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Office of Occupational Medicine

200 Constitution Ave., N.W. Room 3457 | Washington, DC 20210 | (202) 693-2323
Mission

Office of Occupational Medicine Personnel

  • Michael Hodgson, MD, Director, Medical Officer
  • Patricia Bray, MD, MPH, Medical Officer
  • Kay A. Dellinger, MD, MPH, Medical Officer
  • Kathleen Fagan, MD, MPH, Medical Officer
  • April Jefferies, Medical Administrative Assistant for FOH
  • Eric Montgomery, Program Support Assistant (MAO Program)
  • Harold Mungin, Health Scientist
  • Marie Nicolas, RN, OMEP Coordinator
  • Minda Nieblas, MD, MPH, Medical Officer

The mission of the Office of Occupational Medicine (OOM) is to provide medical, toxicological, and epidemiologic expertise to enable OSHA to ensure that every working man and woman in the U.S. has a safe and healthful workplace. To this end, OOM provides assistance to OSHA compliance and enforcement activities, policy and standards development, and agency outreach programs. In addition, OOM provides occupational health information to employers, workers, unions, health professionals, and members of the general public.

Personnel

OOM is staffed by a variety of healthcare professionals including five physicians. All current OOM physicians are board-certified in Occupational and Environmental Medicine and all have residency training or board certification in additional specialties, including Family Practice, and Clinical Pharmacology. They serve in leadership positions in professional organizations and represent OSHA in a variety of interagency settings. OOM personnel provide medical expertise to the Agency and administer several of the Agency's internal programs (OSHA's Medical Examination Program and Access to Employee Medical Records Program).

Activities

Enforcement Support: The most important function of the Office of Occupational Medicine is to assist in OSHA workplace investigations. OOM physicians provide case evaluation, medical record review, conduct employee interviews and medical screening activities in support of work site inspection activities. OOM physicians provide expert opinions regarding whether injuries illnesses and fatalities are related to work. They also determine whether employers are in compliance with medical surveillance and recordkeeping requirements of OSHA standards and regulations. OOM may assist OSHA area offices and the Department of Labor Solicitors (attorneys) in decisions regarding settlement agreements and other legal proceedings. Additionally, OOM staff members contribute to the creation of OSHA national emphasis programs that focus inspection activities to target hazardous industries and exposures.

Pandemic influena publication cover

OSHA Standard Setting: OOM physicians contribute to the development of Agency standards by providing expertise on health effects of occupational exposures and recommendations for appropriate medical surveillance. Standards currently on the regulatory agenda include silica, beryllium, infectious diseases, and illness and injury prevention programs.

Disaster Response/Federal Disaster Response: OOM physicians provide expertise in occupational and environmental medicine to support OSHA as it fulfills its role in the National Response Framework. As part of the Agency’s federal disaster response, OOM coordinated the development and distribution of Psychological First Aid and Resilience Resources targeted to support federal and federalized disaster response workers in hurricane-affected areas.

Influenza Pandemic Preparedness and Response: OOM physicians provide medical expertise to OSHA, the Department of Labor, and the federal interagency community regarding pandemic influenza issues. OOM developed guidance on workplace safety and health strategies and equipment that protect healthcare workers in the event of an influenza pandemic: Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response Guidance for Healthcare Workers and Healthcare Employers.

Compliance Assistance and Guidance: OOM participates in the development of OSHA compliance assistance information that helps employers comply with OSHA legal requirements. OM also creates guidance materials that provide information on best practices in workplace safety and health. These informational materials include safety and health information bulletins, fact sheets, quick cards, web-based information and web-pages on OSHA's website. Specific documents developed by OOM include the following:

OOM also participates in alliances and educational activities with organizations such as the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics, the American Public Health Association, the Joint Commission, the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, and others.

Vulnerable Working Populations: OOM assists OSHA in its mission to reach vulnerable working populations by facilitating outreach through public health and community health center venues, collaborating with frontline worker organizations, and representing the Agency in outreach activities addressing the needs of the aging workforce, agricultural workers, service workers, and others to reduce occupational health disparities.

OSHA Occupational Medicine Elective

The Office of Occupational Medicine (OOM) in OSHA serves as an instructional site for resident physicians who are receiving training in occupational and environmental medicine, general preventive medicine, toxicology, and aerospace medicine. At any time throughout the year, the Office of Occupational Medicine may host up to four resident physicians for two-month training rotations. Future occupational and preventive medicine leaders have the opportunity to fully participate in OOM activities and also receive an organized series of lectures on toxicology, homeland security, and clinical occupational medicine. OOM staff members have participated on Residency Advisory Committees for the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. For more information on the OOM Medical Residency Training Program, please go to OSHA Occupational Medicine Elective or contact Kathleen Fagan.

