Health Surveillance Overview 

What is Health Surveillance?

The University's duty of care for the health, safety and welfare of its employees includes Health Surveillance (which is also a requirement of the Control of Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulation 11). Health surveillance is a system of ongoing health checks. The starting point is a risk assessment undertaken by departments to identify the risks or hazards in the workplace, who might be at risk and then appropriate measures to control the risks (such as providing personal protective equipment). Some hazards present an ongoing risk and therefore Health Surveillance is required on an regular basis to monitor the potential risk to health.

Why is health surveillance important?

It is important for:

  • Detecting ill-health effects at an early stage, so that as an employer we can take steps to introduce better controls to prevent them getting worse where possible
  • Providing data to help us evaluate health risks
  • Enabling employees to raise concerns about how work affects their health
  • Highlighting lapses in workplace control measures, therefore providing invaluable feedback to the Health and Safety risk assessment
  • Providing an opportunity to reinforce employee training and education (e.g. on the impact of health effects and the use of protective equipment)

When is it required?

There are a range of hazards or potentially hazardous situations in the University which require Health Surveillance and these may include:

  • Biological – blood, blood products, human tissue etc
  • Genetically modified materials
  • High levels of noise
  • Vibration – frequent exposure to vibrating tools/equipment
  • Respiratory hazard – for example fumes, glues or animal workers
  • Substances with known risk of dermatitis, skin sensitisation or other skin conditions
  • Individuals who drive in the course of their role
  • Individuals who work at night in the course of their role

Departmental Safety Officers should use appropriate risk assessments to identify any need for health surveillance. Once identified the member of staff will need to be added to the Annual Clinic Programme, where applicable (see below).

Please note you should not use health surveillance as a substitute for undertaking a risk assessment or using effective controls.

Annual Clinic Programme

There is an annual programme of face to face health surveillance at the University that typically runs between June and December each year. The health surveillance clinics are carried out by Health Management Limited (HML) and the co-ordination of the programme is managed by the HR Engagement and Wellbeing team (occupationalhealth@sheffield.ac.uk) and a designated lead for health surveillance in each faculty or area of the University. Please see the list of faculty lead contacts at the bottom of this page. 

These clinics are available for those staff who have exposure to the following risks or fall within the following categories of role:

Respiratory sensitizers

Skin sensitizers

Hand and arm vibration

Audiometry

Drivers

Not all potential health risks require a face to face assessment. Those groups of staff who are not required to attend a health surveillance assessment include: food handlers, cleaners, manual handlers and night workers. There is separate guidance on the Health Surveillance pages about how these groups are assessed. 

What happens once clinic appointments are over?

You will only hear back from your Departmental Safety Office or Line Manager if there is a need for you to be referred to make a further assessment on fitness to undertake current duties. Should you do not hear from your Departmental Safety Office or Line Manager, you are fit to continue in duties, and no further action is required.

Your Line Manager and Departmental Safety Officer will continue to consider risk assessments and need for inclusion in subsequent Health Surveillance programmes.

Faculty Leads for Health Surveillance

AMRC
Steve Davies stephen.davies@sheffield.ac.uk
Emily Wood emily.wood@sheffield.ac.uk

Faculty of Engineering
Lynne Codd l.s.codd@sheffield.ac.uk

Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry & Health
Kevin Corke k.p.corke@sheffield.ac.uk
Anne Gregory a.gregory@sheffield.ac.uk

Faculty of Science
Catherine Wolstenholme c.wolstenholme@sheffield.ac.uk
Nina Cardinal n.cardinal@sheffield.ac.uk

Professional Services
EFM Campus Services
Lisa Woods l.woods@sheffield.ac.uk
Richard Yates r.yates@sheffield.ac.uk
EFM Property & Business Services
Chris Garlick c.garlick@sheffield.ac.uk
EFM Engineering & Maintenance
Bill McFarlane w.mcfarlane@sheffield.ac.uk