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Oklahoma State University

Laboratory Injury and Exposure

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires medical consultation, follow-up examinations, and treatment to employees that have (or may have) been exposed to hazardous materials. Monitoring is also required for work environments where exposure may exceed the action limits, such as the Threshold Limit Value (TLV) or Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL). The following sections provide OSU guidance to employee exposure and monitoring.

Employee Exposure

Upon employee exposure, the department, supervisor/principal investigator (PI), physician, and employee have specific responsibilities regarding reporting and treatment. Specific reporting requirements, criteria, and forms are listed below.

  • All lab personnel will be provided medical consultation and examination whenever:

o   An employee or student develops signs or symptoms associated with a hazardous chemical to which they may have been exposed in the laboratory.

o   Exposure monitoring reveals a level routinely above the action level of PEL, Short Term Exposure Limit (STEL), or TLV.

o   A potential exposure event occurs such as a spill, leaking container, explosion, etc.

  • All medical exams and consultations will be performed by a licensed physician and provided without cost to laboratory personnel and without a loss of pay.
  • Department/PI will provide the following information to the physician:

o   Provide the identity of the hazardous chemicals which the employee and/or student may have been exposed.

o   Provide a description of the conditions under which the exposure occurred, including quantitative exposure data, if available.

o   Provide a description of any exposure signs and symptoms that the employee and/or student are experiencing.

  • University Health Services (UHS) will provide the following information:

o   Complete the Employee Injury Report Form

Ø  Ability to return to work

Ø  Ability to return to the same job

Ø  Physical limitations

Ø  Estimation of disability

Ø  Recommendations concerning further medical follow-up

Ø  Diagnosis and comments

o   Provide the results of the medical exam and any associated tests.

o   Identify any medical condition that may place the employee and/or student at an increased risk because of hazardous chemical exposure in the laboratory.

o   Provide a statement that the employee or student has been informed (by the physician) regarding the medical exam results and the need for any further exams or treatment. The physician's written opinion will not reveal findings or diagnoses unrelated to the exposure.

Department will further execute the following steps:

o   Complete the Incident Employee Exposure Form

Ø  NOTE: The Incident Exposure form should be filled out regardless of whether the worker suffered injury or not.

o   Complete the Employee Injury Report Form

Ø  Employee contribution regarding the incident

Ø  Supervisor section provides further analysis of the incident. EHS will be available to assist if requested.

  • The completed Employee Exposure Form and Employee Injury Report Form will be sent to OSU Human Resources (HR).




Employee Exposure Report


The Employee Exposure Reportprovides a written record of any type of exposure, and provides initial information for UHS to assist in patient treatment. This report is filled out whenever an exposure occurs (such as a spill) whether an employee needs medical attention or not.


Employee or PI


UHS, Department, and EHS

Employee Injury Report


The Employee Injury Reportprovides documentation of the incident (filled out by employee or PI), incident analysis/investigation (filled out by PI or Department EHSPOC), and medical treatment (filled out by UHS attending physician). UHS will send the completed form to OSU-HR. This form is important for addressing future workers compensation or insurance claims.


Employee, PI, and UHS physician


UHS and then OSU-HR and EHS




Exposure monitoring will be provided to all employees and/or lab personnel if there is reason to believe that exposure levels exceed action levels.

Monitoring and analysis will be conducted in a manner consistent with NIOSH methodology or recognized competent practices. Within 15 working days after the receipt of any monitoring results, EHS will notify the affected employees, lab personnel, or students in writing. This notification may be communicated either individually or by posting the results in an area accessible to all individuals involved.