Occupational Health Clinical Services Agreement

The Occupational Health Program is a clinical services agreement with the UTHealth School of Nursing under the medical direction of an occupational health physician. The Occupational Health program provides three main services:

  1. New employee health screening, and ongoing health surveillance of designated worker populations
  2. Providing quality and compassionate care and management of employees experiencing workplace injuries or exposures; and
  3. Monitoring community-based public health information for emerging disease issues

The Occupational Health Program is directed by a board certified occupational health nurse and hosts four staff members in full and part time capacities, located across the health science center. Scroll down for staff contact information.

Institutional Employee Health Policies

Several Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOOP) policies related to employee health, including
HIV, AIDS: Hoop Policy 18.07 
TB Policy: Hoop Policy 18.13 
Disability: Hoop Policy 2.18C
Medical Emergencies, Minor Injuries/Illnesses: Hoop Policy 18.03

Animal Minimum Exposure Acknowledgement Form (doc) 
Used for observers, professional or pre-baccalaureate trainee,  and visiting  scientist/student trainee who will be exposed to Animals  (Not for UT employees)

In addition, a specific policy exists for individuals working with animals inclusive of the Institutional Risk Assessments for these workers:
Animal Occupational Health Policy (doc)

General Minimum Exposure Acknowledgement Form (doc)

This form will be used for observers, professional or pre-baccalaureate trainee, and visiting scientist/student trainee (Not UT employees) who will be in an office or classroom setting, or in a research lab with no animals and no BBP exposures/or potential BBP exposures. Also used for an “Observer” who has “No Hands On”

For guidance to all forms please click here.

Other policy guidance can be found in the hazard specific safety manuals can be found here
 


For Current Employees Enrolled in Annual Clinical Surveillance Activities

A subset of the UTHealth employee population is automatically enrolled in an annual clinical surveillance program based on a series of risk assessments (documented further below). These include employees working in:

  • Health care settings with patient exposure
  • Laboratory personnel with animal exposures, or exposures to other designated agents
  • Facility operations
  • Animal care workers, or
  • Environmental Health & Safety.

Employees enrolled in the annual surveillance program will receive notification when the annual surveillance activity is undertaken, typically each December.

For workers in health care settings with patient exposures, the annual clinical surveillance is largely limited to an annual TB screening test and a rapid assessment regarding exposure configurations to assess if respiratory protection is warranted, and fit testing necessary. Workers in health care settings with patient exposures are tracked in a database regarding the time frame for their annual testing and are contacted directly by representatives from Occupational Health.

For those in categories that involve annual surveillance, an annual event called the “Health Fair” is held, typically in December, that provides “one stop shopping” for annual clinical tests and necessary safety training refreshers. When notified that the annual health fair is to occur, workers are asked to complete the following form:

Occupational Health Program Enrollment Form - (DOC)

Employees should complete the form prior to their scheduled surveillance program appointment, and the completed form should be hand carried by the employee and provided to the health care provider.


 

For Existing Employees With New Job Duties Necessitating Annual Clinical Surveillance Activities

A current employee will be added to the annual surveillance program if he or she moves into a position that involves the any of the following activities:

  • Health care settings with patient exposure
  • Laboratory personnel with animal exposures, or exposures to other designated agents
  • Facility operations
  • Animal care workers, or
  • Environmental Health & Safety.

Employees must complete the following form prior to initiating work in this new work setting, and the form is to be hand-delivered by the employee to UT Occupational Health Services at UCT 1620:

Occupational Health Program Enrollment Form - (DOC) 

Employees enrolled in the annual surveillance program will receive notification when the annual surveillance activity is undertaken, typically each December.

For workers in health care settings with patient exposures, the annual clinical surveillance is largely limited to an annual TB screening test, and a rapid assessment regarding exposure configurations to assess if respiratory protection is warranted and fit testing necessary. Workers in health care settings with patient exposures are tracked in a database regarding the time frame for their annual testing and are contacted directly by representatives from Occupational Health.

For those in categories that involve annual surveillance, an annual event called the “Health Fair” is held, typically in December, that provides “one stop shopping” for annual clinical tests and necessary safety training refreshers. When notified that the annual health fair is to occur, workers are asked to complete the following form:

Health History Questionnaire - (DOC)

Employees should complete the form prior to their scheduled surveillance program appointment, and the completed form should be hand carried by the employee and provided to the health care provider.


International Travel Health Information

The Occupational Health Program works in conjunction with UT Health Services to provide assistance to employees who may be traveling internationally for their work.

Immunizations
For information regarding necessary immunizations for various international locations, click here
For information on obtaining immunizations and payment options, contact UT Occupational Health Services at 713 500 3267 or click here

Security
For information regarding the security status of the country of your destination, click here

International SOS Insurance for Travelers on University Business
All employees and students traveling abroad on university business or programs now have access to worldwide assistance and evacuation services through International SOS. This includes employees and students who are already overseas on university programs. The coverage is fully funded by UT System for employees and students traveling on university business. Click here for more info. 

