Web page offers nonoccupational providers help treating injured workers
"Physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, paramedics, and other health care professionals often encounter work-related health and safety issues as they care for their patients," according to the agency. The clinicians' Web page provides information, resources, and links to help clinicians navigate OSHA's website and provide care for workers.
Topics include evaluating occupational exposures, OSHA recordkeeping and medical records requirements, and setting up a safe outpatient office. There are specific steps for:
- Taking a work history. "The occupational and environmental exposure history is the most important tool that clinicians have when evaluating a worker for a work-related injury or illness," the Web page says. "Clinician knowledge of a worker's occupational history and job duties are vital when performing fitness for duty and medical surveillance examinations."
- Getting safety data sheets. "Clinicians may identify worker exposures by obtaining Safety Data Sheets for the substances workers are exposed to at their jobs," it explains.
- Medical screening and surveillance. "The goal of medical screening is to detect disease or clinical abnormality before an individual would normally seek medical care, particularly if early treatment may benefit the individual," the Web page explains.
- Rules and regulations, such as recording injuries on OSHA logs.
The Web page also includes information about workers' comp. "Because each jurisdiction is different, clinicians should be aware of local policies and procedures. A list of state and federal agencies and their websites is available," it advises. "For confidentiality purposes, clinicians should be very careful to avoid recording non-work-related medical information in the workers' compensation medical records. Workers' compensation medical records should be kept separate from personal medical records."
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
February 25, 2013
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