Introduction of Theory and Practice of Health Surveillance in the Workplace
The delight of many people in finding employment is to work and operate in a safe workplace environment that also gives assurance of good health. …
of Theory and Practice of Health Surveillance in the Workplace Introduction The delight of many people in finding employment is to work and operate in a safe workplace environment that also gives assurance of good health. However, evidence from modern workplace environments will confirm that there exist numerous health and safety issues at workplace (Lewis and Thornbory, 2010). The presence of these varied health and safety issues cannot guarantee workers and all other persons involved meaningful occupation environment hence it is always important to ensure the identified issues are dealt with. In an attempt to ensure there is promotion of adequate health and safety of individuals in the workplace, risk assessment has become one way of identifying the pertinent problems and issues compounding the workplace (Lewis and Thornbory 2010). The essence of risk assessment is to identify the risks present and subsequently create a safe system in the workplace. What should be known is that, in most cases health, safety risks present in the working environment are not seen or felt, and therefore, demonstrable signs may be absent. As a result, the effects may remain hidden only to surface after a particular period. The evolution of health surveillance in the workplace has been gradual but impacting and it is from this interest that effort will be made to conduct evidence-based analysis of health surveillance practice in the workplace. The focus of the paper will center on; discussion and exploration of nature and purpose of workforce surveillance, legal requirements for conducting health surveillance, types of health surveillance and also evidence-based analysis of health surveillance to particular occupational exposure. Throughout this, the role of occupational health in responding to abnormal findings will be evaluated and how well they can be communicated to employees and managers, and discussion on the quality assurance systems and processes used for surveillance will be assessed. Health Surveillance in the Workplace Profound changes are taking place at the workplace in many countries and industries and the nature of changes can be evidenced in the increasing change in work, work environments, and employment patterns (Lilley and Feyer, 2010). All these aspects are seen to be shaped and influenced by the increasing political, economic, technological, and social change that characterizes the modern societies (Lilley and Feyer 2010). Emergence of these new profiles of hazards is negatively impacting the health and safety of workers, a concern that calls for appropriate actions of mitigation. The overall measure has been a call, sometimes a legal call for employers to initiate programs and measures that should promote the health and safety of its employees. Both international and national bodies have been formulated as guidance frameworks that propagate for enhancement of a health and safer working environment for workers. International Labor Organization (ILO) has in place, Occupational Safety and Health Convection number 155 and the Occupational Health Service Convection number 161, in which employers in both convections are required to ensure health and safety needs of workers are promoted (Stellman and International Labour Office 1998). In this way, employers through appropriate programs are supposed to promote the health ...
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