Many companies have lost millions of rands annually because of lack of understating the necessity of managing health issues in the workplace. Before embarking on health management programme companies must first consider doing health profile of their employees. In terms of the OHSAct (85 of 1993), all employers are required to conduct an occupational health risk assessments, in order to identify possible hazards in the workplace and to quantify the risks. BlueCollar has experience and knowledge to carry out risk assessments in a wide range of industries, firm and work situations. Health risks assessments are the starting point of any health and safety management systems and when done correctly, they are guaranteed to save money and time in the long-term run.
Bluecollar employs internationally recognized health risk assessment practices and our findings are then incorporated into your action plan. By doing so, this allows our clients to priorities and manages occupational health risks in your business. However, the core problem of health risks assessment is the inabilities or reluctance to address these risks, lack of identification of possible risks and the effect it has on employee’s health.
The main thrust should be doing the right test for the right reasons on the right staff. HRA needs to establish in order to achieve the legal and compliant outcomes.
Firstly is to establish the protocol for setting up the health status of employees before working in an environment, with the aim of ensuring the employee does not harm himself, his workmates or equipment.
Secondly is to establish the impact of work environment on the health of a worker, on an episodic basis by evaluating and monitoring the effects of hazards identified in the specific work area of each worker. The most common personal health risks before an employee is even exposed to hazards in his/her workplace are chronic diseases such as blood pressure, poor vision, TB, lung diseases and hearing loss. While the common occupational health risks are exposure to dust, fumes, noise, chemicals etc, which result in work stimulated or occupational health diseases.
Health Risk assessment
In South Africa noise, an induced hearing loss is regulated because it is a common and debilitating occupational disease. For this, reasons mentioned above, legal compliance in pre-employment, episodic and screening as well as efficient submission of compensation claims is crucial. The law stipulates that the employer have 30 days to establish the hearing level of a new worker after which the employer is liable for any hearing loss incurred.
- A suitable and effective occupational health workplace programme would consist:
- Comprehensive safety, environmental, health, and quality audit are conducted.
- A hygiene survey is undertaken with the aim to quantify health risks.
- BlueCollar medical staff, in concurrence with the health and safety team, drafts a health risk assessment that evaluates, identifies medical surveillance requirements, based on the hygiene survey report and site inspection.
- Identification of Medical surveillance is conducted.
- Follow-ups of identified problems is carried out
- Constant surveillance and re-assessment of the programme occur.
It is important to reach a balance in testing; the risk assessment requires a teamwork and effort, spearheaded by the occupational health staff and in conjunction with the health and safety team. Most health and safety services providers lack the resources to undertake risk assessments and to implement suitable alleviation measures.
Bluecollar provides comprehensive occupational health services in South Africa that range from but not limited to medical surveillance, certificate of fitness, vision screening, biological monitoring, HIV management, patient education and extensive training across a number of modalities.