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Health & Safety Bulletin
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How health monitoring can benefit your business

Thursday, 19th February, 2015, by Alanna Furlan
In today's Health & Safety Bulletin:
  • Benefits of early detection
  • How you can test the health of your workers
Dear Reader,

Health and safety concerns are not always immediately obvious, but there are steps you can take to monitor your workers’ health to ensure that any issues are diagnosed early.
One employer proved the benefits of health monitoring when it introduced cancer screening programs in response to workers’ concerns that their work may carry a cancer risk.

The employer implemented annual screening programs that test workers for bowel cancer and melanoma. When melanoma was identified in its early stages in one worker’s cheek, he was able to make an appointment with his doctor and immediately address the issue.
Benefits of early detection

Early detection has obvious benefits for both you and your workers, and can prevent sick leave absences further down the track. It can also help to minimise your liability if your business is found to have contributed to the illness.
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What other tests should you consider implementing?
As well as testing for particular cancers, you may also choose to have your workers undergo:
  • eye exams;
  • hearing tests;
  • blood and urine tests to screen for toxins;
  • lung function tests;
  • skin examinations; and
  • general medical tests.
The tests that are most appropriate for your workers will depend on your business’s specific circumstances. You may also be required to undertake health monitoring in relation to particular tasks, such as working with hazardous chemicals.
Refer to chapter H5 Health Monitoring in your Health & Safety Handbook for more information. If you don’t currently subscribe, find out the benefits of becoming a subscriber here.
Even if you choose not to introduce a screening program, it’s still a good idea to educate your workers on the risks of certain illnesses, such as prostate cancer and bowel cancer, and encourage them to talk to their doctors about early diagnosis.
You can also mail your workers screening kits for self-diagnosis, such as a bowel cancer screening kit, which can be mailed out every two years.
Such initiatives show that you are proactive when it comes to workplace health and safety, and demonstrate to your workers that your business takes concerns for their health and wellbeing seriously.
Until next time,

Alanna Furlan
Editor
Health & Safety Bulletin

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