1. Science of Safety Podcast: Episode 66.
3M Safety
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    Science of Safety Podcast: Episode 66.

    February 13, 2020
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    Science of Safety Podcast.

    Episode 66:
    Workplace Health Monitoring.

    Science of Safety Podcast.

    Episode 66:
    Workplace Health Monitoring.

    Science of Safety Podcast.

    Episode 66:
    Workplace Health Monitoring.

    In this episode Dr. Julia Norris, former AIOH President & Medical Director at Occuhealth joins us to discuss workplace health monitoring and why it is important.

    Health monitoring in the workplace is the process of checking a worker’s health over time as a result of having been exposed to a hazardous substance. Health monitoring is not a substitute for using effective control measures to eliminate or minimise risks. It does, however, allow the workplace to look for specific health effects attributed to exposure from hazardous materials.

      

             

        

    Guest Bio:

    Dr. Julia Norris (pictured left) is the founder and CEO of Occuhealth, having started the company in 1999. Julia is a certified occupational hygienist and medical doctor with a special interest in preventative occupational health. Julia has extensive site based industry experience, which combined with her medical knowledge and experience, give her a unique skill set with which to persue better occupational health outcomes for all workers.

    Julia continues to contribute to the strategic direction of Occuhealth whilst continuing her new career as a General Practitioner.

    Julia was inducted into AIOH as a Fellow in 2010, an honour she greatly values. Julia is also the President of the Grow Smart Foundation Ltd, a health promotion charity educating young children about the dangers of noise induced hearing loss from personal music players.

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    In this episode, Mark & Julia discuss the following:

     
    • What is Health monitoring in the workplace and why is it so important?
    • Are there different types of health monitoring?
    • If a worker doesn’t know what they have been exposed to, can they still be assessed?
    • How does a workplace determine off-the-job exposures vs on the job exposures in relation to health monitoring?
    • Is health monitoring invasive?
    • Is Health monitoring required legally, or is it a recommended best practice situation?
    • What are some substances that health monitoring may be legally required for?
    • Are there other situations where health monitoring is recommended, even if it isn’t legally required?
    • How does a workplace determine what is a significant risk?
    • How does a workplace know what type of health monitoring is required if they are working with some of the chemicals mentioned?
    • How often should health monitoring be undertaken? Are there specific time periods?
    • Can any GP or Doctor work with a workplace to undertake health monitoring?
    • How big of a role does communication play in health monitoring, especially reading information of a worker? What should they be made aware of?
    • Where can workplaces get further information on health monitoring?

    The reality is that many workplaces in Australia and around the world deal with hazardous materials, chemicals and compounds that are detrimental to a worker’s well-being. When it comes to using, handling or storing dangerous substances where there is a significant risk to worker health, then health monitoring is required, the regulations are clear on this. Health monitoring can be complicated, with different types of monitoring requirements dependant on the nature of the exposure. If you’re dealing with something that is quite hazardous and you don’t understand it, seek professional advice, an occupational hygienist would be a great place to start. Tune in as we shed some light on the topic of workplace health monitoring.

     

    Additional Resources:

    Contact a 3M Safety Specialist at scienceofsafetyanz@mmm.com for more information.