GWI launches Medical Surveillance Programme for employees
(Georgetown, Wednesday, 8th January, 2020)- Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) on Wednesday, 8th January, 2020 launched its Medical Surveillance Programme which will allow for the assessment and monitoring of employees’ health before and during employment.
This programme applies to employees exposed or potentially exposed to hazardous substances or health hazards at or above published exposure levels. It will facilitate the conducting of emergency and non-emergency medical treatment as well as record keeping. Initially, the programme targets over 200 employees.
GWI’s Occupational Health and Safety Manager, Mr. Christopher Cathro explained that one of the primary reasons for performing occupational medical examinations is to detect job-related abnormalities at an early stage to reverse or halt progression by modifying exposure.
The medical monitoring is performed before placement in a specific job to assess, from a medical standpoint, if the employee will be able to perform the job capably and safely, he/she meets any established physical standards and to obtain baseline measurements for future comparison.
Written consent would need to be provided by the employees to the contracted Medical Practitioner, Dr. Clement Mc. Ewan, who will take a targeted medical history based on complaints and risk factors, conduct a review of systems, and then perform selected physical examinations and laboratory tests to characterize the status of specific organ systems.
Medical examinations which will be done may cover the following areas: Cardiovascular diseases, chronic diseases, respiratory system, hearing, speech and neurological disorders.
All workers will be informed of the results of their occupational medical examination as soon as possible following completion. Also, workers with significant abnormalities will be further evaluated or referred for evaluation as appropriate.
The employees will also receive counseling and Education Concerning identified Health Risks.
Records concerning the health status of an employee are confidential and shall be maintained by the Medical Service Provider and only the Practitioners Performance – of – Duties -Ability report will be made available to the Company.
Further, the programme caters for medical monitoring to assess pertinent aspects of the employee’s health when he/she leaves employment.
Dr. Mc. Ewan commended GWI for what he deemed a bold and positive step in addressing the health of its workers.
Employees welcomed the programme which they said is much needed. One such person is Sanitation Engineer, Mr. Anthony Thornhill who has been with the company since 2016. He said that since he joined the company, he has been advocating for the programme and he is happy to see it come to fruition.
According to him, the programme will allow his colleagues to have better knowledge of their health status and allow for early detection.