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Procedure: Health surveillance

Purpose

To outline the procedure for health surveillance at the ANU.

Procedure

Overview

  1. The University's health surveillance program is part of a range of measures to ensure the ongoing health, safety and wellbeing of staff. The program contributes to:
  • The prevention and detection at an early stage of any adverse health effects from exposure;
  • Assessing whether any absorbed dose of the hazardous material is acceptable compared to established occupational exposure standards;
  • Assisting in the evaluation of risk control measures;
  • Indicating biological effects requiring cessation or reduction of exposure; and
  • General awareness of the adverse effects of exposure to hazardous materials and processes.
  1. The ANU provides health surveillance for staff, who have been identified in workplace risk assessments as:
  1. Having a significant risk to health from one of the hazardous substances listed in Schedule 1A (Scheduled carcinogenic substances) and 2 (Hazardous Substances) of the Safety Standards Regulations; or
  2. Having significant exposure to a hazardous substance for which:
  • an identifiable disease or health effect may be related to that exposure;
  • there is reasonable likelihood that the disease or health effect may occur under the particular conditions of work;
  • there are valid techniques for detecting indications of the disease or the effect;
  • there is a valid biological monitoring procedure available; and/or
  • a reasonable likelihood that exposure values might be exceeded; or
  1. Having a significant risk to health from any of the following:
  • Excessive occupational noise and/or vibration;
  • Working with allergens and irritants;
  • Working with Class 3B or 4 lasers;
  • Working in a confined space;
  • Using self-contained breathing apparatus;
  • Exposure to biological pathogens, including vaccinations;
  • Exposure to hazardous levels of non-ionizing radiation (e.g. ultraviolet light),
  • Absorption of radioactive materials; or
  • Working with nanoparticles/nanotechnology; or
  • In the opinion of the University's Occupational Hygienist, benefiting from health surveillance or medical monitoring; or
  1. In the opinion of the University's OHS Injury Management Case Manager, benefiting from screening for:
  • Visually demanding tasks;
  • Fitness for duty (working at heights); and
  • Manual handling competency/strength.

Responsibilities - Work Environment Group

  1. The Associate Director, Work Environment Group is responsible for overseeing the management of the Health Surveillance Program, including;
  • Assisting Colleges/Service Divisions in conducting risk assessments to identify staff at significant risk from workplace hazardous materials or processes. This may involve Work Environment Group evaluation and assessment of hazards;
  • Establishing and maintaining records for all staff on the Health Surveillance Program;
  • Assessing and investigating health surveillance reports where there are exposure levels above the accepted level; and
  • Establishing agreements with external medical service providers as required.

Responsibilities - Colleges/Service Divisions

  1. The College Deans and Service Division Directors, or their nominee, are responsible for:
  • Appointing a Responsible Person to manage the Health Surveillance Program within their area, and notifying the name of the Responsible Person to the Work Environment Group; and
  • All costs associated with the health surveillance program, including the cost of the medical appointment and costs for the staff member attending the appointment;

Note 1. Costs are not claimable under the Medicare Act.

Note 2. Colleges/Service Divisions are encouraged to budget for health surveillance costs annually and in plans for any new projects (as part of normal risk management processes).

Note 3. An invoice may be paid by the Work Environment Group and recovered from the budget area.

Responsibilities - College/Service Division Responsible Person

  1. The College/Service Division Responsible Person is responsible for:
  • Organising initial and subsequent health surveillance medical appointments, based on the health surveillance requirements for specific hazards (determined by the College/Service Division in consultation with the Occupational Physician or other Specialist);
  • Liaising with the University's Occupational Hygienist in determining health surveillance schedules; and
  • Notifying the Work Environment Group of any changes to health surveillance monitoring/records including:
  • The addition of new or existing staff to the health surveillance program;
  • The movement of staff to a different position within the College/Service Division also requiring health surveillance;
  • The movement of staff in the health surveillance program to a different position within the College/Service Division for which health surveillance is not required;
  • The movement of staff to another College/Service Division within ANU; and
  • The cessation of employment at ANU for a member of staff who is part of the health surveillance program.

