HealthyWorker houses a large Occupational Health Department that operates through mobile on-site and in-house clinics. Our specialists that are employed to conduct the testing, assessments and follow-up are fully trained, certified and accredited in their fields of expertise. These individuals come from a variety of disciplines and include safety professionals, healthcare technicians, registered nurses, occupational health nurses, and certified drug and alcohol testers.
Every workplace should be an environmentally sound and reliable operation with established Health and Safety Policies and Procedures. In addition to testing and screenings, HealthyWorker provides comprehensive training in identifying high-risk workers, the prevention of worksite injuries, policy consultation, and mentoring for administrative personnel, field management, and front line workers. Our workshops are tailored to the specific requirements, size and location of your group. The information provided is gleaned from first-hand know-how, input from clients, statistical analyses, ongoing research and a thorough knowledge of the precepts contained in the Industry Best Practice on Health and Safety at Work manual. Partnering with Employers to recognize the importance of, and to implement and maintain a structured approach to the identification of hazards, evaluation and control of work related risks is our goal.
Fitness for Duty
HealthyWorker takes a proactive approach to assessing Fitness for Duty prior to and during the work period for employees. Employers and on-site supervisors are responsible for establishing and monitoring safe work practices for employee well being and productivity. Accountability is heavily reliant on conducting pre-screenings and on-going assessments to target risk factors that are, or may be associated with an employee’s health. Individuals who are not fit for duty may present a safety hazard to themselves, to other employees, to the organization and to the public.
HealthyWorker is pleased to provide in-house and on-site medical services to corporate clients in Alberta and other areas of Canada. The goals for providing a holistic range of medical assessments are:
* To determine any accommodation requirements that workers may have related to the bona fide occupational requirements (BFOR) or qualifications (BFOQ) for their position.
* To assess and establish a baseline of a worker’s current health status prior to active employment.
* To screen for potential ongoing accommodation requirements that may impact the worker’s performance of duties as related to the job demands for the position.
* To measure fitness for work related to specific tasks such as mobile equipment operation.
* To maintain a record of health throughout the duration of the employment of the worker as may be required by any Company specific policies and procedures related to Health Management.
* To screen for evidence of any unstated accommodation requirements that may negatively impact work safety with referral services being available for the worker and the Employer if required.
* And to improve the Company’s Bottom Line: knowledge is power; assessments provide key information about applicants and employees that form the basis for sound HR decisions. We are dedicated to the Health of every Worker. Our staff are able to outline accommodation requirements for workers that normally allow the employer to make minor adjustments to the work area, scheduling or responsibilities to accommodate most workers. In the rare instance that the Employer is not able to accommodate a worker, we can assist the Employer to document the unique circumstances of the potential undue hardship that might be incurred by the Employer.
HealthyWorker’s Occupational Healthcare Practitioners conduct post offer / pre-employment examinations for fitness for duty; then document and report their findings to the appropriate HR personnel and / or Designated Employer Representative (DER). New hires and / or current employees are typically classified as fit or fit with accommodation requirements. Occasionally a decision will be deferred and the worker’s status may be classified as PENDING. The following briefly explains each classification.
Medical Examinations indicate the person is able to perform the bona fide occupational requirements (BFOR) for the position without accommodation requirements for the duration of the employment period.
Fit with Accommodation requirements:
Medical Examinations indicate that the worker will require accommodation in the work area related to the performance of the bona fide occupational requirements. The worker statements and observed assessment of the worker’s current ability to perform the bona fide job demands for their position will be documented for review by the Designated Employer Representative (DER). For example, if a position requires a minimum vision standard that the worker is able to meet with corrective lenses then the current prescription lenses will be worn by the worker during the assessment to determine if the worker meets the minimum requirement. This is a common accommodation that many Employers perform without hardship. If a worker’s current corrective lenses are insufficient to meet the minimum requirement, the Employer will be notified that the worker’s status is pending confirmation of this specific accommodation requirement by an appropriate Health Practitioner.
Medical Examinations indicate that further follow up with a Health Practitioner may be required to determine the current status of a worker’s stated or observed accommodation requirements as related to the bona fide job demands for the position. The Employer will be notified of the workers current status as specifically related to the ability to perform the bona fide job demand(s). At the Employer’s discretion, the worker will be provided with a letter for their Physician requesting confirmation of the worker’s ability to perform the bona fide job demand or detailed accommodation requirements for the Employer’s Designated Employer Representative to review. The Employer will then be able to confirm their ability to accommodate the worker or determine if undue hardship is present related to the accommodation requirements. HealthyWorker is committed to the employment of all workers in Alberta but we do understand that Employers have financial, cost, safety, potential disruption of the workplace or the delivery of a service considerations as well as any potential impact on other staff and / or client considerations. Our staff will assist you to make timely, ethical and responsible decisions regarding the employment of your workers.
