Health monitoring reports
The doctor writes your health monitoring report in two parts. They give section one to your PCBU and it contains:
- information about your test results
- recommendations about your work
- what your PCBU should do in the workplace because of your results, and
The doctor will keep section two because it may contain confidential information about you, your health and the outcomes of your health monitoring tests.
The doctor must include in section one of your report:
- your name and date of birth
- the name and address of the business or undertaking you are working for
- their name and their registration number
- the date of the health monitoring
- test results that show if you were or weren’t exposed to a hazardous chemical
- for lead – results that show you reached or went over the blood lead level
- if test results show your work with a hazardous chemical has given you an injury, illness or disease
- how they recommend your PCBU address a risk to your health, for example deciding if you continue the work that triggered the health monitoring, and
- if you need medical counselling.
The doctor should also include in your report:
- the dates of blood, urine or other sampling, and
- biological monitoring and other test results.
If the report relates to lead risk work, the doctor must include:
- the date of blood sampling
- the monitoring results of your blood lead levels, particularly where they are higher than allowed, and
- the name of the pathology service that looked at your blood.
The registered medical practitioner will use your health monitoring results to recommend to your PCBU if:
- you are fit for work with the hazardous chemical
- you are fit to start work again with the hazardous chemical
- your exposure levels to the hazardous chemical are too high
- how you work should be reviewed, and
- if you should stop working with the hazardous chemical.
The doctor will keep section two of your health monitoring report confidential and won’t show it to your PCBU, unless they must be told something under law, or if you give your written permission. If you already have a medical condition that could make the health effects of chemicals you are working with worse, you or the doctor, with your permission, should tell your PCBU so they can minimise your risk.
The registered medical practitioner should give you the results of health monitoring tests and will send a copy of section one to your PCBU. Your PCBU must give a copy of section one to you as soon as possible after they receive it from the doctor.
If results show exposure to hazardous chemicals, injury, illness or disease
The doctor will tell your PCBU if your health monitoring shows you have been exposed to a hazardous chemical at work and this has given you an injury, illness or disease. They may recommend to the PCBU:
- the PCBU should look at how you work to make it safer
- you are fit to start work again, or
- you should not work near the source of your exposure.
The PCBU must talk with you about what will happen next. If you have a HSR, your PCBU must include the HSR in this conversation. Your PCBU may talk about how your work might change including if you can keep working with a particular chemical or if you must go to a different work area where you won’t be exposed to the chemical.
Your health monitoring results may show you have been exposed to the hazardous chemical you work with (e.g. blood-lead levels) or you have an injury, illness or disease. This may mean your health has been harmed.
If this happens, the doctor must recommend to your PCBU they take action to eliminate or minimise your exposure. Your PCBU must follow the doctor’s recommendations to look at how you work and how you are kept safe at work. Your PCBU must also give a copy of this report to the regulator.
The doctor should talk to you about ongoing health concerns you have, how your health could be improved and whether or not you will need ongoing monitoring or treatment.
If you feel your health is at risk or if you do not feel well and think it may be because of exposure to workplace chemicals, you should always report this to your HSR or PCBU and the doctor.
Who sees your health monitoring records
No one can see your health monitoring records and reports without your written permission, except when:
- your PCBU gives section one to the regulator
- your PCBU gives section one to another PCBU who also monitors your health, and
- the doctor gives section two to another person who must keep the record confidential, for example another doctor or a specialist physician who is monitoring your health.
Your PCBU must give you a copy of section one of your health monitoring report for you to keep. This is very important if you move to another job where you need health monitoring. If you would like a copy of section two, you should ask the doctor doing your health monitoring.
No one must use the health monitoring report, blood or tissue samples, X-rays, questionnaires or other tests for anything else, only health monitoring.
How long records are kept for
Your PCBU will keep your health monitoring records for at least 30 years after the record is made, even if you move to another workplace.
If you work with asbestos, your PCBU must keep your health monitoring records for at least 40 years, because it can take a long time to develop asbestos-related diseases.
You should keep copies of your reports for as long as possible and tell any new doctor carrying out or supervising health monitoring that your health has been monitored in the past.