Responsibilities - Persons undergoing health surveillance

  1. Staff members undergoing health surveillance are required to attend any appointment that is made for them, or notify the responsible person (and the medical practice) of their inability to attend so another appointment can be made. Any fees for cancellation of an appointment are the responsibility of the person for whom the appointment was made.
  2. Where a staff member does not wish to undertake health surveillance when required, and there is an unreasonable risk to that person or others at the University, the staff member must provide reasons in writing to their Supervisor and the Work Environment Group for not wishing to undertake health surveillance. The University reserves the right to remove them from any duties relating to working with the hazardous material or process. Appropriate redeployment options will be supported if a review of the employment contract is indicated.

Operation of health surveillance program

  1. The following table describes the operation of the Health Surveillance Program.

Stage

Who

Description

1

Supervisor

Identifies tasks within the job description that potentially expose staff to hazards requiring health surveillance.

Note. These should be documented in the Pre-Employment Work Environment Report (PEWER) form

2

College/Service Division

Identifies participants in the Health Surveillance Program and notifies the Responsible Person within their College/Service Division. This may occur through workplace inductions or regular discussions with staff/teams.

Note. Work Environment Group is available to assist.

3

Responsible Person

Makes an appointment with the appropriate ANU appointed Occupational Physician or other Specialist and notifies the Work Environment Group that an appointment has been made.

Note. Participants may choose their own medical practitioner, provided they have the qualifications and skills to perform the required health surveillance testing according to the national standards.

For a list of approved medical practitioners, contact the Work Environment Group.

4

Work Environment Group

Establishes a record for the participant.

If: a record already exists;
Then: annotates the record with the new health surveillance requirement.

5

Occupational Physician/Specialist

Conducts the health surveillance testing to determine the level of exposure,

Sends a copy of the report to the Work Environment Group, and

Retains the original records on behalf of the ANU.

6

Work Environment Group

Examines the report and sends an email detailing the results to the, the person undergoing health surveillance and their Supervisor. A basic information email is also sent to the Responsible Person for the budget area.

7

Responsible Person

If: exposure is above the accepted level;
Then: makes an appointment for the Participant and their Supervisor to discuss the results with the Work Environment Group.

8

Work Environment Group

Explains the results to the Participant and their Supervisor,

Note. If dissatisfied with the findings, the Participant may seek a second opinion at their own expense.

Requests and assists the responsible College/Service Division to reassess workplace controls relating to working with the hazardous material or process,

Warning. The Work Environment Group may require the responsible College/Service Division to cease all operations related to the exposure until they can implement appropriate controls to minimise any further risks to the health and safety of those working with the hazardous material or process,

Annotates the Participant's file with the outcomes of the interview, and

Notifies the appropriate authority when/if required.

9

College/Service Division

Reassesses workplace controls,

Implements improved controls, and

Informs the Work Environment Group of the implementation of the improved controls.

Note. The College/Service Division is responsible for all costs associated with assessing and implementing improved controls.

10

Work Environment Group

Notes the improved controls on the Participant's file.

Access to records

  1. Records and reports produced as a result of health surveillance are confidential. Only the following people shall have access to the records:
  • Those who have undergone health surveillance and their supervisors (through the Work Environment Group);
  • Work Environment Group;
  • Third parties, only with the written consent of the person having undergone the health surveillance; and
  • Persons having undergone health surveillance, on termination of employment,

Access to health surveillance data

  1. Work Environment Group may provide non-identifiable health surveillance data to Deans, Directors or OHS committees to assist with monitoring and improving the University's performance in working with hazardous material or process.

Correspondence

  1. Health Surveillance correspondence is to be directed to:

Health Surveillance Officer
Work Environment Group
Building 3H
The Australian National University
Canberra ACT 0200
Australia
Email: ohsmedical@anu.edu.au
Fax: (02) 612 55582

Information

Printable version (PDF)
Title Health surveillance
Document Type Procedure
Document Number ANUP_000504
Version 6
Purpose To outline the procedure for health surveillance at the ANU.
Audience Staff
Category Administrative
Topic/ SubTopic Health, Safety & Environment
 
Effective Date 24 Mar 2011
Review Date 24 Mar 2014
 
Responsible Officer Director, Human Resources
Approved By: Chief Operating Officer
Contact Area Human Resources Division
Authority