University of Washington Policy Directory

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*Formerly part of the University Handbook
Administrative Policy Statement

Occupational Health Policy and Procedures

(Approved by the Vice President for Health Sciences by authority of Executive Order No. 1)

1.  Overview

The University's Occupational Health policy specifies that all employees must be provided with a safe and healthful work environment and that health assessments are required for specific work assignments. The policy is designed to:

  • Conform to occupational health standards set by regulatory agencies and granting and accrediting bodies;

  • Assure that employees are physically able to perform their jobs;

  • Prevent and detect disease and illness resulting from exposure to possible health hazards in the work environment;

  • Establish guidelines for safe and appropriate work assignments; and

  • Establish baseline health data for future comparison.

2.  Management of Occupational Health Services

The Environmental Health and Safety Department (EH&S) is responsible for administration and direction of Occupational Health Services for University employees. Services are provided by Occupational Health staff under the direction of the Occupational Health physician at Hall Health Center.

EH&S staff will work on the detection and prevention of occupational disease/illness resulting from exposure to particular health hazards in the work environment. Human Resources and EH&S staff will also establish guidelines for safe and appropriate work assignments in keeping with affirmative action legislation.

3.  Health Assessment Procedures

A.   Health Counseling and Education

Health counseling and education will be provided for employees working in areas where there is exposure to potential health hazards. Employees will be advised of precautions which should be undertaken to minimize exposure.

B.   Evaluation of Position or Classification

Selected positions and classifications are evaluated by EH&S in cooperation with Human Resources to determine if there is a need for health assessments and, if so, to define specific requirements. This evaluation involves a job analysis and often includes a work site visit. When an evaluation is completed for a given position or classification, a statement will be prepared outlining specific health assessment or physical requirements.

Physical requirements will be limited to those necessary for the efficient performance of duties in a manner that will not jeopardize the health or safety of the applicant (employee) or others. Full consideration will be given to the hiring, placement, and advancement of qualified handicapped persons. Selection criteria will not eliminate qualified handicapped persons. Reasonable accommodations to the known health limitations of a qualified handicapped applicant or employee will be made.

C.   Health Assessment Requirements

Health assessments may be required in a variety of circumstances. Assessments may take place prior to employment, periodically during the work assignment, and/or at the time of termination from the position. Health assessments may include but are not limited to:

  • A review of work and health history
  • Physical examinations
  • Immunizations
  • Blood tests
  • Audiograms
  • Pulmonary function tests
  • X-rays
  • Urine tests
  • EKGs
  • Others as indicated

If these assessments are required by the University, they are considered mandatory. Employee health records will be confidential and will be accessible to the employee.

Health assessments will normally be performed by the Occupational Health staff at Hall Health Center. Only under special circumstances will results from outside facilities be accepted by the Occupational Health physician to satisfy health assessment requirements. Any expenses incurred from services performed by outside facilities which were requested by the applicant or employee are the responsibility of the applicant or employee.

July 1983.