Current advisory information regarding the international transport of electronic data devices 
International travel for conferences, research and teaching opportunities can be an important part of being a productive faculty member, researcher and employee at the University of Texas.  But as with other facets of travel, crossing borders with electronic devices has become more complicated in recent years.  There is a dizzying array of US and international laws and regulations relating to travel, so it pays to do a bit of homework before you depart to ensure a smooth trip.  This summary is not intended to be a comprehensive summary of travel law, but is designed to inform you of basic rules and to point you toward additional resources should you wish further information.  The bottom line is that it pays to travel with as little as possible to reduce risk of loss and customs inquires, to back up information you do decide to take with you, and to document what you are transporting in case of customs inquires. 

There are certain situations when information and data can be accessed without your authorization, permission, or knowledge. On occasion, agencies like the Department of Homeland Security may question material on a computer upon return to the U.S. after a visit abroad. In such circumstances, everything on the computer will be open to inspection. Any data that is stored on the computer and is sensitive in nature, or requires an export license if shared outside the United States, will present a risk if the laptop is taken on a trip outside the United States. University employees should not be using University computers for personal financial information or any other personal information they would not want viewed without their permission.

If you travel with a computer, realize that certain countries are noted for accessing files and operating systems in customs (e.g., France). Extreme caution should be taken if you have proprietary information, patentable information, or any sensitive/personal information stored. You must also be aware of any Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and International Traffic and Arms Regulations (ITAR) laws concerning any software on your computers that may be non-exportable, or you may need a license to take it out of the country.  Consider carrying a memory stick instead of a laptop, e-mail documents/materials to a trusted source at your destination for access on local computers upon arrival or store needed materials on a server accessible by e-mail on the road. Take just what is needed for any presentations

US Customs and Border Protection “Know Before You Go” Brochure and related travel information
US Department of Commerce’s Export Control Basics
UT Austin’s Export Controls Guidance For Faculty

For New Employees

Human Resources  Pre-employment website 

All new hires at UTHealth are required to complete the following Occupational Health forms: 

Health History Questionnaire Form  - (DOC)
Request for Medical Records
 - (PDF)

This form will be used for all new UT Health employees, in addition to Visiting Scientist or Visiting Student Trainee who has “No Stated Duration” of their visit.  Also used for professional or pre-baccalaureate trainee, and visiting scientist/student trainee (Not UT employees) who will have Direct Patient Care, or if they work with children.

Completed forms must be delivered by the new employee to the UT Occupational Services clinic, located at UCT 1620.

Employees are encouraged to provide copies of records of previous immunizations and laboratory results of antibody tests along with these forms.

Additional Occupational Health Program forms are necessary for new employees working in the following settings:

  • Health care settings with patient exposure;
  • Laboratory personnel with animal exposures, or exposures to other designated agents;
  • Facility operations;
  • Animal care workers; or
  • Environmental Health & Safety.

The forms associated with these work settings include:

Occupational Health Program Enrollment Form  (DOC)
Respirator Clearance Referred by Safety
  (DOC)

These completed forms must also be delivered by the new employee to the UT Occupational Health Services clinic, located at UCT 1620.

For those employees considered to be at risk for possible exposure to tuberculosis (TB), screening is offered free of charge.

TB screening is considered complete only when the test has been read 48-72 hours after placement.

If the TB skin test is placed by the Occupational Health Program, it must be read by the Occupational Health Program.

If you have a previous history of TB, or have had a previous positive TB skin test, you may be excused from the test and a chest x-ray will be required free of charge.

If you have had a TB skin test 6 months prior to employment and can provide the written documentation (with results in millimeter of induration), you may be excused from the testing.

If you have had a previous positive test and have had a chest x-ray 12 months prior to employment and can provide the written documentation, you may be excused from the testing.

A previous BCG test is not an exemption from TB skin testing.

Any immunizations needed for your position at UTHealth will be provided free of charge.


Reporting Employee Injuries or Exposures

Click here for First Report of Injury Form and reporting assistance. 

Post exposure guidelines for HBV, HCV, & HIV
CDC Core Curriculum for TB for Clinicians 
Steps to be taken in event of a Needlestick/Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure


Community-Based Disease Issues

For the latest information regarding the incidence and prevalence of diseases in the City of Houston, Harris County, and the State of Texas, go to

Houston Health Department 
Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services 
Texas Department of Health


Employee Health Program Staff

Karen Hayes RN, BSN
Employee Health UCT, 1620
713.500.3291
karen.m.hayes@uth.tmc.edu


Allen Robin Webb, EMT 
Employee Health UCT, 1620
713.818.1899
allen.webb@uth.tmc.edu


Sandra Solis, MA II
Employee Health UCT 1620
713.500.3254
sandra.solis@uth.tmc.edu