Bona Fide Occupational Requirements Assessments BFOR(A)
Post Conditional Offer / Legislatively Required / Transfer / DOT / Company Specific Policy
HealthyWorker provides assessments for both legislatively required testing and Company specific testing requirements for workers that have signed a conditional offer of employment. We also provide assessments for workers that are potentially moving to a new position within your Company where the worker will be required to perform different Bona Fide Occupational Requirements than are present in their current position.
Health assessments for workers exposed to asbestos, silica or coal dust. (Part 40).
Respiratory Protective Equipment (Part 18 – Section 244)
Respirator Approval CSA Standard Z94.4-02
CSA Safety Standard for Lift Trucks B335-04 (R2011) (Clause 4.10)– Lift Truck Operator Medical and Physical Requirements
Department of Transportation (US) – Class 1 Driver’s Physician Medical
We are able to provide unique assessments for each position. All Employers are strongly advised to create unique Bona Fide Occupational Requirements (BFOR) for every position in their work area. Our staff are able to provide services that will assist you to determine the bona fide requirements of each position. From this assessment, our staff will provide documentation to assist you in the recruitment of workers for the position and for reference in returning a worker to duty for the position should an injury occur while at work. Having this documentation available is a legal requirement in Alberta and is a great resource should an injury occur in the work area for this position. Our staff are often able to assist Employers rethink a job or position to reduce the occupational requirements for the position or redesign the work flow to potentially prevent chronic or acute injuries from occurring.
HealthyWorker is able to provide confirmation of a worker’s current status related to their ability to meet Company specific policies and procedures that cover the conduct of all workers. Such policies and procedures are advised to ensure consistency of safety related requirements for all workers such as having a detailed drug and alcohol policy.
Our team of professional staff and Health Services vendors are able to complete almost any Health Assessment that you may require for your workers. We employ Licensed Practical Nurses(LPN), Registered Nurses(RN), a Certified Occupational Health Nurse (Canada)(COHN(C)), Occupational Health Technicians, Audiometric Technicians, Spirometry Technicians, Breath Alcohol Technicians(BAT), Qualified DOT Urine collection Technicians, Certified DOT Breath Alcohol Technicians and other specialists. Our team of Health Professional Vendors include Physician’s, Audiologists, Respirologists, Cardiologists, Chiropractors and other specialists.
During a medical assessment we are able to include drug and alcohol instant screening, lab based testing of blood / urine / hair / saliva / DNA, (1)LPN / RN / COHN(C) assessment, (2)flexibility/range of motion, (3)strength assessment, (4)endurance assessment, (5)job specific vision screening, (6)basic urinalysis, (7)ECG, (8) health history and accommodation review related to the workers current health status questionnaire, chest x-ray, Spirometry, hearing testing, mask fit testing qualitative / quantitative, and other company specific testing requirements.
1. LPN / RN / COHN(C) Assessment:
General Health Assessments provide employers with a “snapshot” and documentation of the worker’s health status. Significantly, it provides information regarding the individual’s ability to accomplish the specific duties of a job based on the physical, environmental and psychological demands of the position.
This assessment can be performed by one of our Registered Licensed Practical Nurses, Registered Nurses, or our on staff Certified Occupational Health Nurse (Canada). This initial evaluation is thorough and examines all aspects related to Bona Fide Occupational Requirements. This can include but is not limited to checking Vital Signs (temperature, blood pressure, pulse, respiratory rate), Basic Biometrics (height, weight), and Organ Systems (head/neck, heart/lungs, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, skin and soft tissue, musculoskeletal and neurological). Additional testing may be performed on request and/or based on findings. A summary report is submitted to the appropriate Designated Employer Representative upon completion of this assessment. If during the assessment, unusual accommodation requirements are noted, the Employer’s Designated Employer Representative will be contacted to determine if follow up with a Physician or other Health Practitioner is required.
