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Health Monitoring Policy


Responsibility for policy: Health, Safety and Wellness Manager
Approving authority: Vice-Chancellor
Last reviewed: July 2018
Next review date: July 2023

Print Version

Application

  1. This policy applies to all staff, students and contractors to the University of Waikato.

Scope

  1. This policy excludes the monitoring of mental health, age-related health issues, and monitoring for use in the planning, implementation and evaluation of public health programmes.

Purpose

  1. The purpose of this policy is to set out the requirements for baseline and/or ongoing health monitoring to ensure that the health of staff, students and contractors is not adversely impacted by exposure to known physical, chemical or biological hazards in the course of any University activity.

Related documents

  1. The following documents set out further information relevant to this policy:

Definitions

  1. In this policy:

    health monitoring means the ongoing, systematic collection of health data to determine the current state of a person’s health where there is possible workplace exposure to a known physical, chemical or biological hazard that exceeds the prescribed exposure standard set out in the relevant legislation. Health monitoring may include but is not limited to:

    • audiometry, for those exposed to noise hazards
    • vision screening, for those exposed to visual hazards such as lasers
    • spirometry, chest X-ray, other lung function tests, for exposure to welding fumes, oxides of nitrogen, asbestos dust and other respiratory hazards
    • blood tests, for those exposed to hazardous substances that are detectable in blood, exposure to animal bites or urine, or exposure to ionizing radiation
    • urine tests, for those exposed to hazardous substances detectable in the urine
    • personal radiation dosimetry, for those exposed to ionising radiation
    • tests appropriate in relation to an identified hazard e.g. diving.

    staff member means “worker” as defined by the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, including employees of the University, employees of a controlled entity of the University, independent contractors or consultants engaged by or working at the University, volunteers and any other person providing services to or at the University

Principles

  1. The University of Waikato is firmly committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for staff, students, contractors and visitors to the University.
  2. A safe and healthy environment is achieved through the involvement of every staff member, student and contractor in the proactive identification and monitoring of hazards and the prevention of harm.

Personal health monitoring

  1. Personal health monitoring may be required where there is personal exposure to substances or equipment with the potential to cause possible adverse health effects and there are valid techniques available for detecting or preventing those effects.
  2. Personal health monitoring of an individual staff member, student or contractor may be required:
    1. on commencement of employment, a contract or a course of study where a position or role requires baseline environmental or personal health monitoring
    2. during employment, a contract or a course of study
    3. at the time of termination of employment a contract or on completion of a course of study, where appropriate.

Environmental monitoring

  1. Environmental monitoring may be required where there is a reasonable likelihood that a health effect may occur under particular conditions of work and there are valid techniques available for detecting or preventing those effects.

Responsibilities

  1. Staff and students must:
    1. participate in health monitoring activities when required
    2. ensure that any adverse effects arising from exposure to hazardous substances or equipment are reported in accordance with the Reporting of Accidents and Incidents Policy.
  2. Line managers and supervisors are responsible for:
    1. identifying health monitoring requirements in their areas of responsibility
    2. identifying the requirement for baseline and periodic health monitoring, in consultation with the Health, Safety and Wellness Manager, prior to procurement of new potentially hazardous substances or equipment
    3. ensuring that health monitoring programmes are implemented where required
    4. maintaining an inventory of all hazardous equipment and substances used, handled or stored within their areas of responsibility.
  3. Contractors are responsible for:
    1. informing the University of Waikato Project Manager of any activity requiring health monitoring prior to commencement of the contracted works
    2. providing documentation that demonstrates all reasonable and practical steps have been taken to prevent exposure of any person to hazardous substances or environments
    3. ensuring that any adverse effects arising from exposure to hazardous substances or equipment is reported in accordance with the Reporting of Accidents and Incidents Policy.
  4. The Health, Safety and Wellness Manager is responsible for:
    1. assisting line managers and supervisors in identifying health monitoring requirements in their areas of responsibility
    2. investigating all reported exposures to hazardous substances and initiating health monitoring, if required, under the guidance of occupational health specialists
    3. ensuring that every person who participates in health monitoring is informed of the results
    4. ensuring that, consistent with the University’s Personal Information and Privacy Policy and the principles of the Privacy Act 1993, appropriate levels of confidentiality are maintained with respect to personal health monitoring results.

Confidentiality

  1. All actions taken must be with appropriate care to maintain confidentiality.

Responsibility for monitoring compliance

  1. The Health, Safety and Wellness Manager is responsible for monitoring compliance with this policy and reporting any breaches to the Vice-Chancellor.
  2. Breaches of this policy by staff may result in disciplinary action under the Staff Code of Conduct.
  3. Breaches of this policy by students may result in disciplinary action under the Code of Student Conduct.
  4. Breaches of this policy by contractors will be dealt with in accordance with the relevant contract.

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