Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents|
| Standard Number:||1910.1001; 1926.1101|
(1) Inform affected employees and employers that they may want to seek a B-reader or a physician who has established equivalent or better expertise to evaluate their X-rays and explain why their skills might be necessary i.e., some X-rays pertaining to pneumoconiosis might be misread by physicians. As a result affected employees are either not diagnosed at all or not diagnosed on time. Also, please emphasize in this Field Directive the importance of pulmonary tests and their value as early warning signals.These requests are not based on OSHA enforcement requirements but are, I think, in conformance with good medical practice. If this medical practice is being applied now in the patient/physician relationship it certainly ought to be applied in the employee/company physician relationship. OSHA, in my opinion, must serve as a catalyst and a motivator in this latter relationship.
(2) Ask all employers and their physicians to inform the affected employees when first lung changes begin to show up or when their pulmonary function values begin to change. Also, request that employees be told what those changes mean, what their alternatives are (i.e., to be removed from the exposure etc.) and the basic science involving exposures to these materials. Also, request that employers advise affected employees of their right to obtain a copy of their medical file and the importance of seeing a physician of their choice, if further evaluation is warranted. In other words, employees should be informed immediately after any lung changes begin to take place.
|Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents|