What is Medical Surveillance?
When you say the words “medical surveillance,” it sounds almost ominous, doesn’t it? This term may not be used in everyday vernacular, but it is important that business owners understand what it is and how it benefits their business and the employees they depend upon.
Medical Surveillance, as defined by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), is “the analysis of health information to look for problems that may be occurring in the workplace that require targeted prevention.” Simply put, medical surveillance screens and evaluates the health of individuals or groups of employees to detect abnormalities in health status in order to detect potential hazards that could jeopardize the health of an employee or the safety of a work environment. It allows employers the opportunity to install preventative measures that promote everyone’s health and safety.
Occupational Health Management- How It Protects You AND Your Employees
In today’s environment, humans are exposed to any number of daily toxins and life-threatening encounters. Industrial businesses can further those risks and increase a worker’s susceptibility to certain diseases, dangers, or illnesses. When properly monitored, early detection to determine exposure to dangerous chemicals, toxins, pathogens, and even noise can help businesses take action to minimize exposure to both the hazard and its potential side effects. Being proactive will decrease illnesses and injury to employees, which in turn saves money by lowering employee downtime and worker’s compensation claims. It also lessens a business’ vulnerability to lawsuits. In addition, Occupational Health Management can pre-screen potential employees to determine their ability to safely perform their job duties, particularly at peak performance times.
Which Employees Should Be Screened?
It is required that businesses monitor anyone who might come in contact with hazardous waste, radioactive materials, herbicides, and pesticides, any employee in a position that requires respiratory equipment or does lab work. For a full list of OSHA’s health and safety standard requirements, see OSHA's Safety and Health Topics Pages with links provided here. A pre-screening of employees can also determine their mental and physical fitness to safely perform their duties and operate equipment without injury to themselves or others. This article from VeryWell Health states that “Employers are legally obligated under federal law to ensure that work environments are free from safety hazards.” This same article outlines the history of workplace safety and the potential hazards that make employees liable in the event of illness, injury, or death.
Choosing An Occupational Health Management Program That Works for You
It is paramount that your business stays up-to-date on all OSHA requirements for employees at risk of toxic exposure or those operating or working near dangerous equipment. At Workplace Safety Screenings, we can help you evaluate employees to determine pre-existing fitness for a particular job, assess the environment to determine what particular hazardous materials might exist in your workplace, and create an action plan for screening and monitoring all aspects of the work environment. We make it our priority to ensure that your business is adhering to state and federal guidelines and make you aware of any medical concerns before they become a problem.
Medical Surveillance - A Necessary Good
While the term “medical surveillance” might sound ominous at first hearing, a closer examination of what that term means shows it as a necessary good and all-around benefit in workplace safety. In the end, the only thing foreboding about the term “medical surveillance” is what happens as a result of not making it your highest priority.
For more information about Workplace Safety Screenings’ experience and expertise in Occupational Health Management services, click here.