Montana State University
Safety and Risk Management > Occupational Health > Occupational Health Surveillance

Occupational Health Surveillance Program

INTRODUCTION
The purpose of the Occupational Health Surveillance Program is to provide services related to workplace risk factors, employee health, and to ensure the work environment is not adversely affecting health and wellbeing. Scheduled health surveillance and early detection of changes in employee health are critical to providing associated medical care and addressing occupational risks.

The program requirements have been adopted from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) requirements. MSU staff must therefore comply with processes and procedures related to occupational risk identification and exposure control measures such as: engineering, administrative, and personal protective equipment. Participation in the occupational health surveillance program is determined by workplace risk assessment.

DESCRIPTION
Supervisors are responsible for informing MSU Safety & Risk Management (SRM) of new hires and assisting employees with completing the Occupational Safety & Health (OSH) Risk Assessment Form within the first six months of employment. (Forms and additional information can be obtained through SRM and online: http://www.montana.edu/wwwsrm/occupationalhealth.htm)

MSU has partnered with Montana Occupational Health (MOH) to provide occupational medicine services. Baseline and annual follow-up health surveillance services are offered as determined by workplace risk assessments. Scheduling and coordination of services related to staff occupational health surveillance is managed through SRM. Medical services are provided as deemed appropriate by risk assessment and the MOH medical providers, the costs of which are covered by MSU.

Medical related questionnaires and evaluations are to be confidential and completed during the employee's normal working hours or at a time and place convenient to the employee. Employees are provided an opportunity to discuss any uncertainties or concerns regarding the questionnaires with MOH and SRM.

The following forms and/or information are to be collected from employees on an annual basis to identify changes in work activities, potential exposures, and health status:

  • Occupational Health & Safety Risk Assessment
  • Medical/Health History

Persons at increased risk of acquiring illnesses or for whom an occupational exposure may have unusually serious consequences, are to be informed of their increased risk and are only permitted to work in specific campus locations at the discretion of MOH, SRM, supervisors, and other pertinent MSU officials.

Baseline and annual occupational medicine evaluations entail identifying possible unknown and asymptomatic exposures or work related problems, and can include but are not limited to:

  • Occupational Health & Safety Risk Assessment
  • Animal allergy questionnaire
  • OSHA respiratory questionnaire
  • Spirometry (every 5 years or as indicated)
  • Chest x-rays (every 5 years or as indicated)
  • Audiogram as indicated
  • Complete blood chemistries and metabolic panels
  • Serum storage (every 3 years or as indicated)
  • Vaccines and recommendations for vaccines as indicated
  • Interim health history with emphasis on immunological, and reproductive health as well as acute or chronic illnesses, fevers, possible exposures, work related issues
  • Discuss occupational exposures, prevention, reporting, review of symptoms related to exposures

Respiratory Protection
Respiratory protection places a unique physiological burden on individuals. Therefore the utilization of negative pressure respiratory protection (half or full face filter cartridge respirators), prior to completion of a baseline occupational evaluation is not permitted. The baseline occupational health evaluation provides medical clearance and authorization to wear such equipment based on the OSHA respiratory protection standard. After receiving medical clearance/authorization, SRM will provide respiratory protection safety training, fit testing, and issue appropriate equipment. (See MSU’s Respiratory Protection Program for additional reference: http://www.montana.edu/wwwsrm/Occupational/respiratoryprotection.htm)

MSU provides additional respirator-based occupational health evaluations if:

  • An employee reports medical signs or symptoms that are related to workplace exposure and/or respirator usage;
  • MOH, SRM, or the supervisor informs MSU that an employee needs to be reevaluated;
  • Information from the respiratory protection program, including observations made during fit testing and program evaluation, indicates a need for employee reevaluation; or
  • A change occurs in workplace conditions (e.g., physical work effort, protective clothing, temperature) that may result in a substantial increase in the physiological burden placed on an employee.

Notification of Changes in Employee Health
Any changes noted during employee occupational health evaluations relevant to occupational qualifications, restrictions, or exposures, are to be communicated to the affected employees by MOH and SRM. SRM will also communicate relevant information to MSU personnel that have supervisory and management responsibilities in relation to the affected employee.

Recordkeeping
Medical information collected as a result of occupational health evaluations and testing is maintained by MOH. SRM maintains copies of medical qualifications and any restrictions regarding work activities that result from employee occupational health evaluations. The aforementioned information is updated annually and retained for the duration of each employee’s employment, plus an additional 30 years post-employment. Employee medical records are provided upon request of the employee or to anyone having written consent of the employee within 15 working days. Such requests shall be sent to MOH.

The following documentation is generated from occupational health evaluations:

  • Occupational surveillance testing conducted & results
  • Health education regarding work practices
  • Occupational exposure information
  • Immunizations
  • Medical qualifications and restrictions to perform work duties

Occupational Safety Training
Workplace safety training is available to all staff, and shall be renewed as prescribed by the corresponding regulatory requirements. Safety training program information can be obtained from SRM and online  http://www.montana.edu/wwwsrm/training/training.htm Examples of applicable training subject matter that may be required are:

  • Hazard Communication
  • Laboratory Safety
  • Respiratory Protection
  • Hearing Conservation
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Bloodborne Pathogens
  • Biosafety

EXPOSURE INCIDENTS & INJURY REPORTING
Employees experiencing any known, suspected, or potential occupational exposures, must inform their supervisor immediately. Employees may seek medical attention through the Workers’ Compensation Program via the following providers: Montana Occupational Health (406) 556-1900 from 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday, Bozeman Deaconess Hospital Emergency Room (406) 585-1000 24 hours a day, or a medical provider of their choice. Following the incident and/or after initial medical treatment, the supervisor shall assist the employee in completing a First Report of Injury or Occupational Disease form online within 24 hours of the incident to begin the workers’ compensation process: http://www.montana.edu/wwwsrm/Insurance/workerscomp.htm

A follow-up investigation may be initiated by SRM as to determining the circumstances of the event, and examine potential options to prevent future occurrences.

PROGRAM CONTACTS

The following personnel and providers are available for assistance:


Name

Title

Phone

Additional Info

 

Laurie Bachar

 

Occupational Health Manager
Safety & Risk Mgmt.

 

994-7384
570-2196

 

lbachar@montana.edu

 

Brenda Lambert

 

Workers Compensation Program
Safety & Risk Mgmt.

 

994-6888
581-5947

 

brenda.lambert@montana.edu

 

Christopher Catlett

 

Director Safety & Risk Mgmt. (Interim)

 

994-4146
461-8666

 

christopher.catlett@montana.edu

 

Kirk Lubick

 

Biosafety Officer
Office of Research Compliance

 

994-6998

 

kirk.lubick@montana.edu

 

Montana Occupational Health

 

536 S. Cottonwood Rd. #102,
Bozeman (Alpine Bldg. South Door)

 

556-1900

 

Open: 9am-5pm Mon-Fri

 

Bozeman Deaconess Hospital

 

Emergency Room
915 Highland Blvd., Bozeman

 

585-1000

 

Open: 24 hours, 7 days a week



Revised: 4/15/14