The NBACC Medical Surveillance Program was developed to meet the Federal select agent regulations 42 CFR §73 section 12 (d) which requires that individuals with access to Tier 1 biological select agents and toxins must be enrolled in an Occupational Health Program. The CDC Occupational Health Program Guidance states that this requirement is intended to ensure the availability of professional medical evaluations and treatment.
The Competent Medical Authority (CMA) is under subcontract to administer occupational health, medical surveillance evaluations and provide support for medical aspects of the Personnel Reliability Program at NBACC. The CMA is a physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant who has completed the Biological Surety Medical Support Course provided by the US Army Public Health Center and appointed in writing by the NBACC Laboratory Director. Biosurety standards are based on the Biological Surety Medical Support Course and MEDCOM 40-55 Guidance on Occupational Health Practices for the Evaluation and Control of Occupational Exposures to BSAT required CMA training. The CMA is an integral member of the NBACC health and safety team, providing medical screening and medical surveillance to promote employee health and wellness and to prevent work-related disease. The CMA is responsible for determining whether an employee is medically qualified to work with or without medical restrictions.
A comprehensive occupational health program preserves health and prevents work-related disease. The purpose of the NBACC Medical Surveillance Program is to identify, evaluate, and monitor an individual’s health pre-placement and on an annual basis for intervening illness or injuries and to ensure an individual’s state of health:
- Is characterized so that the participant vulnerabilities to occupational illness or injury are identified and that appropriate accommodation, PPE, or work restrictions are utilized to reduce vulnerability;
- Does not create a hazard to fellow coworker; and
- Is not aggravated by the participant’s work environment or any vaccines the participant is scheduled to receive.
In addition to providing medical surveillance associated with the BSAT exposure potential, the CMA will also ensure that individuals have:
- Pre-placement, annual and termination medical examinations;
- Evaluations specific for any medical standards related to their job position;
- Medical assessments aimed at determining fitness for duty (immune status, cardiovascular, pulmonary, vision, hearing, musculoskeletal and/or ability to safely use PPE);
- Evaluations for other identified occupational hazards based on the Occupational Health Risk Assessment Survey (for example, enrollment in hearing conservation, vision conservation, respiratory protection, bloodborne pathogen and/or immunization programs).