HAZMAT AND HAZWOPER PHYSICALS
Medical Surveillance Focused On Hazardous Materials
Hazmats, or hazardous materials, encompass a wide range of substances, from nuclear waste products to everyday household items like paints or air fresheners. Hazmats are a threat to health, property, and the environment. They can take on various forms, including physical, biological, chemical, or radiological.
What is involved in a HazMat physical? Also known as a HazMat exam, it is comparable to other medical surveillance exams. During the exam, the physician will carefully review the patient's medical and work history, with a particular focus on any past exposure to hazardous materials. Additionally, the physician will examine the employer's records that describe the patient's job duties and the extent of their exposure to hazardous materials.
During a HazMat physical, the patient will undergo a regular physical exam. The HazMat physical may also requires:
- Blood and urine samples to check for signs of exposure
- Auditory test
- Spirometry test (checks lung function)
- Chest x-rays
- An EKG (checks heart function)
- Test for Hepatitis B (plus the vaccination)
WHAT IS A HAZWOPER PHYSICAL?
HAZWOPER is an acronym for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response. Employees who are required to undergo a HAZWOPER physical, also referred to as a HAZWOPER exam, include:
- Are exposed to hazardous substances or health hazards above the permissible exposure levels (PELs) set by OSHA,
- Wear a respirator for 30 days or more a year,
- Become sick from possible overexposure, or
- Work on a HAZMAT team
Employees must undergo a HAZWOPER physical before commencing their assignment, after completing their assignment, and annually during their assignment, unless the physician deems that more frequent physicals are necessary.
It’s also recommended that patients receive the following diagnostics for their HAZWOPER physical:
- Vision screening
- Spirometry (checks lung function)
- Liver function tests
- Complete blood count
AFC Urgent Care in Clearwater provides hazmat and hazwoper physical exams and screenings for workers and employers on a walk in basis, no appointments are needed.