Respiratory Health Surveillance

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Definition - What does Respiratory Health Surveillance mean?

Respiratory health surveillance refers to a program designed to assess and monitor lung functionality, focusing on the onset and progressive nature of work-related asthma and occupational respiratory diseases from exposure to hazardous processes and substances. Many industrial settings carry health risks that predispose a workforce to pathological lung conditions, invoking respiratory health surveillance measures secondary to elimination control solutions based on the job description in question.

SureHire explains Respiratory Health Surveillance

Individuals with preexisting asthma, among other pulmonary conditions, are referred to occupational health services, where respiratory health surveillance initiatives underscore a questionnaire to gauge lung function capacity against base values coupled with periodic testing or follow-up testing. An occupational health technician uses a patient’s medical history information from the questionnaire alongside lung function tests between intervals to document physiological changes that might otherwise impose physical limitations to job performance. A risk assessment is a vital component of a respiratory health surveillance program, targeting legitimate culprits that impair lung functionality from atmospheric particulates and residual byproducts including dust, chemical fumes, and toxic vapours. Pulmonary function tests, or spirometry, are crucial lung function testing parameters designed to measure gaseous exchange between oxygen intake and carbon dioxide expulsion, noting breathing pattern anomalies as a means to determine the elasticity of lung tissue. Test result findings lay the groundwork for employers to introduce modifications to the existing protocol (if necessary) aligned with compliance to use safeguards (i.e. personal protective equipment), coordinated by managers and respiratory health surveillance experts. Respiratory health surveillance programs are a mainstay for individuals who are candidates for asthma or occupational lung diseases.

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