Medical surveillance is the analysis of health information to look for workplace problems. This requires medical evaluation and testing to monitor potential health effects from hazardous exposures and prevent occupational injury and illness. Federal agencies require a medical surveillance program, including:
- Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care.
- Federal Select Agent Program.
- National Institutes of Health.
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
All personnel exposed to vertebrate animals or unfixed tissues of vertebrate animals are enrolled in the Occupational Health program. Personnel medical history and vaccination status are reviewed annually to obtain a medical clearance for animal contact.
Employees required to wear a respirator as part of their assigned work must enter the respiratory protection program and associated medical surveillance program. Respirators include N95 masks, half-face respirators, full-face respirators and Powered Air Purifying Respirators, or PAPRs. Program enrollment requires medical clearance and respirator fit testing.
Employees with exposure to prolonged sound levels above 85 decibels over an eight-hour shift must enter the hearing conservation program and undergo an audiometric evaluation. Hearing protection like earplugs may be required in specific areas.
Employees who will be exposed to asbestos — at or above the permissible exposure limit of 0.1 fiber per cubic centimeter of air during their work period — must enter the asbestos medical surveillance program. This includes staff whose work may be conducted inside most portions of the Tempe campus tunnel system and employees who disturb asbestos-containing materials.
Employees with known or potential exposure to blood or human blood products must enroll with the ASU Bloodborne Pathogens Program within 10 days of hire. This includes all employees anticipated to encounter bodily fluids. This program also provides Hepatitis B vaccinations to employees.
Hazardous chemical exposure
Employees exposed to or may be exposed to specific OSHA hazardous materials — like OSHA regulated carcinogens, formaldehyde, ethylene oxide, lead and others — may be required to enter the medical surveillance program. Emergency responders must join the medical surveillance program. EHS may provide an exposure assessment.
Employees exposed to an infectious material with an elevated risk of causing disease in humans may be asked to enter the medical surveillance program.
Employees with known or potential exposures may be required to obtain specific vaccinations. For example, employees potentially exposed to wastewater or fecal matter would need the Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B vaccination series. Exposure to animals requires a tetanus vaccination.
Lifting, pushing and pulling
Employees whose job involves lifting, pushing or pulling 50 pounds or more at any given time may be asked to enter the medical surveillance program. Employees are discouraged from lifting, pushing or pulling items above 50 pounds.
Radiation generating equipment, radioactive materials or lasers
Employees with exposure to radioactive materials, X-rays or lasers require specific medical surveillance.
These are position-specific and may consist of qualifications, such as being able to see colors, Department of Transportation certification and more.