Your business must manage the risks to your health from the work you do. They could use monitoring to help them to do this. The type of monitoring will depend on the kind of work you do.
Your health is important
Exposure monitoring measures what you are being exposed to at work.
This could involve you wearing a monitoring device while you work to measure things like:
- the level of noise
- the amount of a harmful substance in the air
- the amount of vibration your hands and arms, or whole body experiences.
Biological exposure monitoring is another type of exposure monitoring. It usually involves taking blood or urine samples to test for a substance you work with.
Health monitoring checks if your health is being harmed because of your work.
Examples of this:
- having your hearing checked
- checking for damage to your skin after handling harmful substances
- checking for damage to your hands and arms after using vibrating tools
- checking for damage to your lungs from working in a dusty environment.
For more information, see our monitoring information.
Things to know about monitoring
1. Your business must discuss the proposed monitoring with you (such as what it will involve, when and where it will take place and how often, and how it will benefit you).
They must listen to what you have to say, and tell you what they have decided to do in a timely manner.
You should be given information and training about the monitoring in a way you can understand.
2. You must comply with reasonable instructions from your business so that they can meet their health and safety obligations.
However for health monitoring or biological exposure monitoring, you must give your written informed consent.
You can say no to monitoring or change your mind at any time - but we recommend you work through your concerns with your business first.
For more information about this, go to see the Health and Disability Commissioner website: The Code and your rights(external link)
3. Your business should pay for the monitoring including any travel costs.
If the monitoring takes place outside your normal business hours, discuss with your business other options. For example, could you be compensated?
4. Exposure monitoring should be carried out by someone with the right knowledge, skills, training and experience like an Occupational Hygienist.
Health monitoring should be carried out by qualified, trained and experienced health practitioners. For example, an Occupational Health Nurse could carry out initial health screening. If needed, you could be sent (referred) to another health practitioner for a medical assessment/formal diagnosis.
If body samples are required (for example, blood), a suitably qualified health practitioner should take or supervise the taking of these samples.
5. You should ask for a copy of your monitoring results and keep them in a safe place.
You could give a copy to your GP of your first (baseline) health monitoring results. If future monitoring shows there is a change from your baseline results, give this information to your GP.
6. The business must keep your personal information secure and confidential, and use it to manage health risks.
The business may want to share monitoring results (for example, with other workers, or other businesses they share duties with). Before they do this, they must comply with Privacy Act 2020 requirements.
For more information: The Privacy Act 2020 principles(external link)
7. Your business should use the findings to improve how well they are managing the health risks.
8. If the findings indicate that you are being harmed – or could be harmed – they must act immediately to deal with the health risk.
Tell your business if you have early signs of being harmed by your work so they can act to prevent further harm.