- Safety and Health Topics
- Medical Screening and Surveillance
Medical Screening and Surveillance
Medical screening and medical surveillance are two fundamental strategies for optimizing employee health. Although the terms are often used interchangeably, they are quite distinct concepts. Medical screening is, in essence, only one component of a comprehensive medical surveillance program. The fundamental purpose of screening is early diagnosis and treatment of the individual and thus has a clinical focus. The fundamental purpose of surveillance is to detect and eliminate the underlying causes such as hazards or exposures of any discovered trends and thus has a prevention focus. Both can contribute significantly to the success of worksite health and safety programs. However OSHA "medical surveillance" requirements are generally clinically focused (e.g.,medical and work histories, physical assessment, biological testing) with information obtained from the clinical processes used in the monitoring and analysis elements of medical surveillance.
Medical screening and surveillance are addressed in specific OSHA standards for General Industry.
Provides information about medical screening and clinical evaluation.
Provides resources that contain medical surveillance information including specific hazards and surveillance guidelines.
Provides links and references to additional resources related to first aid.
In Focus: Ebola
- Respirator Medical Evaluation Questionnaire. OSHA InfoSheet (Publication 3789), (May 2015).
- Spirometry Testing in Occupational Health Programs - Best Practices for Healthcare Professionals. OSHA Publication 3637, (2013).
- Maximize Your Spirometry Screening and Surveillance Resources. OSHA/NIOSH InfoSheet (OSHA Publication 3415), (2011).
- Protect Yourself - Spirometry Breathing Test. OSHA/NIOSH Worker Info (OSHA Publication 3418), (2011).
- Medical Evaluation of Renal Effects of Cadmium Exposures. OSHA Brief (Publication 3675), (August 2013).
Workers have the right to:
- Working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm.
- Receive information and training (in a language and vocabulary the worker understands) about workplace hazards, methods to prevent them, and the OSHA standards that apply to their workplace.
- Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
- File a complaint asking OSHA to inspect their workplace if they believe there is a serious hazard or that their employer is not following OSHA’s rules. OSHA will keep all identities confidential.
- Exercise their rights under the law without retaliation, including reporting an injury or raising health and safety concerns with their employer or OSHA. If a worker has been retaliated against for using their rights, they must file a complaint with OSHA as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days.
For additional information, see OSHA's Workers page.
How to Contact OSHA
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov or call OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), TTY 1-877-889-5627.