Do you remember the days when you had to schedule an appointment at your local healthcare provider's office to get a medical evaluation for workers to wear respirators? Before you could even schedule or perform a fit test, you had to send the worker offsite for an in-person office visit. It was and remains a costly and time consuming process, sometimes postponing the start of a project or a new employee's work.
We've come a long way since the OSHA Respirator Protection Regulation (29CFR 1910.134) was first promulgated. Did you know that the regulation allows the exclusive use of the respirator questionnaire to complete the medical evaluation process prior to fit testing? At the inception of the OSHA Respirator Protection Standard, PHS developed an automated process to evaluate the respirator questionnaire, expediting the time required to complete worker assessments for respirator use and respirator fit testing.
PHS is now further streamlining the evaluation process by offering the OSHA respirator questionnaire online, enabling your employees to receive almost instantaneous notice of their respirator evaluation status.
How it works
First, PHS sets up a secure online account for your company. Only you and your employees can access the account by using your assigned unique ID and password.
Once your account is set up, your employees can go online any time of the day or week to complete their questionnaire and to receive their clearance status. For most people, the form takes only a few minutes to complete.
When employees complete the questionnaire and hit the submit button, they'll receive a printable response in seconds, advising them of their evaluation status. If further review is needed, the employee will be notified. Prior to rendering a final determination, a physician will contact the employee via phone to obtain clarification on questionnaire responses.
The form is integrated into PHS' system, so when PHS arrives at your site for fit testing, personnel already have all the necessary information about employees who are cleared for respirator use. We can complete testing quickly and get workers back to their jobs.
How much difference can our service make to you and your company?
Last fall, one of our customers discovered the value of our online system firsthand.
This particular client had been contracted to perform remediation in a building that was damaged by Hurricane Sandy. While on the job, mold was discovered throughout the building. Work came to a screeching halt and could not continue until our client's contract employees were medically evaluated, cleared to wear respirators, and then fit tested. We received the initial call from our client the Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving. The remediation work could not resume until medical evaluations and fit testing were completed, costing our customer thousands of dollars per day due to severely impeded remediation processes.
On the Monday morning following Thanksgiving, a team of PHS respirator fit technicians arrived onsite to perform fit testing. By early afternoon, over 80 workers had completed their online respirator evaluations, were medically cleared, and fit tested. Five days later, this process was repeated, yielding the same results. Over 80 workers completed an online respirator questionnaire, all questionnaires were medically evaluated, and by that afternoon fit tests were completed and work began.
Not just for emergencies
The online solution is a lifesaver, not just in emergency situations, but throughout the year as well. For companies that hire workers on an ongoing basis for short- and long-term jobs, the online option streamlines their onboarding process significantly. PHS creates an account for the employer's workers to use, and workers can access it and get an instant determination at any time.
Workers do need to have access to a computer and be able to use it to complete the form, but that's as complicated as it gets. When those conditions are met, this option is a great time and money saver for our clients who need respirator evaluations.
Plus, when you're using PHS for your medical screenings and fit testing, we also have the ability to incorporate additional clinical information such as blood pressure and pulmonary function to ensure the medical determination is accurate.
When you need to get workers on the job quickly, any step you can take to shorten the respirator fit test process is a bonus. PHS will help you get it taken care of, fast.