Office of Research

III. Medical Consultation and Evaluation

A.   General Requirements

The University’s provisions for medical consultation and medical examinations shall be in accordance with paragraph (g) of the OSHA standard "OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURES TO HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS IN LABORATORIES", reproduced below.

(g)  Medical consultation and medical examinations.

(1)  The employer shall provide all employees who work with hazardous chemicals an opportunity to receive medical attention, including any follow-up examinations which the examining physician determines to be necessary, under the following circumstances:

(i)    Whenever an employee develops signs or symptoms associated with a hazardous chemical to which the employee may have been exposed in the laboratory, the employee shall be provided an opportunity to receive an appropriate medical examination.

(ii)  Where exposure monitoring reveals an exposure level routinely above the action level (or in the absence of an action level, the PEL) for an OSHA regulated substance for which there are exposure monitoring and medical surveillance requirements, medical surveillance shall be established for the affected employee as prescribed by the particular standard. (See Appendix  for a list of regulated or listed carcinogens)

(iii) Whenever an event takes place in the work area such as a spill, leak, explosion or other occurrence resulting in the likelihood of a hazardous exposure, the affected employee shall be provided an opportunity for a medical consultation. Such consultation shall be for the purpose of determining the need for a medical examination.

(2)  All medical examinations and consultations shall be performed by or under the direct supervision of a licensed physician and shall be provided without cost to the employee without loss of pay and at a reasonable time and place.

(3)  Information provided to the physician. The employer shall provide the following information to the physician:

(i)   The identity of the hazardous chemical(s) to which the employee may have been exposed;

A description of the conditions under which the exposure occurred including quantitative exposure data, if available.

(ii)  A description of the signs and symptoms of exposure that the employee is experiencing, if any.

(4)  Physician's written opinion.

(5)  For examination or consultation required under this standard, the employer shall obtain a written opinion from the examining physician which shall include the following:

(A) Any recommendation for further medical follow-up;

(B) The results of the medical examination and any associated tests;

(C) Any medical condition which may be revealed in the course of the examination which may place the employee at increased risk as a result of exposure to a hazardous chemical found in the workplace; and,

(D) A statement that the employee has been informed by the physician of the results of the consultation or medical examination and any medical condition that may require further examination or treatment.

(iii) The written opinion shall not reveal specific findings of diagnoses unrelated to occupational exposure.

 

The department head or his/her designee shall ensure that the following information is provided to the physician:

1.     The identity of the chemical involved in the exposure

2.     A description of conditions relating to the exposure

3.     Any quantitative data available regarding the exposure

4.     Description of signs and symptoms

 

The department head or his/her designee shall ensure that the following information is obtained from the physician in writing:

1.     Recommendation of medical follow-up

2.     Results of the medical examination and associated tests

3.     Any medical condition revealed in the course of the examination that may place the affected person at increased risk as a result of the exposure.

4.     A statement that the physician has informed the affected person of the results of the consultation or examination and any medical condition that may require further treatment

The physician shall not reveal specific findings or diagnoses unrelated to the chemical exposure. All medical records shall be kept as part of an employee’s or student’s permanent file.

  

Medical Program

1.     Compliance:  Regular medical surveillance programs are established to the extent required by regulations. Clemson’s Nursing Center has the responsibility to administer the medical surveillance program through the Medical Surveillance Office.

2.     Surveillance: Anyone whose work involves regular and frequent use of chemicals that can be harmful to humans (through skin absorption or inhalation) in such a manner as to potentially expose them to concentrations approaching or above recognized exposure levels should consult the Office of Environmental Health and Safety and Nursing’s Medical Surveillance Office to determine on an individual basis whether a regular schedule of medical surveillance is desirable.

Medical surveillance can include pre-employment health assessment, periodic health assessment, and medical monitoring. Medical surveillance is considered for each project for which a protocol is submitted to the Institutional Biosafety Committee.

Supervisors should give special consideration to the pregnant worker and/or the fetus that may be exposed to hazardous chemicals. (see Embryotoxins, next section)

Medical surveillance programs currently exist for personnel who work with the following hazardous chemicals/physical agents or in potentially hazardous areas: 

(1)        Asbestos

(2)        Lead

(2)        Work requiring the use of a respirator

(3)        Animal Care Workers

(4)        Workers with potential exposure to bloodborne pathogens

(5)        Workers with potential exposure to tetanus/diptheria

(6)        Workers with exposure to wild-caught rodents

 

3.    The department head shall ensure that all personnel are aware of hazard(s) and that they will follow appropriate precautions in accordance with University policies and government regulations. This responsibility is usually delegated to laboratory supervisors and/or PIs. The supervisor or PI must ensure that all appropriate medical precautions recommended by the Medical Surveillance Office are followed.

4.    First Aid: Medical services are available at the Redfern Health Center on campus until 4:30 pm weekdays. For accidents, injuries, or exposures occurring after 4:30pm, employees should be taken to the Clemson Health Center on Highway 123 in Clemson or to the emergency room of either the Oconee Memorial Hospital or the Anderson Memorial Hospital.

5.    Medical Records: All medical records should be retained by the institution in accordance with the requirements of state and federal regulations.

 

C.   Laboratory Specific Medical Requirements.

List laboratory specific medical consultations and examinations here. Contact Clemson

University’s Occupational Health Nurse at 656-5529 for information and assistance.