1.6 Medical Surveillance
Columbia University has established a medical surveillance program to address certain work place hazards, including occupational exposure to biological, chemical and physical hazards. Medical surveillance is intended to provide medical consultation in case of exposure to hazardous substance(s) above an accepted Occupational Exposure Limit (OEL) and/or an employee develops signs or symptoms associated with a hazardous chemical to which the employee may have been exposed in the laboratory. All required medical examinations and consultations shall be provided to laboratory personnel at no cost, without loss of pay, and at a reasonable time and place.
When a laboratory employee(s) is exposed to an OSHA regulated substance, the laboratory worker shall be required to obtain medical consultation and examination, under the following conditions:
- an employee develops signs or symptoms associated with a hazardous chemical to which the employee may have been exposed in the laboratory.
- an exposure assessment reveals exposure above the OSHA Action Level (AL), Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) or Short-term Exposure Limit (STEL).
- an event takes place in the work area such as a spill, leak, explosion, or other occurrence resulting in the likelihood of an exposure above OSHA defined limits.
- working with certain biological, chemical, and physical agents including employees who work with patients, laboratory animals, bloodborne pathogens, other potentially infectious materials, certain chemicals, or whose work requires the use of a respirator.
- See the Medical Surveillance Policy for further guidance.
The physician or other licensed healthcare professional shall keep written records of all such medical examinations and must maintain these records for the duration of the employee’s employment, plus 30 years. Employees shall have access to their medical records in accordance with OSHA’s Access to employee and medical records standard (29CFR1910.1020).