Requirement to Test
Skin surveillance is all about detecting early signs of any problems with a person skin when exposed to substances and processes in the work place. Health Surveillance is required under the COSHH regulations 2002 and early intervention with minor skin irritations can prevent dermatitis from developing or reduce its impact. People who are exposed to solvents, corrosive materials and those who work with the likes of rubber, latex and various soaps and cleaners are all areas where skin problems can occur. This list is not exhaustive and the HSE web site provides information on what substances are classified as hazardous
Skin surveillance can be conducted by a simple questionnaire often referred to as a paper screen or it can be conducted as a visual inspection and assessment. Like other kinds of screening and surveillance employees should be checked as soon as possible after they start a relevant job to provide a baseline, and then regular checks – every few months or annually, depending on the type of job they do.
The questionnaire should be completed by the employee and returned to Occupational Health and should be very quick to complete. A visual inspection will be conducted within a few minutes
The skin surveillance would help employers and employees to comply with their statutory requirements as laid down by the HSE and in particular regard to the COSHH regulations (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002
As part of the test process the Health Practitioner will gather personal medical information which is kept confidential. All such records will be kept off site with the OH provider or if a suitably locked filing system is provided on site to which only the OH Provider has sole access then this enables us to keep records with the employer. An Employee may consent to records being viewed or kept by the employer or being disclosed to a third party.
A summary of the employee’s results along with the required fit to work sign off where applicable, will be made available along with details of any further referrals advised and any information to enable the management of any health or safety related matters or details of any further action the employer needs to take.