The Occupational Health Surveillance System, also known as OHSS. OHSS provides a mechanism for conducting a risk assessment and corresponding medical evaluation for employees with exposure to animals, biohazards, and other workplace or laboratory exposures. The process is four steps: a supervisor creates a risk assessment for the participants to review and agree to; the participant completes the health questionnaire about their personal health information and history; a physician or medical health professional will review both the risk assessment and the health questionnaire, and decide if the participant needs any additional follow-up or medical consultations before they can begin their work; once the process is completed, the participant is cleared for work, and reviews and acknowledges that clearance. The process begins when a supervisor selects "Create a New Risk Assessment." The supervisor will search for a person they are completing the risk assessment for, which in most cases, is their employee or someone that works for them.
The person's name will populate as you type. If for some reason the person's name isn't found, please follow the on-screen instructions. A prompt will let you know that you only have 30 minutes to complete this section. In order to comply with the security regulations, select "Yes - I Understand" to continue. At the top of the page, you will notice the supervisor and the participant's name is listed. If you are not the principal investigator of the participant, please enter the principal investigator's name in the field. The risk assessment form is divided up into several important sections. The first section pertains to the participant's status.
Check the box that corresponds with the assignment of the person you're filling out the risk assessment for. In this demonstration, we are completing the risk assessment for an undergraduate student. Continue to fill out the questions of each section in the risk assessment to the best of your knowledge. In some sections, you may be asked to enter more information into a text box. For example, if you're working with owls, put "owls" in the text box next to "Bird." Check the "Wild" box if the animals you're working with were caught in the wild versus came from a commercial vendor. This is to highlight there may be some additional health risks due to animals with unknown health status or field studies which have some unique risk compared to lab research.
Under the "Exposure" drop-box, select the option that best describes your interaction with the animals. Please provide further description of potential exposure risks to enable a more accurate risk assessment in the "Exposure Description" box. Some examples are provided.
If a section does not pertain to the work a person does, select "No," and that section will collapse, and you can move on to the next. The risk assessment has sections that pertain to animal contact, biological agents, exposures, physical agents, chemical agents, training, animal exposure, blood-borne pathogens exposure control, and general safety. When you have completed the participant's risk assessment to the best of your knowledge, select the "Supervisor Signature" button. This will capture the date and an electronic signature based on your campus, single sign-on account. Then, select the "Create the Risk Assessment" button. The next screen confirms that your risk assessment has been submitted successfully.
You now have the option to email the participant the risk assessment for review, and add any additional comments that you may have. Supervisors with multiple employees, performing similar duties, can create a single risk assessment, and then copy it for each of their employees. From the home screen, go to "All Assessments." Find the name of the participant's risk assessment that you wish to copy. Search for the person you wish to copy the risk assessment to.
Make any necessary changes to the copied risk assessment before selecting the "Create Risk Assessment" button at the bottom of the page. Let's now take a look at the role of the participant. When the supervisor submits the risk assessment, an email will be sent to the participant, asking them to log into the system, and review the risk assessment.
On the screen, under "Pending Actions," you can see that there is a risk assessment that needs to be reviewed. The "My Assessments" screen displays the participant's current risk assessments (RA), health questionnaires (HQ), and medical assessments (MA). You can check the status of any of these by hovering over the letter next to the date. A red flag notes to the user anything that requires action. In this example, the participant needs to either agree or disagree with the risk assessment their supervisor has provided. The participant will now review the risk assessment created by their supervisor, ensuring that nothing was missing and that they agree with everything that was stated.
The participant then has the option to agree or disagree with the risk assessment. If a participant disagrees with the risk assessment, an email will be sent to their supervisor, letting them know of the changes that need to be made. The risk assessment will then need to be corrected and resubmitted by the supervisor, which will notify the participant to come back to this step in the process. If the participant agrees, they simply select "I Agree," and then move forward.
Next, the participant is taken to the health questionnaire. The health questionnaire is a series of questions that asks participants about various health conditions and vaccines. The health questionnaire can always be updated with current information pertaining to the participant. Each participant has only one health questionnaire form, no matter how many risk assessments they may have.
The confirmation screen lets you know that your health questionnaire has been successfully sent to Occupational Health for review. Now that the health questionnaire and the risk assessment have been submitted, the Occupational Health professional will make a medical assessment. The health professional can now look at your risk assessment and your health questionnaire form side-by-side, looking for any activities or conflict that may have concern. The medical professional can now recommend that no medical services are needed at this time, or they recommend that they contact the Occupational Health clinic for the following services. More information may be provided in the "Further details" box. The medical professional also will determine the renewal frequency. They also may attach any necessary documents for the participants to review. An email will be sent to the participant letting them know they need to login and acknowledge the medical assessment provided by the medical professional.
Once the medical reviewer has submitted the medical assessment, the participant will receive an email, letting them know that there is a medical assessment for them to acknowledge. The final step in the system requires the participant to acknowledge the medical assessment. To do so, they will need to log into the system, and select the "Review Medical Assessment(s)" option. Once there, they can go to the medical assessment column (MA). You can hover over the letter next to the date to view the status. Selecting the date will open up the medical assessment, and allow the participant to see what services are recommended, if any.
They will also be able to view any additional information or documents provided by the medical professional. Once they have read the medical assessment, they will need to acknowledge it by selecting "I Have Read the Medical Assessment" at the bottom of the screen. If any services are required, or the medical professionals stated they need additional information, the participant will need to contact the Occupational Health Office to complete the process. If no services or follow-ups are required, the participant will be cleared into the system by Occupational Health staff, and the process is considered complete.
As a supervisor, you can check the status of your participants by selecting the "All Assessments" option from your homepage. If the process has not been completed, it will show up in the "Incomplete" page. Here, supervisors can sort by the participant's name. Hover over the letter next to the date to view the status. Supervisors can also resend emails to help remind the participants to complete their part. To send emails, all you need to do is select the "Email" button, and it will resend the email and record the date in which it was sent. Please note, supervisors can view the risk assessments but not the health questionnaire or medical assessments. Supervisors can also archive assessments performed on specific individuals.
This is usually done when someone leaves the university. To archive, simply find the person and corresponding assessments you wish to archive, and check the archive box. Then, select the button.
Achiving does not delete any data; it simply hides it from the list of assessments. The "Completed" tab will show the supervisor all of the assessments they have completed. They can either search for a participant by "'last name" or select "View All.".
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