Guideline aim to reduce 12,000 workplace deaths a year from exposure to harmful substances…
New guidelines have been made available online by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to inform employers about their responsibilities with regard to safeguarding the wellbeing of their employees’ health.
This new information has been published on the website of the HSE and focuses on the area of health surveillance in those industries that have risks associated with chemicals and other hazardous substances. The guidance stresses that it is necessary to be vigilant about these risks even when all safety protocols have been followed.
The guidelines were created with the help of key figures and experts within the industry and are especially useful in aiding business owners in their decisions about how to maintain health surveillance and what to do with the results gathered from it.The information is also of a practical nature and aims to deliver value to business with lower risks by identifying what level of action is required, thus preventing any possible waste of resources.
The HSE estimate that exposure to dangerous chemicals, toxins or harmful substances at the work place accounts for up to 12,000 deaths a year, the equivalent of more than 200 deaths a week.
The head of the HSE’s health surveillance initiative, Paul Beaumont described the rationale behind the plan:
“We know from our work with industry that some businesses can be unclear about when health surveillance is needed and how to implement it, so are deterred from taking action.
“Other companies could be wasting money unnecessarily by implementing it where it’s not needed.
“This new guidance, developed with industry, should help take any mystery away and give employers the confidence to know whether or not health surveillance is appropriate.
“Ultimately, better targeted health surveillance can lead to a healthier workforce and a more productive business.”
Author: Julian Roberts
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