surveillance under COSHH (COSHH Regulations 2002; HSE MS 24)
  • Hearing Conservation (Noise at Work Regulations 2008)
  • Hand/Arm Vibration Syndrome (Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005)
  • Night Workers (Working Time Regulations 1998 & HSE Shift Working Good Practice Guidelines)
  • Vocational Driving (“Driving at Work: Managing Work-related Road Safety” HSE INDG382(rev); HSE Medical Standards for Drivers)

Health Surveillance is defined as a systematic, regular and appropriate procedure to detect early signs of work- related ill health, or known biological effects from specific exposures.

Health surveillance is be undertaken where:

  • There is an identifiable disease or adverse health condition related to the work concerned
  • There is a valid technique to detect indications of the disease or condition and that there is a reasonable likelihood that the disease or condition may occur under the particular conditions of work or work exposure and
  • Health surveillance is likely to further the protection of the health of the employees to be covered.
  • To assess whether existing control measures are adequate.
  • Health surveillance records, including COSHH Health Records, are kept for 40 years from the date of the final entry

    Vocational Health Screening measures specific health requirements against standards which are either required or pertinent to the task(s) employees undertake in their role.  Employees are passed fit or unfit for these tasks as measured against these standards

    If you want to discuss your personal or department health surveillance needs please contact the OH team on extn: 4691