CWRU employees receive their occupational healthcare at University Health and Counseling Services (UHCS). Services provided are based on job duties and include*:
- Health risk assessments
- Immunizations or lab tests to protect from human blood borne pathogens or lab animals
- Clearance to wear a respirator
- Tuberculosis skin testing
- First aid for work-related injuries
- Surveillance programs for employees with special exposures
- Annual hearing tests for employees with loud noise exposure
*Because CWRU employees are eligible to receive their health benefits through Benelect enrollment, they are not eligible to receive any of their personal healthcare at UHCS.
Occupational Injury, Illness or Exposure
If, during the course of your workplace duties, you sustain a work-related injury, develop a work-related illness, or have a work-related exposure, please take the following steps:
- For emergencies, call 216.368.3333.
- Inform your supervisor immediately.
- Contact University Health & Counseling at 216.368.2450 or your health care provider for medical advice.
- Complete the Injury/Illness Report Form
Mandatory Reporting for:
- Animal bites
- Illness caused by exposure to animals
- Accidental exposure to human blood borne pathogen exposure including needle sticks, splashes.
Employee Privacy and Confidentiality
UHCS providers value a collaborative approach to providing occupational health services to faculty and staff at CWRU. We work hard to provide you with the best overall care. UHCS operates within the professional ethical guidelines and applicable federal and state laws which protect the privacy of your health records. Please be assured that your medical care records at UHCS are confidential.
There are some important exceptions to confidentiality. These exceptions include: instances of imminent risk of harm to yourself or to another person(s); when you require immediate hospitalization; or when we are compelled by law or a court ruling to disclose information. UHCS might also have an obligation to disclose certain health information to your employer as it relates to your work at CWRU (i.e. workers comp information, immunization information, health clearance to perform job).
If you have questions about our care model, feel free to discuss them with your UHCS provider or administration. Your provider can address your concerns.
Allergies to Animals in the Workplace
Allergies to animals can occur in research and teaching animal facilities and are recognized as an occupational hazard. Individuals with preexisting allergic conditions have an increased risk of developing work-related allergies. The objective of allergy prevention is to inform and educate researchers and workers about safe work practices to minimize their exposure to allergy-causing agents, such as animal hair, saliva, urine and dander.
Common Allergy Symptoms
Respiratory Symptoms: Exposure to allergens can occur through inhalation. People who develop allergies may experience sneezing, runny nose, and/or itchy, watering eyes. More severe reactions include coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Respiratory symptoms can occur immediately after an exposure or may take several hours to develop.
Allergic skin reactions are caused by contact with an allergen and include rashes, hives, or irritated skin usually in the area of skin that has made contact with the allergen.
Anaphylaxis is a rare, life-threatening allergic reaction. Symptoms include generalized itching, difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, dizziness, and fainting.
How Can You Prevent Allergies?
Limit your exposure to allergens:
- Personal hygiene: Wash your hands after contact with animals and before leaving the laboratory or animal facility.
- Do not eat, drink, smoke, handle contact lenses, or apply cosmetics in work areas, and wash your hands before engaging in any of these activities.
Use personal protective equipment:
- Wear lab coats, scrubs, or coveralls and disposable gloves when working with animals
- Add goggles and masks to your personal protective equipment when performing splash-prone procedures
- Wear an N-95 respirator in areas with a high level of airborne allergens is elevated (for example: highly populated animal rooms, cage wash and cage dumping areas)
If you are concerned you may have a work-related allergy, contact University Health & Counseling Services at 216.368.2450.