Depending on which industry you work in, a health and medical surveillance program can be crucial for the safety of you and your employees in the lab. This program may include but is not limited to the following: a medical examination; serum screening, testing and/or storage; immunizations; and possibly other tests as determined by the risk assessment process. Here are some things you should consider when developing such a program:
- The agents in use and the programs in place in the laboratory
- A risk assessment process based upon your region's and International practices that clearly demonstrates the reasons, indications and advantages for such a program to be in place should be done
- Risk assessment should be carried out by a multidisciplinary group including management, safety and occupational health professionals
- Consideration of those people working with high risk organisms, because knowledge of immune status is critical for decisions concerning immunizations, prophylaxis, etc. is important in such a risk assessment
Once you have developed your plan, only people meeting these identified medical entry requirements (e.g., immunizations) may enter the laboratory unless the facility has been appropriately decontaminated. Or, other specified protocols can be developed and implemented to achieve the same level of protection for other individuals entering a facility.