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Home > Occupational Healthcare > Resources > Occupational Healthcare FAQ

Have A Question?  - We Have The Answer

We understand that many of our clients and future partners have questions about our industry and the products and services we offer.  For your convenience, we have gathered many of those important questions and answers to educate you and help you make better screening and hiring decisions.  This section was created as a convenience to our site visitors and should not be taken in anyway as legal advice.  If you don’t find your answer here, please feel free to contact us at our toll free number (800) 324-7700 and our friendly staff will assist you.  

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTHCARE

How often do workplace injuries and illnesses occur?

What are the most common workplace hazards?

What are the most common illnesses and injuries?

Which employees are the most vulnerable?

Why should my business conduct physical examinations?

Why should my business only conduct physical examinations after an offer of employment has been made?

What is the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1970, and how does it apply to my business?

What are our OSH Act responsibilities as an employer?

What are the requirements for a DOT physical?

How often is a DOT physical required?

What is NIOSH?

What is the importance of an audiogram?

Can you please tell us more about a Titmus Vision test?

In addition to drug use, what else can a Urinalysis test determine?

What is a Pulmonary Function Test?

What is an Electrocardiogram (EKG)?

What will an Electrocardiogram (EKG) determine?

What is a Complete Blood Count (CBC)?

How will an employee vaccination program help our business?

What is a Titer?

How often do workplace injuries and illnesses occur?
According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses among private industry employers occurred at a rate of 4.4 cases per 100 full-time workers in 2006.  In addition, there were 4288 fatal injuries this same year.  

What are the most common workplace hazards?
Some of the most frequent hazards include asbestos, carbon monoxide, electric and magnetic fields, falls, hazardous drug exposures, heat stress, latex allergies, storms and floods, lead and noise.  

What are the most common illnesses and injuries?
Some of the common injuries include asthma, allergies, avian influenza, blood borne infectious diseases, hearing loss, musculoskeletal disorders, occupational cancer, stress and traumatic occupational injuries.  

Which employees are the most vulnerable?
The most frequent illnesses and injuries occur in agriculture, construction, fire fighting, health care workers, mining, office environments and at small businesses.  

Why should my business conduct physical examinations?
Physicals establish an employee’s medical condition at their date of hire, which creates a medical and legal information base, thus reducing legal liability.  Physical exam recommendations also enable employers with information necessary fit the employee with the correct job position, relocate the employee to a more suitable position when possible or even reconsider their offer of employment.  In some cases, the U.S. Department of Transportation makes physical examinations mandatory to ensure public safety.  

Why should my business only conduct physical examinations after an offer of employment has been made?
The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that employers conduct pre-employment physical exams only as the second step of the selection process after all relevant non-medical information is analyzed.  This two-step structure allows applicants to keep personal medical information private until the last stage of the hiring process.  

What is the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1970, and how does it apply to my business?
The OSH Act assigns two principal functions to OSHA: setting standards and conducting workplace inspections to ensure that employers are providing a safe and healthy workplace.  It is the responsibility of employers to become familiar with standards applicable to their establishments, to eliminate hazardous conditions to the extent possible, and to comply with the standards.  Compliance may include ensuring that employees have and use personal protective equipment when required for safety or health.  Employees must comply with all rules and regulations that are applicable to their own actions and conduct.  
In general, coverage of the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1970 Act extends to all employers and their employees in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and all other territories under federal government jurisdiction.  Coverage is provided either directly by the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or through an OSHA-approved state occupational safety and health program, in states that have approved programs.  

The following are generally not covered by the OSH Act:

  • Self-employed persons 
  • Farms at which only immediate members of the farmer's family are employed 
  • Working conditions regulated by other federal agencies under other federal statutes.  This includes most employment in mining, nuclear energy and nuclear weapons manufacture and many segments of the transportation industries. 
  • State and local government employees, unless they are in one of the states with OSHA-approved safety and health programs.  


