Depending on what job/industry an individual worker is in, the Ohio workers’ compensation system does provide coverage for a worker to have medical diagnostic testing performed when the worker is exposed to blood or other bodily fluid, to investigate whether an injury or occupational disease was sustained, when exposed. However, the Ohio workers’ compensation system outlines specific criteria that must be met for a worker to qualify for post-exposure medical diagnostic services. These criteria revolve around the circumstances of exposure, the nature of the work, and the potential risk factors involved.
For the Ohio BWC to cover post-exposure medical diagnostic services following a worker's exposure to blood or bodily fluids, the worker must fit into one of two specified categories:
Exposure to Blood or Bodily Fluid While on Duty
To qualify for post-exposure medical diagnostic services here, the worker must meet the following 3 criteria:
(a) The exposure must occur during the course of, and arising out of, the worker’s employment. To meet this criteria, the exposure must have occurred as a result of the duties and responsibilities associated with the worker's job.
(b) The worker must fall into one of the designated occupational categories, which include peace officers, firefighters, emergency medical workers, and detention facility employees, including corrections officers. These professions often involve situations where the risk of exposure to blood or bodily fluids is elevated.
(c) The exposure must result from specific incidents, such as splash or spatter in the eye or mouth, punctures in the skin, or cuts in the skin. These incidents encompass a range of potential scenarios, from conducting mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to encountering sharp objects.
Exposure to Blood or Bodily Fluid While Responding to an Inherently Dangerous Situation While Off-Duty
To qualify for post-exposure medical diagnostic services here, the worker must meet the following 2 criteria:
(a) The situation must involve an inherently dangerous condition that requires an immediate response. This could encompass various emergency situations where the risk of exposure to blood or bodily fluids is heightened.
(b) The worker must belong to one of the following specified occupational categories:
Off-duty peace officer,
Off-duty firefighters, whether paid or volunteer, or
Off-duty first responders, including emergency medical technicians-basic, emergency medical technicians-intermediate, or emergency medical technicians-paramedic, whether paid or volunteer, affiliated with an ambulance service organization or emergency medical service organization.
*It does not matter if the person is within the limits of the jurisdiction of the person’s regular employment or voluntary service when responding.
(c) The worker must respond to the situation as the person otherwise would if the person were on duty in the person's jurisdiction.
Once a worker qualifies for post-exposure medical diagnostic services and undergoes the necessary testing, the worker and his/her medical team can determine whether the exposure resulted in injury or the development of an occupational disease. If such a connection is established, additional benefits would become available to the affected worker.
Hire a Qualified Workers’ Compensation Attorney today
If you do not fit into one of these situations, you may still be eligible to have your medical diagnostic services covered. Contact Ronald J. Schafer, Esq., Gallo & Gallo Co., LPA, for a free, no obligation, consultation.
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