|The purpose of the Occupational Health Surveillance Program is to help assure the health of employees who:
- Have workplace exposure to particular health hazards (e.g., high noise levels, animal allergens) known to pose risk for a potentially serious health condition, illness, or injury; OR
- Perform specific work tasks (e.g., respirator use, driving commercial vehicles) that require a certain degree of health and fitness to assure employee and/ or public health and safety.
Program requirements are established to meet or exceed Cal/OSHA and other applicable regulatory and consensus industry standards.
|BASIC PROGRAM INFORMATION:
1) WHAT DOES OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH SURVEILLANCE CONSIST OF?
Participating employees typically undergo a medical work history and in some cases, medical examination by a licensed physician at the University's Occupational Health Center
. These screenings are used to establish an initial baseline of the employees' health and then used to monitor their future health as they pertain to potential occupational exposures to hazardous agents.
2) WHO REQUIRES OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH SURVEILLANCE?
- A list of common hazardous exposures and special tasks that trigger occupational health surveillance is provided in the SU Occupational Health Surveillance Matrix.
- Who can help assess employees' potential exposures to workplace health hazards?
EH&S - Occupational Health & Safety Program (x3-0448) can assist in evaluating potential exposures to workplace health hazards and can help identify specific health surveillance requirements and recommendations as appropriate.
3) ENROLLING EMPLOYEES INTO THE SURVEILLANCE PROGRAM
Contact EH&S - Occupational Health & Safety Program at x3-0448 for initial assistance.
4) FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How does health surveillance differ from medical response to workplace injury or illness?
How often will my employee need health surveillance?
- Health surveillance is a preventive effort used to screen and monitor the employee's health for hazardous workplace exposures or for task requirements. This is different than reactive treatment provided in immediate response to reported injury/ illness.
Who pays for occupational health surveillance?
- The required frequency for surveillance exams vary , but many of them run on an annual interval. For details on specific surveillance schedules, consult the Health Surveillance Matrix.
What do I do if employees wish to decline participation in the surveillance program?
- The employee's department is responsible for bearing the cost of occupational health surveillance. Research staff having surveillance requirements may be covered by University research funding. Contact the Occupational Health Center at x5-5308 for more information.
Are the medical examination and test results confidential?
- Due to regulatory standards, tasks involving certain workplace exposures or requirements may require health surveillance. Employee refusal to participate may necessitate re-assignment away from such tasks. Employees having specific concerns or questions may contact the EH&S - Occupational Health &
Safety Program (x 3-0448) to better understand the benefits of occupational health surveillance.
Can a worker be removed from the Surveillance Program when he/she is no longer exposed to hazard of concern?
- Yes, specific results of the medical examination (e.g., weight, blood pressure, etc.) are kept confidential. The typical information provided to departments consists of generic indications of whether or not employees are fit for duty.
I'm planning to become pregnant and have concerns about the hazardous exposures in my workplace, what should I do?
- For some types of surveillance, employees will require a termination exam. To remove an employee from the Program, contact EH&S-Occupational Health & Safety Program (x3-0448) for assistance.
- Employees can directly contact EH&S - Occupational Health & Safety Program (x3-0448) for occupational reproductive hazard consultation.