When should an employer carry out health surveillance?

Where a health and safety risk assessment identifies a risk that cannot be eliminated or reduced to such a level that it is not harmful to health, the employer will need to take further steps, which might involve introducing health surveillance. This may be necessary where employees are at risk from, for example: noise, vibration, solvents, biological agents, asbestos or ionising radiation.

Health surveillance should be used where the risk assessment shows that there is an identifiable disease or adverse health condition related to the work concerned, and valid techniques are available to detect indications of the disease or condition. The circumstances should be such that there is a reasonable likelihood that the disease or condition will occur under the particular conditions of work, and surveillance is likely to further the protection of the relevant employees' health and safety.