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June 2017

Dr. Anjmun Sharma

A Medical Review Officer is a fully licensed physician who works in the laboratory to ensure that data and results collected by the drug screen are examined and addressed. They play an imperative role in the drug screening process for both the employee and the employer. Some of the roles are described below.

He or she helps to interpret and review the laboratory results. This consequently protects the employers from making decisions regarding the employee’s claims that his or her drug test results were caused by medical treatment or medication. It also keeps the employer from dealing with complicated matters related to the disclosure or the release of private medical information pertaining the employee.

The Medical Review Officer reviews the results from the lab to ensure that the correct test was undertaken and the right procedures followed. If a drug test is positive, it is his or her responsibility to contact the employee to explain the validity of the outcome. Results are reported to the employer in cases where the employee fails to provide feedback. Additional information concerning the laboratory and federal agency is also shared with the employer.

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Identify Injury

Lacerations are continually ranked as one of the most common workplace injuries, approximately 30 percent of all accidents involve lacerations or cuts.

Although injuries can happen anywhere, cuts and lacerations are frequently the result of workplace accidents. Typical causes of these injuries in the workplace include lack of established safety procedures, improper training, poor lighting, employees rushing or taking shortcuts, and missing or improper use of safety equipment.

 

A bleeding wound is generally one of four varieties: abrasions, cuts, avulsions, and lacerations. Abrasions are minor wounds that are caused by friction often missing skin and minimal bleeding. Avulsions are generally more serious where the tissue is torn and separated from the body. Cuts are often caused by sharp objects with separation of the tissue/skin. Lacerations are also caused by sharp objects leaving the skin torn in a jagged nature and are often mistaken for cuts. Cuts and lacerations are the most common types of injury that occur in the workplace.

 

It is important to be able to identify a laceration versus a cut. If an injury occurs in the workplace, it is critical to know when to properly seek medical attention in case stitches or surgery is required. Where cuts tend to be superficial, affecting only the surface of the skin, lacerations are significantly deeper, often damaging nerves, ligaments, muscles, tendons and sometimes bones.  

 

As an employer, being able to identify how an employee has sustained an injury is important to immediately treat the wound. General first-aid procedures prescribe to seek medical help immediately if the bleeding does not stop after 10-15-minutes. Many industries mandate companies provide first-aid classes, but if this is not the norm for your company then consider one in order to empower your employees and increase workplace safety. The application and necessity of first-aid demonstrate the importance to understanding how to identify a cut or laceration and how to treat the injury.

 

Should an employee require further medical assistance an excellent alternative to urgent care centers and emergency rooms are walk-in clinics. Most walk-in clinics are staffed by physician assistants or nurse practitioners. These clinics are typically set up inside or adjacent to a large retailer or pharmacy for maximum patient convenience. Longer hours are offered and most are open every day of the week to accommodate patients when their private doctor’s office is closed or when they cannot wait for the next available appointment. Clinical services are also less expensive than a visit to an urgent care center or emergency room and take most private insurances to include Medicare, and Medicaid. Transparency in pricing is one way in which retail clinics reflect growing trends in health care. Many people are buying insurance with higher deductibles as they are looking for those alternatives to hospital or physician’s office visits that are going to be more cost-effective and convenient.

 

Our clinic provides Monument, and the Northern Colorado Springs area, with physician services without having an appointment. You will be able to skip the wait at our clinic and receive the best possible medical care at your convenience. We are able to meet the health and wellness needs for individuals of all ages. Walk-in clinics offer a variety of other services and treatments such as non-life-threatening common ill­nesses, bronchitis, tetanus, pinkeye and styes, sinus infections, vaccinations for flu, physical exams, and other minor injuries.

 

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OSHA

A decision was made on March 1st, allowing an OSHA rule to be overturned. The Volks rule entailed that employers must keep injury and illness-related work records for a period of five years. However, some felt that this rule did nothing to improve safety and was intrusive. H.J. Res 83, the name of this resolution, was approved by a vote of 231-191.

