Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace. This is mandated in California by the IIPP and nationally by the federal OSH Act. Sometimes this may involve medical screening to ensure that employees’ health is not being adversely affected by exposure to hazardous materials. There may also be times when testing is required to safeguard others with whom the employee may come in contact.
Medical fitness tests must be job-related and focused to the exposure. For example, employees who are required to use respirators as part of their duties must pass a medical fitness test. Employees exposed to a noisy work environment may need to complete hearing testing to make sure that Personal Protective Equipment is effective. Requirements for health screening are typically included as part of the OSHA standard managing the hazard.
In other environments, such as healthcare, an employer may require testing to determine an employee’s immunity to infectious diseases, such as the flu or Hepatitis.
An employer may require health screening as part of the on-boarding process, routinely during employment tenure, or as a fitness-for-duty screening if an employee is returning from disability leave. Regardless of the type of screening an employer requires, there are laws that direct employers to ensure an employee’s rights are protected.
To get more information on the applicability of occupational health screening programs for a specific County operation please contact the corresponding departmental Safety Coordinator.
For further information on specific regulatory guidelines please refer to the link(s) below:
Medical Surveillance Guidelines (OSHA Standard)
Guide to OSHA Screening Standards
Medical Screening and Surveillance (OSHA topic)
Medical Program (OSHA Publication)
Medical Surveillance for Healthcare Workers (NIOSH)