The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) is constantly updating specifications and regulations as well as developing new OSHA medical standards. Oftentimes, an employer has failed to be compliant with OSHA standards and there is a need for a seasoned medical professional to review and audit an employer’s OSHA program, especially when it comes to medical surveillance for workers.
Dr. Fletcher has helped dozens of facilities and construction sites become OSHA compliant through his assistance in the development of OSHA medical surveillance exams and other OSHA compliance programs that employers are required to have in place to create a safe workplace.
For employers who are facing OSHA challenges, Dr. Fletcher is available to come to your facility and help resolve OSHA problems. He will work alongside other occupational and safety professionals, such as industrial hygienists and safety professionals, as well as legal counsel. Dr Fletcher can review OSHA 300 logs, medical surveillance records, exposure data, and other OSHA-related issues.
Dr. Fletcher can evaluate the workplace environment and the health of employees by reviewing records and industrial hygiene exposure data and recommending suitable on-site environmental and medical testing. Upon completion of the site visit, Dr. Fletcher issues a comprehensive report that includes recommendations for addressing identified problems, reducing exposure, and preventing disease.
So What Is Dr. Fletcher’s Experience With OSHA Compliance?
Dr. Fletcher is very experienced in OSHA compliance, training, and job site evaluations to make certain employees work in a safe and healthful environment.
Dr. Fletcher’s extensive OSHA medical surveillance background and experience make him uniquely qualified to provide opinions on OSHA-related matters.
For more than 15 years, Dr. Fletcher served as the Chief Medical Officer for Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and SafeWorks Illinois operated their state-wide testing OSHA respirator certification programs in mobile health vans that went all over the State.
Dr. Fletcher’s SafeWorks Illinois office in Champaign, Illinois conducts OSHA medical surveillance exam for noise exposure, lead, nickel, chromium, and asbestos. SafeWorks Illinois conducts OSHA respirator and HAZWHOPER medical exams. Though the mobile van practice was sold to St. Mary’s Hospital in 2010, SafeWorks Illinois still does some limited on-site OSHA medical exams for employers
Dr. Fletcher has also worked with National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) Program that helps employees, union officials, and employers learn whether health hazards are present at their workplace and recommends ways to reduce hazards and prevent work-related illness.
The HHE program is available at no cost to the employer or employees. NIOSH conducts studies of workplaces in response to these requests to learn if workers are exposed to hazardous materials or harmful conditions. Workplace exposures studied include chemicals, biological agents, work stress, noise, radiation, and ergonomic hazard.
Dr. Fletcher can make a recommendation about the need for a Health Hazard Evaluation, as well as help facilitate a request for a HHE.
Dr. Fletcher’s work in 2012 with the Teamsters Union out of Peoria, Illinois was helpful to set up a HHE at a chemical production facility in Central Illinois “Health hazard evaluation report: Evaluation of Exposure To Chemicals at a Polymer Additive Manufacturing Facility” Employees who worked at this facility were concerned about developing chronic health problems including lung disease, kidney disease, and cancer, from exposure to workplace chemicals and this evaluation provided valuable exposure information.
Likewise, Dr. Fletcher has enlisted the help of NIOSH for HHE when he has worked as a defense expert for employers in worker’s compensation cases, where there has been an allegation of an environmental exposure causing human harm.
Around 2003, the Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) facility in Decatur had three workers file occupational disease claims alleging that exposure to Diacetyl, an artificial butter flavoring, caused them to develop occupational lung disease. Diacetyl had been linked to causing bronchiolitis obliterans, a rare and serious disease of the lungs in workers at several factories that manufacture artificial butter flavoring.
After examining the three claimants and conducting a worksite visit, Dr. Fletcher convinced ADM in November 2004 to request that the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conduct an HHE of the ADM plant in Decatur to evaluate the plant for diacetyl-related health hazards. Dr. Fletcher aimed to have NIOSH prove that the level of diacetyl exposure experienced at microwave popcorn plants and at the ADM facility was markedly different. ADM prevailed in this case because of the HHE.
A unanimous Illinois Appellate Court, WC Division ruled an Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) factory worker failed to establish the compensability of obstructive lung disease because he did not adequately or scientifically link his condition to the workplace exposure to a buttery-smelling chemical compound named Diacetyl. (reference: Durbin v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Comm’n, 2016 IL App (4th) 150088WC decision issued July 17, 2016.)
Dr. Fletcher is always ready to vigorously defend his opinions and is able to testify either by deposition or a trial and/or administrative hearing.