Fitness for work during the COVID-19 disease: principles and suggested assistive tool for protecting workers during the pandemic era

Yael Ofri Sahar Kostis, Lilah Rinsky-Halivni, Chaim Cohen, Oren Zack, Raz Dekel, Shlomo Moshe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Amongst the many intricacies engendered by the COVID-19 pandemic was the posed risk of exposure to SARS-COV2 infections among workers and the need to evaluate fitness for work (FFW) of individuals in high exposure groups or those with background morbidity. A designated task force of the Israeli Association of Occupational Medicine has evaluated the relevant literature and published guidelines concerning medical work restrictions for employees in high-risk occupations during the epidemic of novel COVID-19. Methods: The study depicts a case series of 17 FFW evaluations performed in Maccabi Health Services occupational clinics using the guidelines formulated by the Israeli Occupational Medicine Association. Results: 17 patients, mainly healthcare workers, whose major health hazards were immunodeficiency, respiratory diseases and pregnancy, were assessed in this case series. We present the essential parameters of these FFW evaluations and discuss decision-making in selected cases. Conclusions: Applying guidelines in various work settings and health risk levels during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic allows for both patients' health preservation and efficient workforce deployment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1233-1238
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Volume94
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2021

Keywords

  • Clinical guidelines
  • Health risk assessment
  • Occupational exposure
  • Occupational groups (workers, healthcare workers)
  • Occupational medicine (occupational health practice, exposure assessment, risk assessment)

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