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 clinician/provider 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 it pertains to potential occupational exposures to hazardous agents.

    Who requires occupational health surveillance?

    Employees that are exposed to specific hazardous/biologic materials. 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.

    How do I enroll employees into the surveillance program?

    Contact EH&S – Occupational Health & Safety Program at x3-0448 for initial assistance.

    How does health surveillance differ from medical response to workplace injury or illness?

    Health surveillance is a preventive effort used to screen and monitor the employee’s health for hazardous workplace exposures or for task specific requirements. This is different than reactive treatment provided in immediate response to reported injuries/illnesses.

    How often will my employee need health surveillance?

    The required frequency for surveillance exams varies; many of them are annual. For details on specific surveillance schedules, consult the Health Surveillance Matrix or contact SUOHC.

    Who pays for occupational health surveillance?

    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.

    What do I do if employees wish to decline participation in the surveillance program?

    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 specific regulated 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.

    Are the medical examination and test results confidential?

    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.

    Can a worker be removed from the Surveillance Program when he/she is no longer exposed to hazard of concern?

    For certain 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.

    I’m planning to become pregnant and have concerns about the hazardous exposures in my workplace, what should I do?

    Employees can directly contact EH&S – Occupational Health & Safety Program (x3-0448) for occupational reproductive hazard consultation.