Occupational Safety and Health Series, No. 72

Technical and ethical guidelines for workers' health surveillance

The purpose of these guidelines is to assist all those who have responsibilities to design, establish, implement and manage workers' health surveillance schemes that will facilitate preventive action towards ensuring a healthy and safe working environment for all. As ILO guidelines, they are not a legally binding document; rather, they constitute practical recommendations.

These provisions are considered to be the basic requirements for the surveillance of workers' health, and are not intended to discourage competent authorities from adopting higher standards. The guidelines can be used in the development of legislation, regulations, collective agreements, work rules, policies and practical measures at enterprise level on workers' health surveillance. They are of particular relevance to competent authorities, other governmental or public authorities such as public health departments and social security institutions, employers and workers, and their organizations.

These guidelines were adopted by an ILO Meeting of Experts on Workers' Health Surveillance, convened in Geneva from 2 to 9 September 1997 in accordance with the decision taken by the Governing Body of the ILO at its 267th Session (November 1996).