Respiratory lung function screening is carried out to comply with the COSHH Regulations. Respiratory illnesses commonly cause sickness absence, unemployment, visits to the GP, and disability. Collectively, these disorders cause the loss of millions of days per year. There is a duty for employers to carry out risk assessments in order to identify any hazardous or potentially hazardous substance that an employee may breathe in while at work, and then – to do something about it. (COSHH Regulations). Health surveillance works hand in hand with other preventative measures taken by a caring employer, keep up to date – check out the latest COSHH Legislation 2002. Employees who are likely to be exposed to respiratory sensitivities (e.g. isocyanates) should be provided with suitable health surveillance. The exact details will depend of the nature and likelihood of exposure. An occupational health practitioner should be able to ensure that health surveillance fits your particular circumstances. Health surveillance should then include an assessment at the following intervals :
- Three months into employment (questionnaire and spirometry).
- Every six months for the first two years of employment with an annual review thereafter if no problems are identified (questionnaire and spirometry).
Hazards Requiring Screening:
- Colcophony fumes.
- Grain dust and flax.
- Hardwood dusts.
- Isocyanate paint sprays.
- Metal plating processes.
- Organic dusts.
- Polyurethane resins.
- Reactive dyes.
- Silica dust.
- Welding fumes.
Why We Do It
We can help you to meet your health requirements and help identify any areas that may cause concern with regard to respiratory sensitivities.
What We Do
We would complete a questionnaire with the employee that asks about symptoms and occupational exposure to potentially hazardous substances. This is followed by a practical lung function test which will provide us with individual results and is compared to the predicted result for a person of a similar age, height, sex and ethnicity.
Health Surveillance Includes:
- A confidential questionnaire.
- Spirometry (Lung Function) test.
- Health advice as appropriate.
- Referral to a specialist medical consultant if necessary.
- A record sheet for managers which will satisfy health and safety executive requirements.
- This takes 25 minutes per person.
Video Of A Spirometry Test
A useful video from Health Risk At Work about Breathing