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Knowledge at Work - UL Workplace Health & Safety

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Occupational Health

The Importance of Medical Surveillance in the Workplace

May 15, 2014 - Posted by Dr. Richard Lewis

The term surveillance generally refers to “keeping a watchful eye over someone or something.” In the workplace, surveillance programs have been used to screen individuals for potential over-exposures (such as to lead) or disease development (such as asbestosis). In a more broad sense, programs can be used to observe the health of populations for the development of work-related problems such as hearing loss from noise exposure or allergic reactions from dusts or dander. The keys to success and effectiveness of these types of programs are to identify problems early and take appropriate corrective actions.

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Topics: employee health, illness prevention, workplace wellness, medical surveillance

Dr. Richard Lewis

Richard Lewis, M.D., M.P.H., is the Medical Director, Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Lewis has practiced occupational medicine for more 25 years, providing clinical services and medical expertise to companies, academic institutions and research organizations. His expertise includes the development of surveillance programs for workers exposed to hazardous conditions. He also is interested in promoting workforce well-being through sustainable behavior change and lifestyle modifications. His certifications include American Board of Preventive Medicine in occupational medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine, National Board of Medical Examiners, Medical Review Officer, Medical Emergency Response Team Leader and Competent Medical Authority.

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