The purpose of this policy is to define the roles and responsibilities for surveillance and maintenance of health associated with work at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Procedures for implementing occupational health surveillance are described in UW–Madison Occupational Health Surveillance Procedures (University Health Services Environmental & Occupational Health Program).
This policy applies to staff and students who work and study at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Occupational health surveillance services are offered to assure the well being of UW employees and students who may at times encounter various hazards during the course of their study, research and/or employment. The services detailed in UW Madison Occupational Health Surveillance Procedures (University Health Services Environmental & Occupational Health Program) are part of a comprehensive campus commitment to the well being of the UW community. In some cases, the services listed are required to be offered by federal regulation. In others, they are offered to help satisfy requirements of funding and/or accreditation agencies. In most cases, the services must be offered by the employing department, but participation is not required. It is important for supervisors to inform employees of particular program requirements. Note that special rules apply to individuals engaged in animal research activities. Under UW-4121 Research Animal Resource Center policy, participation in the occupational health program, including annual submission of an animal contact questionnaire and participation in health surveillance programs, is a mandatory prerequisite for engaging in teaching, research or training activities that may involve contact with animals.
Provision of medical surveillance services is important, but these must be supplemented with training and provision of appropriate personal protective equipment. When employees decline to participate in offered health services, they should fill out a declination statement such as that provided in the surveillance procedures document. A record that the service was offered and its declination should be maintained in the employee health record.
Where there is a compelling reason for requiring participation such as in protecting the health of the employee or patients or because of OSHA standards, participation in health surveillance services may be required. Where participation in health surveillance is mandatory and surveillance criteria are defined, such criteria must be indicated in the position description. A disclosure statement should also be completed that outlines the risks for both participation and declination of services. Where an employee does not participate in mandatory surveillance or fails to meet surveillance criteria, consult with the unit Office of Human Resources to determine the impact of surveillance declination. Care should be taken to assure that requirements apply equally to all staff.
All patients have a right to maintain the confidentiality of their medical information. Therefore, UHS will treat as confidential whatever is learned about individuals in a health assessment, releasing information only when required by law or by over-riding public health considerations, or to other physicians at the request of the individual employee/candidate according to traditional ethical medical practice. UHS also recognizes that employers (including the University and its departments) are entitled to counsel about the medical fitness of individuals in relation to work, but are not entitled to diagnoses or details of a specific nature. All health assessment and other occupational health medical records at the UHS will be handled and stored in a confidential manner according to applicable laws. Unless covered by existing statute, health information will not be released without prior written authorization of the patient. For the purposes of occupational health management, such information shall be limited to compliance with surveillance program procedures and fitness for duty statements and not include diagnostic results or findings.
The University of Wisconsin–Madison does not deny access to research or instructional facilities based solely on personal health concerns or other disabilities. However, employees or students may have underlying health conditions for which certain job risks could adversely affect that person’s health. Examples of health conditions that could put a person at increased risk include pregnancy, organ transplantation, cancer, diabetes, asthma, allergies or HIV infection. When possible, UW–Madison will make reasonable accommodations.
Employees should report to their Divisional Disability Representative (DDR) any changes in health status potentially affecting their ability to safely perform work tasks so that accommodations can be considered to minimize health risks. Should an employee have any questions on how current health conditions would affect his or her ability to work with hazardous agents, the employee should discuss these concerns with University Health Service Occupational Medicine Physician, Occupational Health Officer or their personal physician.
Students who may require accommodations due to health status to perform their educational activities safely can contact the McBurnie Disability Resource Center to discuss accommodation options. As with staff, students are encouraged to discuss concerns with University Health Service Occupational Medicine Physician, Occupational Health Officer or their personal physician.
Disclosure of Workplace Hazards and Risks Template
Declination Form Template
Informed Consent Template
UW Madison Serum Banking and Testing Guidance