OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH EXPERTS
The field of Occupational Health focuses on the prevention and treatment of work-related illness, injury, and disability, and accomplishes its mission by promoting the health of employees, families, and communities. Specialists in Occupational Health serve to protect the health of nearly 150 million workers in the United States, but rather than simply responding to workplace injuries, a major focus of Occupational Medicine is promoting worker health through monitoring, prevention, return-to-work programs, and compliance with health and safety practices. Modern employers also recognize that improvements in workplace health and safety are not only instrumental for employees but also mission-critical for the success and stability of the company as well. Occupational Medicine specialists certified by the American Board of Preventative Medicine (ABPM) are the physician specialists tasked with implementing and accomplishing these important objectives.
Worker health is a frequent focus of litigation, and one common theme concentrates on causal associations between employee illness and workplace exposure. While physical exposure to asbestos, benzene, and ethylene oxide tend to dominate the news, employees are routinely in contact with myriad hazards that may be ergonomic (e.g. postural), environmental (e.g. temperature, noise), biological (e.g. mold, fungus, animal), organizational (e.g. sexual harassment, intense stress), or chemical. Workers afflicted by malignancy naturally wonder whether their job caused cancer, and the association between employment hazards and the development of various cancers is an area of intense focus and litigation.
Other areas requiring advanced levels of Occupational-Health expertise include:
- Establishing causal links between work-related exposure and illness
- Regulatory requirements for Occupational Health
- Medical plan and employer-provided insurance
- Workers’ compensation
- OSHA compliance
- Medical testing, screening, and surveillance in the workplace
- Medical examination for certification of asbestos-related lung disease
- Disability assessment
- ADA compliance, accommodations, fitness for duty, medical clearance, and return to work
- Pre-employment and pre-placement evaluations
- Infectious disease in the workplace
- Drug testing and Medical Review Officer (MRO) compliance
- Health-related discrimination and EEOC issues
- Disaster preparedness and emergency response
- Product safety and health-related consumer complaints
Elite Medical Experts’ Occupational Health division is led by Dr. Tom Fariss, a Board-Certified specialist in Internal Medicine and Occupational & Environmental Medicine who served as the Vice President of Global Health at Kimberly-Clark Corporation where he was responsible for occupational health issues affecting over 41,000 employees.
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