Lung function tests are recognised as one of the most efficient and accurate tests available to assess lung impairment. They are increasingly utilised by Occupational Health professionals and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002, state that if an occupational asthma agent (any substance identified as a respiratory sensitiser) is present in the workplace, appropriate health surveillance is required. We offer an on-site spirometry testing service.
Substances that can cause Occupational Lung Disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or Occupational Asthma normally trigger a Health Surveillance requirement. The following list, although not exhaustive details some examples, however, please consult the COSHH regulations for a complete list:
Dust and other Airborne Particulates (including Wood Dust)
Paints & Adhesives
Lung Disease / COPD
Silica Dust / Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS)
The symptoms of occupational lung disease can take a long time to develop, therefore, spirometry forms an important part of Pre-employment Screening, where prospective employees are likely to be exposed to a potential hazard in the workplace. Early knowledge of a pre-existing problem can be vital enabling prompt remedial action and minimise future liability. All employees who have been identified by your risk assessment as being exposed to respiratory irritants, sensitisers and nuisance dusts should be included in an ongoing screening programme.
The Screening Process
After completing a detailed respiratory questionnaire, the lung function test will be carried out using a Spirometer, this takes about 15 minutes. Results will be discussed with the employee and a summary report of the results will be forwarded to the employer. If any abnormalities are detected, a referral will be made to one of our Occupational Health Physicians or the employees GP.
Recommended Frequency Of Test
Testing should be carried out annually for any employees exposed to sensitisers, irritants, dusts, fumes, etc. Any person failing the tests or showing a marked reduction from the last results will be referred to a Doctor.
For new employees, testing should be carried out initially at Pre-employment. If employees are working with respiratory sensitising agents the test will need to be repeated after the first 6 weeks, then after 6 months, then annually thereafter. This will help detect those who make quickly develop a problem due to exposure. If any abnormalities are detected the individual will be seen by an Occupational Health Physician then more frequent testing may be required to monitor the situation more closely.
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Workwell provides services across a broad range of Occupational Health needs for both industrial and commercial businesses, helping to ensure your workforce is healthy, productive and that sickness absence is managed effectively and minimised.