2. Flexibility/Range of Motion Assessment:
Flexibility is a key element in overall physical fitness. It is the range of movement of joints and their associated muscles. Flexible muscles are healthier ones and less prone to injury. Prime examples of occupational injuries involve neck/back problems (bone, joint and muscle strain), sprains (stretching or tearing of muscles), contusions (a bruise bleeding into muscle tissue), dislocation (displacement of one or more bones of a joint from their natural positions), muscle spasms (sudden involuntary contractions of one or more muscles), and tendonitis (an inflammation of a tendon that creates pain when the attached muscle contracts). These types of injuries often related to wrong movement or incorrect positioning when lifting, sitting, repetitive turning, and stretching beyond the capacity of the muscle(s). A musculoskeletal exam assesses joint range of motion, balance, coordination, stability, muscle power, and posture. Tests including a series of stretching and movement exercises to compare the risk factors, if any, between muscle/joint agility and work conditions.
3. Strength Assessment:
A component of strength testing is to determine the probability of later injury to an employee while performing work tasks. It examines how much weight a person can lift comfortably and predicts the long-term physical or health impact on the individual as a result of repetitive lifting of that same amount based on current evidence. Muscular strength is the greatest amount of force a muscle or muscle group can exert in a single effort. Physical ability tests measure the strength of specific muscle groups to perform particular tasks. Unlike assessments using cardiovascular tests, this targets muscle fatiguing rather than a limitation in the amount of oxygen being supplied or utilized by the muscles. It is often the case that young hires applying for physically rigorous work look healthy, appear strong, and are ready to start work. Testing uncovers the actual strength of the candidate against the requirements of the position applied for.
4. Endurance Assessment:
Cardiovascular and respiratory endurance is assessed through a variety of tests monitoring the rate of fatigue as individuals are paced through exercises. Cardiopulmonary assessment involves lung auscultation and exercise physiology testing. Auscultation is the technical term for listening to the internal sounds of the body, usually using a stethoscope . This is performed for the purposes of examining the circulatory system and respiratory system (heart sounds and breath sounds ), as well as the gastrointestinal system (bowel sounds). Muscular endurance is the ability of a muscle or group of muscles to do repeated contractions against a less-than-maximum resistance for a given time. The latter is tested through a series of isometric, isotonic and isokinetic exercise routines including Kraus Weber assessments. Physical exams that indicate an individual’s ability to perform tasks are only a part of the overall risk assessment process. Additional measures indicating an individual’s ability to perform tasks over time are critical to circumventing possible future workplace injuries and ensuring the employer has responsibly upheld commitments associated with Occupational Health and Safety.
5. Job Specific Vision Screening:
At the work site, many positions require that an employee is able to see with 100% clarity in a diversity of situations. This includes the ability to judge distance while operating heavy equipment, discern safety symbols, read job specific instructions, distinguish colors and maintain active night vision. Regular eye care and thorough eye examinations are particularly important since many eye diseases are silent or asymptomatic. Initial vision screening can include Snellen, Depth Perception, Titmus and Ishihara tests but may require assessment by a Certified Optometrist or Ophthalmologist. Occupational vision testing includes binocular, near and far point vision, stereo depth perception, vertical and lateral phoria (muscle balance between the eyes), color and peripheral vision. An external examination inspects the overall health of the eyes: eyelids, surrounding tissues, conjunctiva, sclera, cornea and iris.
6. Urinalysis Screening:
A urinalysis screening is commonly used to diagnose a urinary tract or kidney infection, and to screen for the progression of chronic conditions such as diabetes mellitus and high blood pressure or hypertension. In conjunction with other procedures this testing method can identify muscle break down. Any one of these conditions can place an employee and his/her co-workers at risk during the performance of duties if it is not currently being managed by the worker’s most responsible Physician or other Health Practitioner. Laboratory testing, if required, may provide evidence of certain diseases.
7. ECG/EKG Assessments:
Heart disease is often not apparent to the individual being assessed. It refers to diseases of the heart and blood vessel system. A more correct term is “cardiovascular diseases’ and includes coronary heart disease, heart attacks, high blood pressure, stroke, chest pain (also called “angina”), and rheumatic heart disease. Any one of these conditions presenting in pre or post screenings would render the employee a high risk candidate with a requirement for the worker to be assessed by a Physician or Specialist. An Electrocardiogram (also called ECG or EKG) is a test that records the electrical activity of the heart through small electrode patches attached to the skin of the chest, arms and legs. It is completely painless and allows the attendant healthcare professional to assess an individual’s heart rhythm, diagnose poor blood flow to the heart muscle, predict the likelihood of a heart attack and evaluate certain abnormalities of the heart, such as an enlargement. Abnormal ECG readings can be forwarded to a Cardiologist for review and referral if required.
