Health surveillance: here’s how to effectively manage workers’ medical examinations

May 10, 2021

The Consolidation Act on Health and Safety in the Workplace (Legislative Decree 81/08) stipulates that the employer, with the support of the competent doctor, is obliged to monitor the health of those working within the company by conducting a series of periodic medical examinations, which are necessary to catch early the emergence of any problems related to the task being performed and to verify that there are no health risks.

The number, type and frequency of these Health Surveillance visits vary depending on many factors (task performed by the worker, age, particular risk conditions…), and it is for this reason that the management of these requirements can be particularly complex for the company. There are, however, solutions to simplify the organizational aspects associated with Health Surveillance, allowing companies to effectively monitor the health of workers, grow their culture of prevention and have the assurance of not incurring penalties.

Health surveillance: how it works and who it is for

The legislation clearly specifies that Health Surveillance must cover all workers, regardless of their job description and contractual status, in a manner that is specified in the Risk Assessment Document (DVR) and varies from company to company and depending on the task performed.

Thus, Health Surveillance involves not only workers employed on permanent, fixed-term or project contracts, but also company management, any working partners, interns and trainees (even if they serve for a limited period of time). For all of them, the DVR establishes specific health monitoring measures, which vary according to the level of risk they are exposed to.

On a practical level, Health Surveillance requires that the worker undergo periodic examinations and/or medical examinations necessary to monitor his or her health status, assess his or her ability to perform certain tasks, and check for symptoms that could indicate the presence of potentially dangerous diseases or disorders in the long term.

The visits included in Health Surveillance include:

  • Pre-employment visits
  • Periodic inspection visits (annually or semi-annually, depending on what the DVR requires)
  • Follow-up visits in special situations (change of job, return of the worker after a period of sick leave of more than sixty days…)

The employer and the competent physician have an obligation to schedule such examinations, to organize their conduct (which may involve specialists or external testing centers if necessary), and to appropriately store the results of examinations and checks, paying special attention to data retention and the protection of each employee’s privacy.

The legislation also stipulates that companies employing more than 15 workers are required to use data collected through Health Surveillance activities to develop statistics on trends in occupational injuries and illnesses. This information is used-as part of the periodic prevention meetings attended by the employer, competent doctor, RSPP and RLS-to establish good practices and norms of behavior for risk prevention and to define what the company’s goals are for improvement in occupational safety and worker health protection. In order to process such statistics, it is necessary for the company to have access to employee health data at all times, while respecting privacy, and for all information to be properly retained and stored.

Why use medical examination management software

Health Surveillance, as we have seen, is a rather complex process from an organizational and managerial point of view: there are many requirements to keep in mind, and it is necessary to be sure that prevention activities cover every single worker and are carried out in a truly effective and targeted way. Checks and inspections, to be truly useful, cannot be standardized but must take into account the actual risk to which each worker is exposed, and this increases the number of variables involved and increases the risk of making mistakes.

Therefore, choosing to use software that manages the different aspects of these interventions, such as Kalmo Health Surveillance, is a winning solution that provides companies with countless benefits:

  • Save time: the software allows you to keep track of all deadlines and organize Health Surveillance efficiently, coordinating different interventions, managing appointment agendas, and avoiding unnecessary loss of time.
  • Assurance that no mistakes will be made: the reliability of the software allows you to be certain that you are always in compliance with all requirements. It is not possible to forget a deadline, accumulate delays or miss some of the planned interventions.
  • Increased efficiency of interventions: the software is the ideal tool to keep track, at all times, of all the different activities that concern Health Surveillance carried out within the company. It thus allows for coordinated management of different interventions, clear health protocols, and optimization of internal processes, making them more effective and also less costly.
  • Retention of health data: finally, thanks to the software, the company is guaranteed to be able to properly store and retain the health data of its employees, and to be able to dispose of it if necessary, even after a period of time. The presence of a database in which all relevant data are stored makes it easy to develop risk reduction plans from factual evidence, and ensures that the company has a large repertoire of data that can be used, including in criminal proceedings, to demonstrate that it has fully complied with regulations related to Health Surveillance and risk prevention.

Is your company in compliance with regulations related to occupational safety? Is there anything you could do to grow security and shelter yourself from penalties? Complete our FREE TEST and find out now!