A medical surveillance according to Muzimkhulu Zungu from the University of Pretoria describes medical surveillance as a “planned programme or periodic examination, which may include clinical examinations, biological monitoring or medical tests of employees by an occupational health practitioner (OHP) or in prescribed cases, by an occupational medicine practitioner (OMP)”. Medical surveillance is based on the occupational risk exposure of workers/ employees. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, no 85 of 1993 states that medical surveillance forms an essential component of an occupational health and safety programme.
The medical could include a hearing test, x-rays or biological monitoring. This is done to only detect negative effects of specific workplace hazards. There is paramount importance to note this is not a general health check by a doctor that will pick up every illness. Medical surveillance is required by the law to be carried out in the workplace where workers are exposed to particular hazards. These hazards that require medical surveillance consists of noise, certain chemicals, asbestos, lead etc.
A proper medical surveillance programme must involve constant medical examinations. This means that workers will be examined regularly in order to pick up any changes in their health. Medical surveillance tests are done by a medical doctor or nurse who is certified as an occupational medical professional and at BlueCollar we can provide you with this services at an affordable rate
However many scholars view medical surveillance as a supplement to hazard control measures at the workplace. So medical surveillance play a monitoring role, that is to monitor whether preventative measures are failing or not and to identify an early sign of exposure to a hazard in the body. Therefore, it is meant to be preventative and it is not a general medical check-up.
The fundamental reason of surveillance is to detect and reduce the underlying causes such as hazards, accidents or exposures of any discovered trends and thus has a prevention focus. Both can contribute radically to the success of safety programs and worksite health. However, BlueCollar Health “medical surveillance” requirements are generally clinically focused for instance biological testing, physical assessment, medical and work histories with information obtained from the clinical processes used in the analysis and monitoring elements of medical surveillance.
The purpose of medical surveillance is as follows:
- To determine fitness for duty by assessing
- To comply with statutory requirements
- Whether or not the prospective candidate or employee is physically/mentally fit, and able to perform, the inherent requirements of the prospective or current job without any ill effects.
- Whether he/she is able to perform the work, but not without unacceptable risk to the health and safety of himself/herself, other workers or the community.
- Whether he/she is physically or mentally unable to perform the work in question.
- Whether or not he/she is able to perform the work, but with reduced efficiency or effectiveness.
- To provide a baseline health status against which future changes can be measured.
- To ensure early identification of Occupational diseases at a reversible stage Whether he/she is able to perform the work, although this may adversely affect the medical condition.
- Whether he/she is disabled and voluntarily declares in terms of the Employment Equity Act as they present themselves for examinations.
- To ensure early identification of chronic medical conditions, which need continuous monitoring and management.
Also at BlueCollar, we also provide workplace health surveillance, workplace health surveillance deals with the removal of factors which could lead to illness or injury. BlueCollar Health is a highly respected nationwide employee health screening and corporate wellness programme provider. All Employee Health Screening Services are performed by our expert network of trained health professionals who comply with protocols developed by BlueCollar Health. Our professional medical team are able to visit clients and conduct medical surveillance programmes in accordance with Health and Safety Act No. 85 of 1993 and associated regulations.
Our health screening services can help you map out a custom-made wellness initiative to gain deeper insight into the health risks your employees face. We can provide you with the information you need for a successful, results driven wellness programme. We offer the following services based upon the findings of the occupational health risk analysis, etc.
- Flu vaccinations
- Hepatitis (A/B) vaccinations
- Lung function testing
- Physical medical examination of employees
- Laboratory testing (blood, urine etc. as required by Hazardous Chemical Substance Regulations)
- Audiometric screening