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Frequently Asked Questions

Occupational Medicine

Q: What is Occupational Medicine?
A: Occupational Medicine is the sub-specialty of Preventive Medicine concerned with the health, safety, and performance of workers.  In addition to providing medical care to workers with work-related injuries and illnesses, Occupational Medicine specialists work with businesses, employees, regulators, insurers, public health and other occupational safety and health professionals to create safer workplaces.

Q: What are employer’s responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)?
A: Employers have the responsibility to provide a safe workplace. Employers MUST provide their workers with a workplace that does not have serious hazards and must follow all OSHA safety and health standards. Employers must find and correct safety and health problems. OSHA further requires that employers must first try to eliminate or reduce hazards by making feasible changes in working conditions rather than relying on personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves, or earplugs. Switching to safer chemicals, enclosing processes to trap harmful fumes, or using ventilation systems to clean the air are examples of effective ways to eliminate or reduce risks.

Q: Why is an Occupational Health program important to an employer’s bottom line?
A: Healthy workers are more productive, and work-related injuries are very expensive.  The direct costs of injuries that are easy to measure, like the cost of medical care and insurance costs, are small when compared to indirect costs associated with workplace disruption, retraining, lost productivity, etc.  When injuries do occur, they need to be managed well to return the injured worker to a state of health and productivity as soon as possible.  A skilled Occupational Medicine clinical practice will work with the worker, employer, workers compensation insurer and the medical system to help the injured worker regain his or her health or mobility and return to work.

Q: What if my employee gets injured after-hours?
A: After hours drug screening services are provided at St. Catherine Hospital, Community Hospital and St Mary Medical Center through their emergency department facilities. Injured workers are also seen in each hospital’s emergency department through their fast-track service programs.

Q: What is the recent change in DOT medical examinations?
A: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on April 20, 2016 began giving motor carriers and medical examiners new forms for documenting drivers’ medical exams. New versions of the Medical Examination Report Form and Medical Examiner’s Certificate were announced April 23, 2015, and were to be used after Dec. 22, 2015, for all commercial driver medical exams.

From Dec. 22, 2015 through April 20, 2016, examiners were allowed to use the prior forms to ease in the transition. Currently, only the new forms may be used.

Q: What is the difference between first aid and a recordable event?
A: First aid is defined as emergency medical treatment for somebody who is ill or injured. It is typically given before more thorough medical attention can be obtained. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) specifies a range of services that constitute “first-aid” level of care.  Medical care that exceeds these first-aid measures can trigger a recordable event.  According to OSHA 1904.7, a recordable event is usually characterized by death, days away from work, restricted work or transfer to another job, medical treatment beyond first aid, or loss of consciousness.

Q: Why is pre-employment fit-for-duty testing a good idea?
A: Pre-employment fit-for-duty testing is used to determine an applicant's physical suitability for the job at hand. Comprehensive tests are custom-designed for the specific job function and are typically used to identify pre-existing injuries.

Q: What Health and Wellness Services do you provide?
A: Programs can be customized to include health risk assessments, nutrition, fitness, classes & workshops and executive physicals. 

Q: What insurances do you accept?
A: We accept all workers’ compensation insurances for injury and illness care. For employer requested services that are not billable through insurance, we accept cash, check, purchase orders, and major credit cards.

Information from:
University of Utah Health Care website
United Stated Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration website