10 Things You Should Know About Health Monitoring

Workplace Health Monitoring in NZ

According to Worksafe (2019) statistics, workplace ill-health is a very real and serious issue here in New Zealand.  

“A worker is 15 times more likely to die from  a work-related disease than from a workplace accident.”

With those statistics wouldn’t you say it is common sense to have health monitoring at your place of work?

  1. What is workplace health monitoring?

Health monitoring evaluates if a workers’ health is negatively affected by hazardous exposure while at work, by detecting any changes to the  workers’ health. 

Health monitoring should begin at the start of employment, providing a foundation to assess any health changes, illness or harm and then continue as regular ongoing monitoring to identify if the health of the worker is:

  • getting worse?
  • getting better?
  • remaining the same?

While health monitoring is not mandatory across all safety sensitive businesses, workers undertaking restricted work are obligated by regulations governing health and exposure monitoring.   Read more on the Health and Safety at Work (General Risk and Workplace Management) Regulations 2016

Make health monitoring part of your routine.

  1. Should my business provide health monitoring? 

The type of health and exposure monitoring your workplace requires depends on the type of work your workers undertake and what exposures they have to substances which can be hazardous to their health.  

Are your workers exposed to ongoing:

  • noise
  • chemicals
  • vibration
  • dust
  • fumes

If you are not sure if you need health monitoring, we can help advise you.  

  1. What does health monitoring  include?

Depending on the work the worker is undertaking a health monitoring regime can include:

  • lung function tests 
  • detection of hearing loss 
  • blood tests 
  • vision testing 

Health monitoring must be carried out or be supervised by an occupational health practitioner who is trained and experienced in health monitoring.  That same person can also help to interpret the results of monitoring to ensure that the monitoring is effective. 

  1. Should the worker be informed about health monitoring? 

It is the businesses duty to inform the worker of health monitoring and the regulations concerning health monitoring. 

  1. Who covers the costs of health monitoring?

The business bears the cost of health monitoring of workers. If the worker works across different businesses those costs should then be shared.

  1. Does the worker need to know the outcomes of the monitoring?

It is the duty of the business to provide the health monitoring report to the worker who has undertaken the monitoring.

  1. Should records be kept?  

The report should be kept as a confidential record, however it should be made available for all other businesses who are responsible for health monitoring of that particular worker. 

  1. What else can the business do? 

Introduce control measures to support the health of your workers; perform regular and ongoing measurements to ensure control measures are working; provide regular and ongoing monitoring; encourage compliance within the workforce. 

  1. Should our business include wellness checks when we undertake health monitoring?

Life is busy and hours of trade are often long leaving little time for doctor’s visits, a balanced diet and regular exercise.  More often than not people are unaware of how marginal their health really is until it’s too late.  Fast food on the go over time takes its toll on our health and wellbeing.  Energy drinks, alcohol, high concentrations of carbohydrates, saturated fats and sugars lead to heart disease, diabetes and high cholesterol.  By enabling early diagnosis of disease will help to support your workforce and your business. 

  1. How long does it take?

With Compliance Partners, a basic health monitoring regime will include hearing, lung and vision testing which takes approximately 35 minutes. We recommend including wellness checks of cholesterol, glucose and blood pressure – the whole package is then completed in approximately 45 minutes and your workers.  

Worksafe (2019).  Work-related health estimates and burden of harm. https://www.worksafe.govt.nz/topic-and-industry/work-related-health/work-related-health-estimates-and-burden-of-harm/
Register here for your wellness check up:

  • on April 22, 2021