Chapter 18: Medical Consultations and Examinations
Revised January 2023
When Medical Attention is Required
Laboratory personnel must be provided the opportunity to receive medical attention at no cost to themselves under the following circumstances:
Note: Students who have no employee relationship with the University (such as a student in a teaching lab) are not covered by Workers’ Compensation and are responsible for payment of medical evaluation and care. Contact the Business Center North Risk Management Office for guidance with student (non-Workers’ Compensation) incidents. Students who are enrolled for 6 or more credits are automatically assessed the Student Health Fee, so many students choose to go to the Student Health Center for evaluation of non-emergency injuries or chemical exposures.
- When personnel develop signs or symptoms that are associated with exposure to a hazardous chemical to which they may have been exposed.
- Air monitoring indicates that airborne exposure levels routinely exceed the action level established by OSHA, or the OSHA PEL if an action level has not been established. One-half the ACGIH TLV (or other exposure limit being used) will generally be used as the action level if an OSHA action level or PEL has not been established.
- An event such as a spill, leak or explosion results in a significant acute exposure to a hazardous chemical.
When toxicologically significant quantities of carcinogens, reproductive toxins, or chemicals with high chronic toxicity are used on a regular basis (such as weekly or multiple times per month), implementation of a medical surveillance program should be considered. Since the specific circumstances determine the need for medical surveillance, consult the University Chemical Hygiene Officer in these instances.
As a general guideline, a toxicologically significant quantity is an amount greater than or equal to one-half the quantity reported to produce the primary toxicological effect expected for the specific chemical in a mammalian species, when scaled for a 50 kg (110 pound) person:
Toxicologically Significant Quantity (g) ≥ [toxicological effect dose (mg/kg) × 50 kg × 1/1000] ÷ 2
Note: If the dosage for the primary toxicological effect is not available, the LD50 can be substituted; however, since the LD50 is based on the endpoint of lethality, it is possible that some risk of non-lethal toxicological effects remain.
Responsibilities of the Laboratory Supervisor
The Workers’ Compensation Office must be notified (784-4394, or at https://www.unr.edu/bcn-nshe/workers-comp) when medical evaluation or treatment is needed as a result of an occupational injury or illness (the notification applies to employees and non-employed students). When medical attention is required, the laboratory supervisor is responsible for ensuring that affected personnel are provided with the opportunity to receive medical attention, and that the below information is provided to the attending physician.
- The identity of any chemical(s) to which the affected person may have been exposed (include the SDS or other hazard information).
- The conditions under which any possible exposure occurred, including any exposure data (consult with the University Chemical Hygiene Officer).
- A report of any signs or symptoms the affected person is experiencing.
The employer (generally the Workers’ Compensation Office) must obtain a written opinion from the attending physician that includes the following:
- Any recommendation for medical follow-up.
- The results of the medical examination and any associated tests.
- Any medical condition identified during the examination that may place the affected person at increased risk as a result of exposure to hazardous chemicals found in the workplace.
- A statement that the affected person has been informed by the physician of the results of the examination, and of any medical condition that may require further examination or treatment.
Note: This report must not include specific findings of diagnoses unrelated to occupational exposure.
The above information should be shared with the laboratory supervisor as warranted by the situation and as required to ensure the health and safety of the affected person.
Employees (including students who receive employee compensation through assistantships) who are injured or exposed to chemicals, and require medical attention, should go to one of the following medical facilities that participate in the Workers’ Compensation Program:
For non-life threatening injuries or exposures that require medical attention, go to:
Renown Health Urgent Care – Ryland
975 Ryland St Reno NV 89502
Open 7 days a week 8am-7pm
For emergency treatment of non-life-threatening injuries or exposures, or outside of the above clinic's hours of operation, go to:
Renown Regional Medical Center Emergency Room
1155 Mill St.
Reno, NV 89502
Note: Indicate that you are a University of Nevada, Reno employee and that the exposure or injury is occupationally related.
For life threatening injuries or exposures, Call 911
Students who are injured or exposed to chemicals while performing tasks during which there is no employee relationship with the University (such as a student in a teaching lab) should go to the Student Health Center or other healthcare facility according to their personal preference (students are responsible for payment).
If the situation requires emergency medical attention, call 911.
Additional information on the procedures for providing appropriate medical attention for occupational injuries or illnesses is available from the Workers’ Compensation Office by calling (775) 784-6082.