Medical Surveillance Program

Medical Surveillance Program


This program outlines the MIOSHA requirement that employees be provided the opportunity to receive medical consultation and examination whenever they develop signs and symptoms of chemical overexposure, MIOSHA regulated substances are measured above the PEL, or whenever an event takes place such as a spill or leak resulting in the likelihood of hazardous exposure.


This program applies to Western Michigan University employees who perform or supervise activities in laboratories.


A. Action Level: means a concentration which is designated in established MIOSHA health standards for a specific substance, calculated as an 8-hour, time-weighted average, and which initiates certain required activities, such as exposure monitoring and medical surveillance.

B. Medical Consultation: A medical consultation means a consultation with a licensed physician to determine what medical examinations or procedures, if any, are appropriate.

C. Permissible Exposure Limit: The MIOSHA airborne exposure limit for chemicals--either 8-hour time-weighted averages (TWA’s) or short-term exposure limits (STEL’s) to which no employee shall be exposed.


A. When to provide a medical consultation

  1. When an employee develops signs and symptoms of exposure associated with chemicals they are using or may be in contact with, in the laboratory.
  2. When MIOSHA regulated substances are measured above Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL).
  3. Whenever an event takes place in the work area such as a spill or leak resulting in the likelihood of a hazardous exposure.

B. Conditions for the medical consultation and examination

  1. Must be performed by or under the direct supervision of a licensed physician and without cost to the employee.
  2. Every effort should be made to refer employees to licensed physicians who have been trained to recognize signs and symptoms of chemical-related exposure and disease.
  3. Must be performed at a reasonable time and place for the employee.

C. Information to be provided to the physician

  1. The identity of the hazardous chemical to which the employee may have been exposed and a copy of the SDS for any suspect chemical.
  2. The conditions under which the exposure occurred and any quantitative data regarding the exposure.
  3. A description of the signs and symptoms of the employee, if any.

D. Written opinion

  1. Western Michigan University shall obtain a written opinion from the examining physician.
  2. The written opinion shall include:

        a. Recommendations for medical follow-up.

        b. The results of all medical examinations and tests.

        c. Any medical condition the employee has that places him or her at risk as a result of future exposures to hazardous chemicals.

        d. A statement confirming that the employee has been advised of the results of the examinations and tests, including any medical conditions relevant to the occupational or chemical exposures.

3. The written opinion will not reveal specific findings of diagnoses unrelated to occupational exposure.


A. Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS)

  1. Ensure that medical surveillance is established if exposure monitoring reveals that a laboratory worker’s exposure routinely exceeds the action level or PEL for a MIOSHA regulated substance.

B. Deans and Directors:

  1. Provide employees who work with hazardous chemicals the opportunity to receive a medical consultation including follow up examinations under the conditions described in IV(A) below

C. Laboratory Supervisors

  1. Provide information to the licensed physician as described below in part IV(C) for all laboratory workers requesting a medical consultation.

D. Laboratory Workers

  1. Report spills, leaks, or explosions to the Laboratory Supervisor.
  2. Report signs and symptoms of overexposure to the Laboratory Supervisor


Revised 4/19/2018