As part of the commitment of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai to establishing and maintaining a “Culture of Safety”, the Occupational Health and Safety Program (OHSP) is designed to prevent the occurrence of injuries and occupational diseases. Employee Health Services (EHS) and Environmental Health & Safety (EnvH&S) implement elements of the institution’s OHSP.
Medical Surveillance Program
Employee Health Services (EHS) provides services to all employees within the Mount Sinai Health System and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. EHS offers evaluation and treatment for work-related illnesses and injuries, performs return-to-work evaluations, administers the Workplace Accommodations Program, and administers medical surveillance programs, including testing and immunizations mandated by OSHA, New York State, New York City, and Mount Sinai.
Medical surveillance testing may be required for researchers who directly handle biohazardous materials or for laboratory visitors who are potentially exposed to biohazardous materials. Depending on the biohazardous material and the scope of research, medical surveillance testing may be required. The IBC, Biosafety, and EHS will determine optimal surveillance testing protocols. Each laboratory member must complete an Annual Health Assessment, which is reviewed by EHS to: i) assess personnel health fitness to work in the laboratory environment, ii) ensure that vaccination status against bloodborne pathogens is up-to-date, and iii) provide individual counseling as needed.
Employee Health Services (EHS) requires employees to schedule appointments for completing occupational health compliance (i.e. influenza immunization, PPDs/QFTs/TB screening), Annual Health Assessments, return to work clearances, and work-related injuries and follow-ups. Each employee should E-mail his/her completed Annual Health Assessment (AHA) to Employee Health Services.
Respiratory Protection Program
Environmental Health & Safety (EnvH&S) maintains programs related to compliance with federal, state, and local regulations involving worker health and safety issues, as well as exposure of the public, patients, and visitors to safety hazards. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Standard (29 CFR 1910.134, Respiratory Protection, requires Mount Sinai to develop a written Respiratory Protection Program, which describes required worksite-specific procedures and elements for required respirator use. The Respiratory Protection Program mandated by OSHA requires Mount Sinai to provide respirators that protect employees from inhalation of hazardous materials that cannot be controlled by engineering or administrative controls. Mount Sinai must provide effective annual training to employees who are required to use respirators. Prior to working in areas requiring respiratory protection, employees must:
- Complete the Respirator Medical Evaluation Questionnaire (for first-time fit-test applicants) or the Periodic Medical Questionnaire (for reevaluation of existing respirator users), which is then reviewed by Employee Health Services;
- Undergo medical evaluation by Employee Health Services; and
- Complete fit testing for tight-fitting N95 respirators on an annual basis.
Employees should visit the Environmental Health and Safety website to obtain information on the institutional Respiratory Protection Program, including Medical Evaluation Questionnaire and details on N95 respirator fit testing sessions.