Occupational and environmental medicine is devoted to the prevention and treatment of job-related illness and injury. National numbers in 2013 reveal that over 4,500 workers were killed on the job and nearly 50,000 workers died of occupational related diseases; this equates to almost 150 workers dying each day. These numbers are quite staggering and businesses of all sizes, now more than ever, are partnering with occupational medical specialists to provide job-safety training, health education, injury prevention programs, as well as prompt medical treatment for work-related injuries.
As a specialized field, Occupational Medicine provides a unique, proactive approach that is simple, convenient and comprehensive. It can help reduce workplace hazards and other health issues that can adversely affect employee productivity.
In addition to illness and injury care of employees, occupational and environmental medicine (OEM) clinics provide: pre-employment exams, DOT physicals, customized pre-placement and qualification exams, OSHA-mandated and surveillance physical examinations. Specialists can perform respirator medical exams, auditory testing and hearing conservation programs as well as on-site TB testing, urine and blood collection/testing, breath alcohol testing, EKG testing/interpretation as well as administration of vaccines/immunizations. They treat employees who have had blood borne exposures/needle sticks following CDC guidelines. Workplace wellness programs are also part of their mission as it has been well established that healthy employees and a safe work environment results in fewer workplace injuries, lower costs, more productivity and ultimately happier, healthier and safer employees.
As one way to help control medical costs, many business are offering a host of work-related medical services to their employees with the goal of helping increase health and safety while on the job. Nurse Case Managers facilitate communication between the worker, employer, provider and insurance carrier, monitoring the employee’s progress from the initial visit to their return to full duty at work. Case Management is the critical link between the injured worker and the employer.
Portneuf Medical Center’s WorkMed Clinic is a comprehensive occupational medicine clinic located at 500 S. 11th Street Suite 500 in Pocatello, which specializes in injury and illness care. OEM physicians are knowledgeable regarding the laws and regulations, work fitness, return to work and disability management. To schedule an appointment or to discuss any work-related health question or to arrange for an in-person consultation of your workplace, please call Katy Williams, WorkMed Clinic Manager at 208.239.1940
Randall Fowler, MD is board certified in Family Practice and Emergency Medicine. He graduated from the University Of Washington School Of Medicine. Presently, he is completing requirements to become an occupational and environmental (OEM) physician through the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM), the nation’s largest physician organization dedicated to the care of workers.