May 7, 2012 – Large organisations need to understand the privacy implications of the health and safety programs they are implementing, says ergonomic software experts Wellnomics.
“Most significant employers want to implement best practice in their health and safety strategy but are also concerned about the risks of compromising the privacy of their employees and any privacy legislation,” says Dr Kevin Taylor, Wellnomics founder and CEO.
Consequently Wellnomics had commission an analysis of the privacy legislation for North America, Europe and Australasia, covering privacy requirements implemented in law through legislation such as the European Directive 95/46/EC, UK Data Protection Act (1998) and the Australian Privacy Act (1988).
“In the context of their health and safety programs, organisations need to ensure data is only used for the purpose for which it was collected, providing access to data to only those with a legitimate need to access it, and ensuring staff can review all data recorded about them.”
Dr Taylor said Wellnomics were pleased to be reassure customers using products like Wellnomics Risk Management and WorkPace are fully compliant with privacy legislation in multiple countries.
“Special Privacy and Access controls in Wellnomics Risk Management allow customers to control what data can be seen by who, allowing managers to be limited to group level or high level risk information whilst only qualified ergonomists and OH&S staff can access detailed health data on individual employees.
“Access controls also ensure management can only access data for staff they are directly responsible for – preventing uncontrolled access that could compromise privacy.”
To help their clients further Wellnomics has created a set of guidelines for their customers to ensure they conform to privacy legislation requirements in each country.
These guidelines answer common questions – such as how to handle data being transmitted across country borders and whether employee consent is required for data to be collected.
“It’s important for organizations to know that employee consent is not required for collection of data from WorkPace and Wellnomics Risk Management due to this data being required for the employer to fulfil their legal obligation to protect the health and safety of their staff - the legal obligation to protect employee health and safety is actually an overriding requirement specifically catered for in privacy legislation, and means no employee consent is required.”