can your work environment cause illnesses

For many people, going to work is simply about turning up at work, completing your job, and having no real thought about potential dangers. Yet, for some people who work in potentially dangerous environments, it can be worrying and this may always play on their minds.

Employee ill-health can affect not only a person’s productivity but also their level of sickness absence. The HSE estimates that 1.7 million people in the UK are currently suffering from an illness. Which has either been caused or made worse by their work environment. 


Health Surveillance


Health surveillance is about monitoring employees’ health. Plus carrying out ongoing health checks to ensure that employees are safe and healthy in their work environment. By identifying potential risks early on, particularly when working with COSHH.


Our Health Surveillance Services:


Skin Surveillance


Repeat skin irritation or skin sensitisation can lead to conditions like dermatitis. Early detection of such conditions can lead to reduced exposure to certain substances which are contributing to conditions. As dermatitis can be irreversible, it’s important that signs of the condition are detected early.


Substances found in a work environment that may cause skin damage:

  • Epoxy resins
  • Latex
  • Rubber chemicals
  • Soaps and cleaners
  • Metalworking fluids
  • Cement
  • Wet work
  • Enzymes
  • Wood
  • Corrosive/irritating chemicals
  • Solvents
  • Oils


Although health surveillance cannot be used as a replacement for proper controls in relation to exposure and keeping employees safe. It can be used as a detection and monitoring tool. To collect information about employees’ health. This will help to prevent dermatitis from developing, by detecting early symptoms. These services include skin surveillance and allergy testing.




These assessments look at the employee’s lung capability in exchanging gases. Spirometry can be very important when employees work with hazardous substances. To assess and detect early signs of possible lung damage. These can include asthma and other respiratory diseases. Of which, these can lead to sickness absence, unemployment, disabilities, and in extreme cases handicaps. 

Acorn provides a spirometry health surveillance service, which takes only 15 minutes. Employers have a duty to complete risk assessments to identify any hazardous or potentially hazardous substances that employees may inhale. Our process uses information collected to help the employer prevent the respiratory disease from developing, by detecting early symptoms.




Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome is preventable, but once the damage is done, it is permanent. Exposure to vibration can damage the structure of tissues within the hands, and this can lead to HAVS.

Commonly associated with tasks involving hand-held power tools, hand-guided equipment, and the holding of materials or workpieces that are presented for machining. Employers have a duty to provide health surveillance for all employees who are likely to be exposed to the above actions.

We offer HAVS monitoring, which measures exposure. And HAVS surveillance, which includes looking at individual employees. As over 4 million workers are exposed to HAVS, it’s important to identify and reduce the risk of HAVS for your employees.


Audiometry Testing


For workers who are exposed to noise over the upper exposure action value, health surveillance is required. Our audiometry testing is designed to establish the baseline hearing of a worker, then annually (for the next 2 years) to monitor hearing. After this, the test frequency depends on exposure and results. But the assessments are designed to detect changes and prevent further damage to a worker’s hearing.


Testing for Blood Lead


Lead is absorbed into the body when a person swallows and breathes. It can often be found in workplaces and can cause serious health problems. So it is vital that employers protect their employees against the risks that lead can cause. These include anemia, kidney damage, and even cancers.

Acorns’ lead workers’ medicals will be carried out according to the procedures and guidance from the Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002 (CLAW), and the Approved Code of Practice (ACOP).


Contact us


For more information on our Health Surveillance services, get in touch. Please feel free to ask our team about how to book, mobile testing options, and costs. Email us at or call us on 01260 277797

Want to know more about the Occupational Health services we provide at Acorn, and how they could benefit your business and your employees? Please get in touch.