Training and Education: OOM physicians are dedicated to excellence in medicine and in teaching and are actively involved in the education of resident physicians and health and safety professionals. The Office participates in the following training efforts:

Educational Conferences

Dr. Kay Dellinger with Dr. Heather Lampel, University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Illy Dominitz, Johns Hopkins, & Dr. Bill Otto, USUHS.

Dr. Kay Dellinger with Dr. Heather Lampel, University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Illy Dominitz, Johns Hopkins, & Dr. Bill Otto, USUHS

OOM physicians participate in international, national, state, and local conferences such as the American Occupational Health Conference (AOHC), the American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Expo (AIHce), many Joint Commission Resources conferences, including annual meetings on Emergency Preparedness, Patient Safety and Infection Control, and the National Safety Council.

OOM physicians helped to develop the 2010 Secretary's National Summit for Latino Worker Safety and Health and have provided outreach information on occupational aspect of environmental and social justice at meetings of American Public Health Association, the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved, and with federal and state agencies.

OOM provides training to OSHA field staff and others through the OSHA Training Institute. Training topics include workplace medical surveillance, laboratory hazards, biohazards, bloodborne pathogens and emergency response.

Recent Presentations

Shor, G., Yee, T. "Disparities between the Bureau of Labor Statistics and a State’s Workers’Compensation Reporting". Workers’ Compensation Data Workshop, 6/19/2012, Washington, DC.

Bray, P. "Heat Stroke Fatalities: Lessons for Prevention". American Public Health Association Conference. 10/31/2011. Washington, DC.

Longmire, A. W. "Increasing the value of OOM Residency Training", American Occupational Health Conference, 3/25/2011, Washington, DC.

Longmire, A. W. "OSHA Perspective: Is it Recordable, Is it Ethical?", American Occupational Health Conference, 3/26/2011, Washington, DC.

Schmidt, D., Dellinger, K. "Is it Recordable? Is it Ethical?" American Occupational Health Conference, 3/26/2011, Washington, DC.

Longmire, A. W. "Disaster Response Safety Training, PPE", American Occupational Health Conference, 3/27/2011, Washington, DC.

Fagan, K. "A Colorful Occupational Case Cluster". American Occupational Health Conference, 3/29/2011, Washington, D.C.

Bray, P.:"Unsolved Mystery: Delayed Pulmonary Toxicity and Fatality from Previously Unrecognized Chemical Hazard". American Occupational Health Conference, 3/29/2011, Washington, DC.

Yee, T. "Heat Stress", American Occupational Health Conference, 3/29/2011, Washington DC.

Sokas, R. Worker Safety Oversight and Sleep. Sleep Health and Safety 2011. March 17, 2011, Washington, DC

Bray, P. nH1N1 "Swine Flu": A Wake-up Call to Preparedness. Presented at the Joint Commission Resources Annual Emergency Preparedness Conference, April 8, 2010. Washington, DC.

Fagan, K. "Legionnaires' Disease: Need for Collaboration between Occupational Health and Public Health" American Occupational Health Conference, 5/4/2010, Orlando, FL

Yee, T. Report on Potential Occupational Disease Etiologies. American Occupational Health Conference, 5/4/2010, Orlando, FL

Dellinger, K. "Medical Surveillance for Elemental Mercury Exposure: Which Test is Best?" American Occupational Health Conference, 5/4/2010, Orlando, FL

Sokas, R. "Oil Spill Health and Safety: What Role Can Community Health Centers Play?" National Summit of Clinicians for Healthcare Justice, 9/25/2010, Arlington, VA.

Berkowitz, DE, Sokas, RK, Garrahan MA, Cortez, D. Report on the National Action Summit for Latino Worker Safety and Health. Presented at the 138th American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, November 9, 2010. Denver, CO.

Sokas, R. The Aging Worker Senior Community Service Employment Program National Conference, November 17. 2010, Arlington, VA.

Bray, P. Occupational Infections Among Health Care Workers: What Have We Learned? Presented at the Joint Commission Resources Annual Infection Prevention and Control Conference, August 22, 2009. Arlington, VA.

