If you get hurt or sick while on the job, where do you go for medical care? Who will cover the cost of treatment? What workplace changes can be introduced to prevent the accident from happening again?
These are some questions that an occupational medicine doctor can address. These medical professionals focus on the health and safety of workers in compliance with state and federal guidelines. If you’re an employee, here’s why an occupational medicine specialist is a vital part of your healthcare team.
Diagnose And Treat Work Injuries
No workplace is exempt from hazards. However, the risk of accidents may be more pronounced in manual labor jobs like farming, forestry, construction, and manufacturing. This is especially true if your job involves heavy machinery or regular exposure to hazardous agents. However, occupational medicine is not just for employees of such fields. Even those who work desk jobs experience workplace injuries and need care.
An occupational medicine team combines physical medicine, occupational health, and rehabilitation therapy. They diagnose and treat work-related injuries, so you can get fairly compensated and return to work quickly and safely. Some examples of what they treat are:
- Musculoskeletal injuries
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Vision and hearing injury
- Open wounds (lacerations, punctures, burns, or avulsions)
- Trauma-based injuries
File Workers’ Compensation
If you paid for medical treatment and took time off to recover after an injury, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation. This is a form of accident insurance. It covers medical fees and other related costs of occupational illnesses or injuries.
An occupational medicine doctor can help you file a workers’ compensation claim by submitting their assessment. They also help determine whether the injury is a result of your occupation.
The medical assessment will be submitted to your state’s Division of Workplace Compensation for review. If the claim is accepted, you may be entitled to lost wages and rehabilitation benefits. It can also release death benefits to dependents if the injury proves fatal.
Conduct Post-Accident Evaluation
Once you’ve fully recovered from the injury, your doctor will evaluate whether you are fit to return to work. Additionally, they might ask you to go through some tests or procedures to confirm whether you can safely perform your work duties. Furthermore, they can perform counseling services as necessary.
Increase Workplace Safety Through Preventive Measures
The work of an occupational medicine doctor doesn’t end with administering treatment. They also play an important role in workplace health and safety by identifying occupational hazards and making actionable recommendations to minimize future injuries.
For instance, they may suggest changes to your workplace, such as:
- Increased ventilation
- Improved lighting
- Additional protection against noise pollution
Even if your job is not physically demanding, an occupational medicine doctor can evaluate your work set-up for proper ergonomics. Additionally, they might suggest strengthening back support, increasing desk height, or recommend assistive devices to help employees who work all day at their desks.
An occupational health specialist places particular emphasis on the preventive aspect of medical care. They educate individuals about the risks specific to their occupation and the steps they can take to prevent injuries and illnesses. They can also create or update workplace contingency plans for employers to consider these risks.
Occupational Medicine Clinic In Fort Worth, TX
Companies with safe and healthy workplaces usually enjoy high productivity, job satisfaction, and employee morale. On the other hand, employees can benefit from seeing a doctor immediately after an injury, get treated and compensated (if necessary), and return to work quickly.
For top-notch occupational health services, visit the Texas Medical Institute. Our specialists provide timely medical care for work-related injuries and illnesses. We have a commitment to giving you quality care. Thus, we go beyond just diagnosis and treatment to create safer workplaces that keep up with rapidly evolving technological advances.
We make sure to comply with the regulations set by the Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation and the federal Department of Labor. We also offer drug and alcohol screenings for new and continued employment as part of our occupational health package.
If you want to learn more about our services, call (817) 615-8633 or fill out our online appointment request form. Our clinic serves patients throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. We look forward to being your occupational health partner!