Those who voted for the resolution to be passed were vocal about their discontent with the Volks rule. Bradley Bryne, a republican chairman, accused OSHA of making a “power grab” and would go on to state that the Volks Rule “does nothing to improve workplace safety.” However, there are still steps that must be completed for this resolution to become fully official.

Currently, the resolution will now be presented to the Senate for an official action to be made. Should the resolution continue to gain momentum, there is the possibility that it could become officially adopted. However, this resolution would still need to be signed off on by President Trump.

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OSHA RULES

OSHA or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was created by Congress in 1970. Since its creation, OSHA has been making workplaces safer for over four decades. Extremely minor workplace injuries that don’t require first aid are not usually deemed to be a recordable injury. An injury that impairs the employee’s ability to effectively perform their job is deemed recordable. In addition, an injury that causes damaged bones, punctured eardrums, irreversible disease, or fatality are all examples of recordable injuries.

Records aren’t only in place to help injured employees, this data is reported to OSHA for purpose of keeping records of business statistics. There are different rules regarding time frames of reporting certain injuries. For example, an employer must report a fatality involving a worker within eight hours. However, if the incident only involved loss of limb, the employer has 24 hours to report the incident.

OSHA continues to monitor how businesses prevent workplace injuries and deaths from occurring. Ensuring injury reports are kept up to date and accurate must be of the utmost importance for any business owner.

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Drug Testing

Pre-employment and randomized drug testing can safeguard your company from the risks associated with workplace accidents.

Injuries and high turnover rates are some of the problems that companies face when substance abuse becomes an issue. The quality of hire in your staffing efforts increases when you have employees who are drug-free. You can trust your employees to focus on the critical details in ensuring job safety.

Drug and alcohol screening has become a common measure in today’s business industry. Resumes rarely tell the whole story of a prospective employee’s past. Nearly 67% of job resumes and job applications of unscreened employees contain falsifications. Substance screening during the hiring process will protect your business and reduce the harmful effects of drug and alcohol abuse. Accidents, tardiness, high turnover rates, temperament problems, embezzlement, low productivity and morale, crime, and violence are to name only a few of the issues associated with substance abuse. You know your staff is less likely to become a legal liability when they are drug-free.

Legal recreational use of marijuana in Colorado does not affect your company’s drug use policies. You have a choice to mandate pre-employment drug testing, alcohol testing, and institute randomized testing for hirees. It does not affect the Colorado Law of 1991 that requires testing for federally-regulated employers and anyone who has a job concerning public safety while operating sensitive transportation vehicles, such as trains, buses, planes, trucks, etc. Schools, hospitals, and some organizations that implement drug testing programs qualify for legal incentives. One example of these incentives is reduced costs for workers’ compensation and insurance. All employers should consult with their legal advisor to ensure compliance with applicable state or local drug testing laws in order to create drug testing policies and procedures in accordance with these regulations.

Federally-regulated employers only collect urine samples for testing, however, the Secretary of Health and Human Services has proposed revisions to include oral fluid specimens. Drug tests can vary depending on the type of test the employer chooses to mandate. Urine, saliva, sweat, or hair can be used as test specimens. Testing can screen for marijuana, opioids, amphetamines, phencyclidine (PCP), and cocaine usage. A drug-free workplace can require testing based on the following: Post-accident testing, pre-employment testing, return-to-duty testing, random testing, follow-up testing and reasonable cause or suspicion testing.

Employers can save the company money by preventing accidents caused by impaired workers with preventative measures such as mandatory and randomized testing. Testing imbues an anti-substance abuse culture in the workplace that can save money on workers compensation premiums. The National Safety Council and national nonprofit Shatterproof have collaborated with an independent research institution, NORC at the University of Chicago to design “The Real Cost of Substance Use to Employers”. To estimate the cost of substance abuse by the industry you can use the calculator tool that provides business leaders with specific information about the cost of substance use.

For more information about creating and implementing a prevention and treatment program for your employees, contact the Drug-Free Workplace Helpline at 1-800-WORKPLACE (1-800-967-5752), coordinated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) is a federal agency that works to reduce the impact of substance abuse in the United States and is part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

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