Our recent support work across our client based and in particular two Improvement Notices issued by HSE on which we have assisted have highlighted the issue of competency when it comes to Competency for HAVS Health Surveillance. It’s easy to get lost amongst the science and application of the regulations, which can certainly be a challenge for non-techical specialists. What is sometimes missed is making sure that the support which you have is appropriate and fully qualified.
When you are engaging the services of a professional, often a practising GP, it can be daunting to ask the right questions but this is something which you should do. Read on to find out what you should expect from your health surveillance. Further information can also be downloaded from the HSE Website at this link: HAVS Competency
Hand Arm Vibration: Competency for HAVS Health Surveillance
To undertake HAVS health surveillance at Tier 3, the occupational health professional should:
- (a) understand the health effects of workplace vibration exposure and how it may present clinically;
- (b) have the clinical skills to adequately assess the worker, provide advice and recommend Tier 4 assessment where appropriate.
Occupational health staff undertaking HAV health surveillance assessments should:
(a) be registered/licensed to undertake clinical practice as defined by their appropriate professional body (eg GMC for doctors, NMC for nurses);
(b) have a higher qualification in occupational health. Doctors should hold a diploma in occupational medicine as a minimum. Other occupational health staff should have a higher qualification in occupational health, eg diploma or degree;
(c) have successfully completed a Faculty of Occupational Medicine (FOM) approved HAV training course.
Where tests (eg Purdue peg board) are delegated to occupational health technicians (or equivalent), the supervising clinician must ensure they are competent to undertake the task and are sufficiently supervised. The supervising clinician retains overall responsibility for the assessment undertaken of the worker. This responsibility cannot be delegated to the technician.
Guidance specifically aimed at Clinicians and specialists can be found here; Health surveillance – Guidance for Occupational Health Profession-als