Infinity Occupational Health lead medicals
Infinity Occupational Health are able to provide HSE Appointed Doctor lead medicals, with our Medical Director in the South Wales area. The following information may be helpful regarding these lead medicals.
Lead is a substance which has been known to have the potential to damage health for many years. Use and monitoring of work with lead is regulated by the Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002 (CLAW). The regulations apply to any type of work activity (handling, processing, repairing, maintenance, storage, disposal etc.) which is liable to expose employees and any other person to lead. Lead can be inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin.
Under the regulations employers have to assess the risk (make a suitable insufficient assessment of the risks to the health of employees including whether lead exposure is "significant", identify and implement measures to control the exposure and record the significant findings of the assessment). Exposure is significant if it exceeds half of the occupational exposure limit for lead, there is a substantial risk of the employee ingesting lead or there is a risk of an employee coming to contact with substances containing a lead in a form which can be absorbed through the skin. If exposure is liable to be significant then in particular there is a need to issue employees with protective clothing, monitor lead-in-air concentrations and place the employees under medical surveillance.
Medical surveillance must be provided by a HSE Appointed Doctor (a doctor who has postgraduate occupational medicine qualifications and has been given special permission to undertake the medical surveillance).
The objectives of medical surveillance (HSE lead medicals) are to make initial assessment of suitability to carry out work with lead, evaluate the effect of lead absorbed and advise on the state of health, assess the suitability of an employee to continue working where there is continued exposure, detect any signs of excessive lead absorption and to remove employees to prevent lead poisoning where relevant and in addition to help employers in their duty to control the exposure of their employees to lead.
An initial Appointed Doctor HSE lead medical should be carried out on all new employees liable to be exposed to lead with subsequent monitoring dependent on the results of blood tests. The tests can indicate the levels of lead in the circulation and in some cases the effect of lead on certain cells. If levels of lead are increased then the employer may have to be advised regarding this and as the levels rise further, some employees may need temporary suspension. This would also indicate a requirement to check control measures regarding the exposure to lead.
Please get in touch if you require any further information regarding HSE Appointed Doctor lead medicals under the Control of Lead at Work Regulations.