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HealthPoint-Occupational Health Program

Occupational Health Program

The University of Texas at Austin strives to create a safe and healthful environment for the university community. In support of this goal, the university's Occupational Health Program (OHP) partners with the employee and the Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) and Human Resources (HR) departments to understand working conditions and to ensure that appropriate precautions are taken to protect the university’s most valuable asset—our faculty and staff. Additionally, the OHP treats minor work-related injuries & illnesses and provides job specific health risk counseling to improve overall health & well-being.

Services

Occupational Health Program Services Offered:

  • Health risk appraisal and assessments for research animal work and identified lab safety programs and other university programs that involve higher risk work and activities
  • Health risk counseling for allergies, ergonomics, reproductive, and immune status issues that may impact your job functions
  • Medical clearance and fit testing for job required respiratory protection
  • Job specific TB screening
  • Job specific vaccinations* and titers
  • Job specific drug testing
  • Treatment of minor work-related injuries and illnesses
  • Case management for complex work-related injuries and illnesses including post-exposure follow-up
  • Fitness for duty consultations where a medical condition may present a serious safety risk

* Travel Immunizations are provided by University Health Services

Work injury treatment and first aid provided by HealthPoint OHP is not filed as workers’ compensation and is therefore not subject to the IMO Provider Network requirements.  If OHP refers you for advanced medical follow-up to an external provider, a workers’ compensation claim will be submitted to UT System in most cases and OHP will refer you to a provider in the IMO Provider Network.

Location & Hours of Operation

HealthPoint OHP is located inside the North Office Building A (NOA) in Room 3.302.

Address: Occupational Health Program, 101 E. 27th St., Austin, TX 78713
Campus mail code: A9250

Main phone number: 512-471-4OHP (4647) Fax: 512-471-2666
Hours of operation are Mon-Fri, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., closed for lunch noon-1 p.m.

For work injury treatment during hours of closure, follow the Advanced Care and After Hours guidelines below.

Advanced Medical Care & After Hours Support

For emergency work-related injuries, call 911 and ask to be transported to the nearest hospital. If the injury involves an animal, chemical or biological exposure, request transport to a St. David's affiliated emergency room [PDF].

For non-emergent injuries that require treatment during periods of OHP closure, you may select a treating health care provider from the IMO Workers’ Compensation Provider Network.  In the Austin area, several urgent care and occupational health clinics are in-network including but not limited to:

To search for an in-network provider, visit the IMO Find a Provider website.

For employees living in an out-of-network county, contact IMO for assistance in selecting a provider at 1-877-772-4477, ext. 151.

If urgent consultation with the HealthPoint Occupational Health Program is needed, please call 471-4OHP(4647) and press 1 to be connected to an on-call nurse.

Personal Health Conditions

For personal health care needs, contact your personal health care provider.  Currently, the OHP only offers work-related health care services.

If you are a UT Select benefits participant and you have a question about a personal medical condition for yourself or a covered family member, you may call the Blue Cross Blue Shield Nurseline. This free service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 888-315-9473.

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Services for Personnel Working with Research Animals and Other Hazards

OHP-Labs Overview

The OHP provides services to employees conducting or assisting in research work.  This service is referred to as the OHP-Labs program and is offered at no cost to the employee.

OHP-Labs Initial and Recurring Enrollment

Enrollment in the OHP-Labs program is provided to UT Austin employees in the following participant groups:

  • Researchers and selected other personnel working with bio-hazardous materials including but not limited to human bloodborne pathogens, cell lines or tissues.
  • Researchers and other personnel working with or exposed to animals or animal cell lines or tissues involved in research.
  • Researchers and other personnel who have been exposed to hazardous materials including but not limited to chemical, physical or radiological agents that require medical attention and follow up.

Some research protocols require enrollment in the OHP-Labs program such as those involving animal research, while other protocols only recommend enrollment.  An update may be required on a recurring basis depending on the nature of the research protocol.  You may be notified for an update by the eProtocol System or by OHP staff directly.  To prevent delays in the eProtocol System, submit all required documents to OHP no later than 72 hours in advance of your protocol deadline or expiration date.  

Initial - complete the following baseline steps to enroll as a new program participant:

  • Fax or submit in person the completed Health Assessment Questionnaire for Personnel Working with Research Animals and Other Hazards.  
    • A current TB screening test, which includes a 2-step screening at baseline, is required for work with and in facilities housing non-human primates.  Attach copies of these records, if applicable.  OHP provides job specific TB screening services at no cost employees.
    • Research work that requires access to area hospitals, such as St. David’s or Seton, may require proof of TB screening, vaccination or proof of immunity to many vaccine preventable diseases and may require pre-placement drug screening.  Attach copies of vaccine records or proof of immunity if you anticipate placement in a hospital setting. OHP provides job specific vaccine, TB and drug screening services at no cost employees.

Recurring - complete the following steps to update your program enrollment:

  • Fax or submit in person the OHP LABS Update Questionnaire [PDF] annually for persons enrolled in OHP-Labs high risk categories including but not limited to Animal Resource Center staff, Facilities staff assigned to work in the Animal Resource Center, non-human primate researchers working with macaques, etc.
  • Fax or submit in person the OHP LABS Update Questionnaire [PDF] every three (3) years for persons enrolled in OHP-Labs low risk categories including but not limited to research involving rodents (excluding wild caught), fish, reptiles or amphibians.

The baseline health assessment questionnaire and the recurring update questionnaire will be reviewed by OHP staff, after which you may be contacted to discuss additional recommendations with the nurse, such as vaccinations, TB screening, respirator clearance, respirator fit testing or an appointment for health counseling. You may receive educational materials related to your occupational health risks. Let the nurse know if you would like to discuss other health concerns. There will be no cost to you as an employee for these services.

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Lab Animal Allergy

Allergic reactions to animals are among the most common conditions affecting the health of employees involved in the care and use of research animals.  The university has engineering, administrative and personal protection strategies in place to prevent the development of lab animal allergy (LAA).  To learn more about the prevention of LAA at the university, read the Laboratory Animal Allergy Prevention and Information Guide

Biosafety Information and Resources

Working in research is a challenging and rewarding experience. It requires dedicated attention to detail including the details involved in workplace safety practices that protect employees, students, university property and the community.  Useful information sheets and manuals on biosafety topics including Bloodborne Pathogens, Lentivirus, Viral Vectors, Working with Wild Rodents, Working with Human Xenografts and many more topics are available on the EHS Biosafety website.  Your department will also have lab specific safety procedures available to review and may require lab or protocol specific training.

Health & Safety Guide for Field Researchers

Fieldwork is an important part of teaching and research at The University of Texas at Austin. Since fieldwork activities take you off campus, this guide is intended to help you plan and prepare for health and safety problems you might encounter in the field.

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Confidentiality

Information you provide to the Occupational Health Program is protected from unauthorized or indiscriminate release of personal health information, and medical records are maintained in a confidential manner and separate from department or Human Resource Services personnel records. Read our Notice of Privacy Practices [PDF].

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