Interaction with NIOSH and Other Federal Agencies: OOM physicians serve on various interagency groups and task forces, including the Interagency Board for Equipment Standardization and Interoperability, the National Institutes of Health Data Safety Monitoring Board, the Federal Task Force on Elimination of Tuberculosis, the National Cancer Advisory Board, the Interagency Asbestos Working Group. OOM frequently coordinates efforts regarding occupational safety and health issues with agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Health and Human Services, including Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration. The Office has a particularly close relationship with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health/CDC, the sister agency created by the Occupational Safety and Health Act. OOM works with NIOSH to facilitate interagency communication through monthly seminars and telephone conferences, and provides members to NIOSH National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Sector Councils, the NIOSH Hazardous Drugs Working Group, emergency preparedness activities and various planning activities related to high-risk, low-wage underserved occupational populations. OOM helps to coordinate joint publications between OSHA and NIOSH, including:

Peer Reviewed Publications:

Ballerino-Regan D, Longmire AW. Hydrogen sulfide exposure as a cause of sudden occupational death Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2010;134(8):1105

Bray P, Sokas R, Ahluwalia A. Heat Related Illnesses: Opportunities for Prevention. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2010; 52(8):844-5.

Georgopoulos PG, Fedele P, Shade P, Lioy PJ, Hodgson M, Longmire A, Sands M, Brown MA. . Hospital Response to Chemical Terrorism Personal Protective Equipment, Training, and Operations Planning. Am J Ind Med. 2004 Nov;46(5):432-45.

Wesdock JC and Sokas RK. Medical Surveillance in Work-site Safety and Health Programs. Am Fam Physician, 2000;61:2785-90.

Adelakun A, Schwartz E, Blais L: Occupational Heat Exposure. Appl. Occup. Environ. Hygiene. 14(2)153-154 1999.

Amr S, Rose M, Cee R, Schwartz E: More Information on the Coburn-Foster-Kane Equation for Carbon Monoxide. Appl. Occup. Environ. Hygiene. 13(11) 757-758 1998.

Sokas, R.K., Schwartz, E., and Wesdock, J.C. Occupational Lead Poisoning (letter). Am Fam Physician 1998;58(5):1077,1083.

Schwartz E, Yodaiken RE, Sokas R. An Educational Program to Prevent Disabling Low Back Pain (letter). NEJM 1997;337:1923-4.

McDiarmid MA, Freeman CS, Grossman EA, Martonik J. Follow-up biologic monitoring results in cadmium workers removed from exposure. Am J Ind Med. 1997 ;32(3):261-7.

McDiarmid MA, Freeman CS, Grossman EA, Martonik J. Biologic monitoring results for cadmium exposed workers. Am Ind Hyg Assoc J. 1996 ;57(11):1019-23.

Wallin MT, McDiarmid M, Montopoli M, Presson A, Holland V. Hepatitis B vaccine for medical students (letter). JAMA. 1996 ;275(6):444.

McDiarmid M, Gamponia MJ, Ryan MA, Hirshon JM, Gillen NA, Cox M. Tuberculosis in the workplace: OSHA's compliance experience. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 1996;17(3):159-64.

Porter ES, McDiarmid M, Montopoli M, Presson A, Holland V. Prevalence of antibodies to hepatitis B and C among fire department personnel prior to implementation of a hepatitis B vaccination program (letter). J Occup Environ Med. 1996 ;38(2):125-7

Presson AC, McDiarmid MA. OSHA's perspective on occupational exposure to hazardous drugs (letter). Am J Health Syst Pharm. 1996 ;53(14):1719-20.

Schwartz BS, Ford DP, Yodaiken R. Analysis of OSHA inspection data with exposure monitoring and medical surveillance violations J Occup Med. 1992 Mar;34(3):272-8.

Yodaiken RE, Bennett D. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1988;534:762-75

Yodaiken RE, Bennett D. Clinical chemical carcinogens and bureaucratic intransigence Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1988;534:762-75

Yodaiken RE, Jones E, Spolnicki HG, Deitchman S. Regulators and workplace carcinogens Occup Med. 1987;2(1):197-206

Yodaiken RE. Medical screening and biologic monitoring for the effects of exposure in the workplace: Surveillance, monitoring, and regulatory concerns J Occup Med. 1986;28(8):569-71.

Yodaiken RE, Bennett D. OSHA work-practice guidelines for personnel dealing with cytotoxic (antineoplastic) drugs. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.Am J Hosp Pharm. 1986 ;43(5):1193-204.

Yodaiken R, Larson JR. Air monitoring reporting needed to reduce confined space hazards (letter) Occup Health Saf. 1986;55(1):82-4.


*Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management at (202) 693-2300 for assistance accessing PDF materials.

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