Injured at work? Find NYS WCB Authorized Physicians specializing in OCCUPATIONAL MEDICINE that treat work-related accidents and illness.
Occupational medicine is a branch of medicine focused on maintaining physical and mental health in the workplace. The medical doctor that specializes in occupational medicine is known as an occupational medicine physician.
Their focus is preventing and treating disease and injury while maintaining and increasing productivity and social well being at the workplace.
Occupational medicine centers on preventative medicine. An occupational medical physician will need to be aware of potential work hazards such as toxic materials that are in use. They should also be able to evaluate employee fitness for work, diagnose and treat work-related disease and injury. They should manage health service delivery, and understand rehabilitation methods, provide health education, and know laws and regulations regarding workplace health.
There are governmental agencies that oversee work conditions and prevent health risks and injury. NIOSH is the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and OSHA, which is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. NIOSH is a federal agency that does research and provides recommendations to prevent work-related injuries and illnesses.
OSHA is an agency of the US Dept. of Labor, which was established under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. This act was enacted in 1970, and its goal is to ensure that employers provide employees with a safe environment free of hazards, toxic exposure, excessive noise, mechanical hazards, extreme hot or cold conditions, or unsanitary conditions.
There is also the ACOEM, which is the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine professional society. This society’s focus is on the health of workers, workplace safety, and environmental quality. If a work-related illness or accident occurs, the occupational medicine physician will be responsible for your care.
A work-related injury is difficult physically and mentally. Besides being hurt, you are required to file claims and paperwork dealing with workers’ compensation and insurance agencies.
It is beneficial to have an occupational medical physician providing care after an injury because they understand the workers’ compensation process. Primary care or emergency medicine doctor would be capable of treating a work-related injury but in a different way than an occupational medicine doctor can.
A primary care physician would provide a passive approach that relies on medication and bed rest. The occupational medicine physician would treat the injury or illness more effective using an active recovery process. This approach would get you back to full functioning and back to work sooner.