The field of occupational medicine has rapidly developed in response to the need to identify, minimize, and prevent hazards in the workplace or while performing your job. This can address work hazards of all kinds, from exposure to dangerous chemicals and substances to how your desk and chair are positioned to driving high-risk vehicles like forklifts and cranes.
The goal for health practitioners in occupational medicine is to minimize accidents, prevent injuries, and improve work productivity. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a division of the U.S. Department of Labor, promotes safe work environments and lays out the regulations concerning safety in any vocational environment.
If you have been hurt on the job, there are several factors to look for when choosing a doctor who specializes in occupational medicine. You want a medical practice that offers a combination of physicians who specialize in occupational medicine, physical medicine, and rehabilitation therapists.
Plus, the entire medical team must be in close communication with your company’s insurance company so that you can receive the workers’ compensation that is rightfully owed to you.
Occupational Safety and Health
Medical professionals who practice in the field of occupational safety and health (OSH) are generally charged with preventing and treating workplace injuries. They focus mainly on traumatic injuries and workplace fatalities.
According to an official document published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the four main OSH practice areas are:
- Occupational safety
- Industrial hygiene
- Occupational medicine
- Occupational health nursing
There are also several emerging fields in this area, including:
- Employee assistance professionals
- Occupational health psychologists
Industrial hygienists focus on the possible exposure to chemical, biological, or physical agents which could cause sickness from exposure in the workplace.
Occupational health nurses and occupational health physicians deliver clinical care aimed at the education and awareness of preventing diseases, not just treating them. Occupational health practitioners also watch for health hazards and risks of people who work in hazardous environments.
Keeping America’s Workplace Safe
The safety regulations implemented by OSHA have drastically reduced industrial accidents and workplace injuries in this country. Occupational injuries are therefore much less likely to happen here than elsewhere in the world, where such a high standard as ours is not usually administered and monitored by the national government.
Accidents in factories overseas are much more common than they are here. American workers owe that fact to agencies like OSHA who oversee workplaces and enact safety regulations that each industry must adhere to. These regulations keep being updated so as industry moves ahead, so do the safety regulations in keeping up with technological advances.
Employers Should Have a Plan to Address Accidents
Workplace injuries can become complicated and pricey for employers, which is why all businesses should have an “accident plan” for when an employee is injured or becomes ill at the workplace. Employers with a plan in place find that their workers return to work more quickly and at lower health costs than companies that don’t have a comprehensive injury plan in place.
Texas Workers’ Compensation Doctors
If you have been injured on the job and need an outside medical opinion for workman’s comp, you can contact the professionals at the Texas Medical Institute today. We are conveniently located in Fort Worth.
Call us at (817) 615-8633 or request an appointment online, and get the care and expertise of Texas’ premier multidisciplinary health care team!