Extreme heat and humidity are in the forecast for Madison this week.
UW-Madison is the fourth-largest research university in the nation, and conducts invaluable research in dozens of departments, many of them in research laboratories. Some research in biological and chemical labs come with their own risks. Preventing and caring for work-related illnesses and exposure to hazardous agents is the mission of the UHS division of Occupational Medicine.
The Occupational Medicine division at UHS supports the broader UW research enterprise with medical oversight, consultation, pre-exposure evaluation, and post-exposure treatment of animal, chemical, or biological exposures.
Working closely in conjunction with the Environmental and Occupational Health Unit of University Health Services, the program is designed to address the unique hazards that are found within the research and academic environment at UW.
Performing behind-the-scenes work such as medical evaluations and respirator fit tests, Occupational Medicine improves working conditions at UW for UW students and employees.
Pre-exposure services range from vaccinations and Tuberculosis skin testing to physical exams and laboratory testing.
“Our department is committed to developing occupational healthcare programming to serve the campus community by advocating for worker health,” said division leader Joel Malak. “The health of our workforce, including both staff and students is a central factor in maintaining a campus environment that fosters learning, research and rewarding employment.”
Occupational Medicine interacts with numerous departments across campus and helps to make sure staff and students are aware of hazards associated with their work or study and steps to be taken to protect themselves. For example, they regularly provide consults to women who are pregnant and help them identify protective actions, including respirator use, where appropriate. Each year, they facilitate flu vaccine clinics for UW faculty and staff.
Occupational Medicine is also there in times of crisis. They are responsible for coordinating medical care after exposure to an infectious substance, as well as caring for needle-stick injuries incurred in clinical research settings. Occupational Medicine also coordinates with area emergency departments to assure that these facilities are aware of and prepared to treat the unique conditions that employees and students conducting work at a national leading research campus may encounter
To learn more, visit http://www.uhs.wisc.edu/occ-medicine/.