8. Medical History:
One of the most accurate methods for determining the likelihood of future injury or illness is based on an individual’s historical (health history) evidence as it is specifically related to the Bona Fide Occupational Requirements (BFOR). Health history is vital and the questionnaire administered is designed to uncover information relevant to job situations. A specifically designed health history questionnaire based on multiple pertinent factors is the key to determining all possible accommodation requirements to ensure successful employment of all workers.
PERIODIC SCREENINGS /MEDICAL SURVEILLANCE
Periodic assessments and medical surveillance are two fundamental strategies for optimizing employee health but they are quite distinct processes.
Periodic assessments have a clinical focus. These assessments are administered intermittently, as per Company policies and procedures, and establish an ongoing record of health information throughout the duration of a worker’s employment. The information gathered at each periodic assessment is compared to baseline information collected during pre-employment screening. If health concerns arise, a periodic assessment allows for potential early diagnosis and treatment. These evaluations are required under OHS legislation for occupations that pose greater than average health risks to employees: industrial workers, truck drivers, enforcement officers, etc.
Medical Surveillance has a preventative focus. This is a series of monitored assessments for employees exposed to health hazards like carcinogens or chemical substances. Regular monitoring contributes to the prevention of occupational illness. Employers are legally mandated to perform medical surveillance on employees working with materials such as asbestos, lead, formaldehyde, benzene and waste products. Information is collected on the type of work being performed, the duration of the task, the materials being used and the potential for exposure. Appropriate lab testing is conducted prior to and after exposure to hazardous materials and may include respiratory and skin surveillance, and biological monitoring.
MOBILE EQUIPMENT OPERATOR MEDICAL
A mobile equipment operator is anyone who operates motor powered equipment on a work-site that carries the weight of the operator. Examples range from operators of large mobile units like cement mixers, crane and hoisting equipment to smaller reach truck, forklifts, and skid-steer operators. It is essential that Mobile Equipment Operators are medically assessed to ensure they are fit for safe vehicle operation in accordance with CSA Standards. These evaluations are performed for new hires or if an employee changes from his or her current position to become an operator.
Respirator approval csa standard Z94.4-02 MEDICAL
Dust, chemicals, or reduced oxygen in the air create health hazards for workers. Employers must eliminate these hazards if possible. When airborne hazards cannot be eliminated or sufficiently reduced by other methods, workers are required to wear Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE). To provide the highest level of defense against airborne contaminants, RPE’s must be carefully selected to meet the requirements of the job and the worker using it. The type and model of equipment is selected after a job site analysis is completed. The most recent addition of Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Standard Z94.4, Selection, Use & Care of Respirators, contains detailed guidance for the maintenance and use of Respiratory Protective Equipment. Considerations when selecting the proper equipment for an employee is regulatory approval (NOISH or AEII), manufacture specifications (adherence to the OHS Code), facial fit (the size), worker comfort (does not create undue discomfort), and other factors related to the unit itself like cost and replacement parts. An employee must be fit tested and medically assessed on an annual basis. Respirators create stress on the pulmonary system increasing the risk for injury or illness.
Medicals are conducted to:
Evaluate the employee’s ability to safely wear respiratory protective equipment
Safeguard the health of employees who may be adversely affected by the use of respiratory protective equipment, and
To ensure the safe performance of Respiratory Protective Equipment in compliance with government regulations.
FOOD HANDLER MEDICAL
A food handler is anyone who works in a food industry and either handles food, or surfaces that are likely to be in contact with food. This includes cooking, preparing, serving, packing, displaying and storing food. Food handlers are also involved in manufacturing, producing, collecting, extracting, processing, transporting, delivering, thawing or preserving food. The primary focus of Food Handler Medicals is to ensure that the employee is physically healthy and is not a threat for the spread of infectious or communicable diseases. The spread of certain infectious diseases may be attributed to inadequate hygiene practices, or conditions in food service areas. Occupational health assessments examine the individual for adherence to hygiene requirements and for outward signs of ill health including vomiting, diarrhea, sore throat, fever, jaundice and/or open skin lesions. Additional tests may be conducted to uncover underlying health conditions such as Hepatitis A and upper respiratory infections including Tuberculosis. Testing can include X-rays, blood samples, stool and urine analysis and other methods that could detect diseases originating in the employee or from their contact with food. Food Handler Medicals are administered for pre-employment, periodic assessments, suspicion of illness or disease, post illnesses, and following employee complaints related to health concerns.