Health monitoring is required because, if unchecked, routine exposure to hazardous substances can cause severe health issues including disease, injury or illness.
Health monitoring explained
Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 (WHS Regulations) require a ‘person conducting a business or undertaking’ (PCBU), who is usually the employer, to monitor the health of workers who use hazardous chemicals. This includes workers exposed to lead and asbestos.
Required actions are to provide health monitoring, and to obtain and submit a copy of the health monitoring report.
When to carry out health monitoring
As the ‘person conducting a business or undertaking’ (PCBU), you must provide health monitoring:
- before a person begins work with the hazardous chemical—baseline monitoring
- during periods of exposure, particularly excessive exposure, to a hazardous chemical
- where a worker has concerns that relate to exposure to the hazardous chemical
- when the worker stops working with the hazardous chemical.
For more information on the frequency and type of monitoring required, see Health Monitoring for Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals guide.
Obtain the health monitoring report
You must take all reasonable steps to obtain a health monitoring report from the practitioner who carries out or supervises the monitoring:
- as soon as practicable after they complete the monitoring program, or
- at regular intervals for longer-term or ongoing health monitoring programs.
Submit copy of health monitoring report to Comcare
Occasions when you need to submit
You must submit a copy of the health monitoring report to us when the report contains:
- Test results that indicate the worker may have contracted a disease, injury or illness from carrying out the work (see regulation 376 of the WHS Regulations)
- A recommendation that the ‘person conducting a business or undertaking’ takes remedial measures, including whether the worker can continue to carry out the work (see regulation 376 of WHS Regulations)
- Test results that indicate the worker has exceeded relevant blood lead levels (see regulation 415 of WHS Regulations).
When to submit
The copy must be given to us as soon as practicable after receiving the report.
As soon as practicable means:
- we take a common-sense approach
- we need to be satisfied that the ‘person conducting a business or undertaking’ has submitted the report as soon as circumstances allow
- we consider that the ‘person conducting a business or undertaking’ gets a health monitoring report at the time any worker in a supervisory or managerial role receives the original report or a copy of the report.
Regulation 376 of the WHS Regulations imposes strict requirements for giving health monitoring reports to us in a timely manner. Penalties of up to $30,000 apply.
How to submit a health monitoring report
Submit the Health Monitoring Report form (PDF, 139.3 KB) to us with a copy of the health monitoring report:
- email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- fax 1300 305 916.
If you are unsure
Contact us for advice if you are unsure about whether you need to provide a health monitoring report to Comcare. Email email@example.com or call us on 1300 366 979.
Guides on health monitoring
- Health Monitoring for Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals guide for the person conducting a business or undertaking
- Health Monitoring for Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals guide for workers
- Health Monitoring for Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals guide for medical practitioners
- Workplace Exposure Standards for Airborne Contaminates.
- Health monitoring—regulation 376 of the WHS Regulations
- Lead—regulation 413 of the WHS Regulations
- Asbestos—regulation 442 of the WHS Regulations.