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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Safety: Occupational Medical Surveillance Program
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Occupational Medical Surveillance Program and Location Procedures

(adapted from Manual 230 - Updated: 12/5/2005)


The purpose of the Occupational Medical Surveillance Program (OMSP) is to provide medical monitoring of Agency employees potentially exposed to environmental hazards (such as chemical, biological, physical hazards, toxic substances, noise, dust, radioactivity) associated with agency operations.

It is the Agency's policy to provide an OMSP for authorized employees considered for assignment or presently assigned to work with qualifying hazards.  The OMSP will be established and administereed according to the procedures detailed in P&P 235.0.

Participation in the OMSP is voluntary.  Medical evaluations required by OSHA regulations may be performed in conjunction wtih the OMSP; however, the OMSP should not be confused with OSHA requirements.  The OMSP is a voluntary, broad-based medical surveillance program, and its purpose is to identify exposures to potentially harmful agents and aid in the early detection of adverse heatlh effects, if any.  OSHA-mandated medical evaluations are limited and specific to the hazard of work activity in question. 

The OMSP screens authorized employees to establish health-status baselines and detect work-related changes in health status. Medical records will document screening procedures performed, establish baselines, and detect work-related physiological changes (if any) throughout the employee's career.  This information may be used to determine unusual susceptibility to illness from exposures in the work environment, permit identification of harmful effects of agents used, and provide medical treatment and advice. It also may be used to plan, implement and evaluate occupational and preventive health programs.

The OMSP is designed only for the detection of occupationally significant medical anomalies. The limited medical procedures performed are not intended, and should not be construed, to substitute for the care provided by the employee's personal physician.

The OMSP is administered by the Human Resource Division (HRD) at the Headquarters level. Locally, the OMSP is administered by the AO. Medical evaluation is provided by the Dean Medical Center and Occupational Health Staff after the ARS employee completes Forms 182 A-B.  The AO provides an information letter and appropriate forms including the Dean Medical Center in-house forms to the employee(s) participating in the OMSP program.

Dean schedules and performs testing with employees based on the results of the information submitted on the ARS-182 A-B form as well as prescreening forms supplied by Dean. All results are sent by Dean to the ARS National OMSP medical provider, who reviews the results and makes a determination as to whether or not the medical findings are work-related. These findings are then sent to the employee.

In addition to the total findings sent to the employee, the AO receives a summary report of a list of participants and employees with identified work related problems. The results of all examinations provided under this program will be safeguarded. 

Since it is in everyone’s interest to correct conditions which have created work related health problems, the employee, AO, and supervisor should discuss what improvements can be made in the work environment. If significant funds are to be involved, the Area Safety Manager should be involved.

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Last Modified: 3/12/2010
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