How to Enroll in the Occupational Health Program
For University Research Personnel (e.g., Faculty, Staff, Students)
The OHP enrollment process is divided into two paths: new hires and existing personnel. The path for new hires begins with a position specific risk assessment as part of the University job requisition process. If the duties of a position are determined to fall under one or more risk exposure categories, a pre-hire candidate will be notified that they are required to participate in the OHP. Existing personnel are referred for enrollment into the OHP through their involvement in an IBC and/or IACUC protocol, through transfer to a new position, or a referral by their supervisor(s). New and existing University research personnel required to participate in the OHP should enroll in the program (see steps listed below) and take all required training courses as determined by the risk exposure categories of their position (see Exposure Risk Categories and Required Training Matrix).
Enrollment in the OHP follows a sequence of steps:
- Complete the Occupational Health Medical History Questionnaire (MQ) and submit it to Employee Health. The MQ is a confidential medical document, and as such should be completed by the participant and sent directly to EH; it is maintained in the clinic's medical records and is not returned to the participant or the University. Note: Principal investigators and supervisors should be prepared to assist new personnel with completing the Laboratory Animal Exposure History section, because they may not be fully aware of the species of animals or frequency of exposure they will have in their new position.
- The MQ is then reviewed by Employee Health (EH) to assign the participating individual to one of three pre-defined risk categories. EH will consult with the Department of Comparative Medicine (CM) and the Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) to determine any training requirements for lab & chemical safety, biohazards, radiation safety, field safety, driver training, and ergonomics.
- Both the participant and their supervisor will be notified by OEHS (for general laboratory work/settings) or CM (for those engaged in animal care and use) of the risk level the participant has been assigned to and given any specific instructions regarding their continuing participation in the OHP.
- Following review of the MQ, EH may recommend risk specific preventive measures, immunizations, additional tests, and/or health monitoring.
- Once the assessment is complete, the results of the assessment are returned to the participant and his/her supervisor notifying them of the final determination and of any requirements. No personal medical information will be included in this notification.
- Once the participant has fulfilled the recommendations or provided justification for exclusion they may begin work in the applicable research activities.
- The participant and their supervisor must ensure that the MQ is kept current with respect to any changes in job or task and any changes in animal contact or exposure to hazardous agents. Significant changes in activities may require a new risk assessment and OEHS must be contacted.
- Each participant is responsible for ensuring that they submit an updated MQ whenever there is a significant change in their health status.
Non-University Research Personnel and Independent Contractors must participate in a comparable OHP through their employer. Please contact the department of Employee Health (314-268-5499) for guidance on the verification process.
Visitors are exempt from participation in the University's OHP, but those visiting animal facilities and laboratories are subject to University Policy AC-006, which stipulates they are required to sign the Visitor Assumption of Risk and Release Agreement.