Occupational Health Program
Occupational Health Program Policy and Procedures (http://www.ehs.gatech.edu/occupational/OHP_Policy.pdf)
Confidential Exposure Risk Assessment Questionnaire (http://www.ehs.gatech.edu/occupational/All-in-one.pdf)
Occupational Health Program Contact:
Workplace Occupational Health Policy and Guiding Principles:
Workplace Occupational Health is an important issue for Georgia Tech and its employees. Scientific research and other work activities involving the use of chemical, biological, and/or radiological materials has the potential to expose employees to health hazards. These hazards can create both short-term and long-term health issues. Georgia Tech is strongly committed to protecting the health of all its employees through awareness, training, medical evaluations, engineering controls and appropriate workplace protective measures.
Assessing Workplace Occupational Health Risks:
Occupational health risks in the workplace can be very difficult to quantify or predict with certainty, and can vary significantly based on a number of different factors including:
- Type of hazard
- Dosage or intensity of its exposure
- Duration of the exposure
- Route of exposure
- Susceptibility of the individual
- Combined effects of multiple hazards
Georgia Tech Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) is responsible for working with departmental supervisors and employees to assess occupational exposure risks and recommend appropriate control measures.
All employees are responsible for following recommended work practices, using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), attending safety training programs and reporting any exposure incidents to their supervisor.
Types of Exposures:
The exposures covered by this program are chemical, biological, radiological (both nonionizing and ionizing) and other potential physical stressors that may impact occupational health. Within each exposure group, there are a number of identified potential health risks. Protective measures should be taken to avoid/minimize exposures.
- Examples of Chemical Exposures Associated with Workplace Health Risks:
- Heavy metals
- Organic solvents
- Chemotherapeutic agents
- Anesthetic gases
- Examples of Biological Exposures Associated with Workplace Health Risks:
- Examples of Ionizing Radiation Exposures Associated with Workplace Health Risks:
- Source Materials (C-14, H-3, P-32, Th-229, Ni-63, etc.)
- X-ray Units
- Analytical Instruments (electron microscopes, spectroscopy, etc.)
- Neutron Generators
- Examples of Non-Ionizing Radiation Exposures Associated with Workplace Health Risks:
- High Power Magnets
- Radio Frequency (RF) Radiation
- Microwave Radiation
- Ultra-Violet Light (from electric arcs or plasma generation)
- Examples of Other Physical Stressors Associated with Workplace Health Risks:
- Extreme Heat or Cold
- Repetitive Motion
Departmental Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that workplace health protective measures are in place, including ensuring that:
- Employees complete all appropriate safety training including the proper use of fume hoods, biosafety cabinets and emergency equipment.
- Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is worn. Safety glasses must be worn at all times in laboratories or other work areas where eye exposure risks are present. All persons handling chemicals must wear lab coats and protective gloves. Other forms of PPE may be necessary based on the exposure (e.g. hearing protection for noise exposures, lead aprons for radiation exposures, etc.)
- Individuals understand how to read the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for all chemicals used in the laboratory to determine appropriate handling procedures and to determine if a chemical is a potential health hazard.
- Employees exposed to potential workplace health hazards are enrolled in the Georgia Tech Occupational Health Program (OHP) to receive an overall risk assessment, medical evaluation, and any appropriate vaccinations or medical tests.
- All employees attend Chemical Right-to-Know, Laboratory Safety, Biosafety, Radiological Material, X-ray Safety and other applicable training courses offered by EHS to learn more about potential workplace health risks associated with the materials or equipment they are working with.
Georgia Tech EHS performs workplace occupational hazard / risk assessments on an ongoing basis and will work closely with faculty, staff or students who have any concerns or wish to discuss potential health risks associated with their work activities.
EHS will collect and evaluate information on exposures of concern to provide appropriate safety recommendations to protect Georgia Tech employee’s health in the workplace. These recommendations will be reviewed with the employees as well as the departmental supervisor, the Georgia Tech OHP medical provider, and/or the Principal Investigator (PI) as needed. EHS will work with the department and the employee to implement the appropriate safety, exposure control and health monitoring measures.
To have a job hazard analysis conducted or for additional information on enrollment in the Georgia Tech OHP, EHS should be contacted at (404)894-4635 or at www.ehs.gatech.edu