The Occupational Medical Monitoring Program is designed for the protection
of APHIS employees who are exposed to hazardous chemicals, biologicals,
radioactive materials, and hazards such as noise, which could be harmful
to their health and welfare. Occupational medical monitoring specified
under the program is an added safeguard and does not replace the need
to work in an environment which limits exposure to the hazardous material.
Medical monitoring is done specifically to determine the exposure risks
to a hazardous material or other inordinate hazards and should not be
used by employees in lieu of a complete physical examination by a physician. These
examinations also do not replace the use of an industrial hygienist who
may be needed to determine levels of exposure and recommend methods of
limiting exposure to the hazard.
Medical monitoring in itself does not prevent illness or injury, though
it may contribute directly to prevention. In most situations, health
monitoring is performed to secure maximum preventive benefits at minimal
cost and inconvenience. As with all medical monitoring, the opportunity
for education of the employee is one of the major benefits.