What are our OSH Act responsibilities as an employer?
If you are an employer covered by the OSH Act, you must provide your employees with jobs and a place of employment free from recognized hazards that are causing, or are likely to cause, death or serious physical harm.  

What are the requirements for a DOT physical?
DOT physical exams are required for most truck and school bus drivers, to determine physical qualification to operate a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce according to the requirements in 49 CFR 391.41-49.  The physical includes the following:

  • Health History 
  • Vision Test
  • Hearing Test 
  • Blood Pressure Test 
  • Urinalysis 
  • Physical Examination


How often is a DOT physical required?
DOT physicals are normally valid for a two year period.  

What is NIOSH?
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is the federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness.  NIOSH is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Department of Health and Human Services.  

What is the importance of an audiogram?
Audiometric evaluation is crucial to the success of the hearing loss prevention program as a tool to determine whether occupational hearing loss is being prevented.  Occupational hearing loss occurs gradually and is not accompanied by pain.  Audiometric test results can trigger changes in the hearing loss prevention program more promptly, initiating protective measures and motivating employees to prevent further hearing loss.  

Can you please tell us more about a Titmus Vision test?
Titmus is the industry standard in vision screening instruments.  The Titmus Vision Screener tests for Acuity (Near-14 inches and Far-20 feet), Depth Perception, Color Perception, Muscle Balance (Lateral and Vertical Phoria), Horizontal Visual Fields (Peripheral vision of 130 degrees in each eye) in one lightweight, compact and easy-to-use instrument.  The Titmus Vision Screener can also screen for visual acuity at Intermediate Distances (40, 32, 26, 22 and 19 inches).  

In addition to drug use, what else can a Urinalysis test determine?
Urinalysis can reveal diseases that have gone unnoticed because they do not produce striking signs or symptoms.  Examples include diabetes mellitus, various forms of glomerulonephritis, and chronic urinary tract infections.  

What is a Pulmonary Function Test?
Pulmonary function tests are a group of tests that measure how well the lungs take in and release air and how well they move oxygen into the blood.  

What is an Electrocardiogram (EKG)?
An electrocardiogram, is a simple test to detect and record the electrical activity of the heart.  An EKG shows how fast the heart is beating and also records the strength and timing of the electrical signals as they pass through each part of the heart.  An EKG is sometimes called a 12-lead EKG (or 12-lead ECG) because the electrical activity of the heart is most often recorded from 12 different places on the body at the same time.  

What will an Electrocardiogram (EKG) determine?
EKG recordings of this electrical activity can help reveal a number of heart problems including:

  • Heart attack or disease 
  • Lack of blood flow to the heart muscle 
  • A heart that is beating irregularly, or too fast or too slow 
  • A heart that does not pump forcefully enough


What is a Complete Blood Count (CBC)?
The CBC is a very common test.  Many patients will have baseline CBC tests as a broad screening test to check for such disorders as anemia, infection, and many other diseases.  Many conditions result in increases or decreases in the cell populations.  Some diseases such as cancer (and chemotherapy treatment) can affect bone marrow production of cells, increasing the production of one cell at the expense of others or decreasing overall cell production.  If they are healthy and they have cell populations that are within normal limits, then they may not require another CBC until their health status changes or until their doctor feels that it is necessary.  

How will an employee vaccination program help our business?
An employee vaccination program can assist your company by reducing health care provider visits, reducing lost work days and maintaining productivity.  This is especially useful for employees planning to travel to locations with known disease potential.  Some of the most common vaccinations include HAV, HBV, Influenza, MMR, IPV, PPD and Varicella.  

What is a Titer?
A titer refers to the amount of medicine or antibodies found in a patient's blood.  A titers blood test can be very helpful in determining medical treatment.  Antibody titers can tell the doctor if the patient has immunity to diseases such as measles, small pox, and hepatitis.  Medication titers can tell if a person is receiving too much medication.


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