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med_confidential_160x83Occu-Med adheres to a strict privacy and confidentiality code and fully respects the Federal PIPEDA (Personal Information Privacy and Electronic Documents Act), and the provincial Health Information Protection Act. In addition, we implement industry best-practices for safeguarding personal and health related data.

We do not release medical or health testing information to third parties without employee consent.

We collect only that information that:

  • is necessary for the health tests that we conduct,
  • is necessary to properly assess the data gathered (eg. birthdates),
  • is necessary to allow us to competently reach a determination as to an employee's health status,
  • is stipulated by occupational health & safety legislation or its regulations,
  • helps ensure that we can match health data to a unique individual -- so that we may safeguard data storage & guarantee proper retrieval in future.

The Basics of Privacy Law in Canada

We believe it is important for clients and employees to understand the basics of Canadian privacy legislation.

Firstly: it is important to know that our legislation is essentially based on the premise that private data 'belongs' to the individual, and as such any employee is entitled to receive copies of their information upon request. It is not, however, expected that providers will render services for free - and so an administrative charge will be billed for preparing the necessary photocopies and release documents.

For occupational health & safety purposes:

  1. employers are allowed to conduct medical testing programs to ensure that new or existing employees are medically fit to do the work proposed -- without doing harm to themselves or others.
  2. providers are allowed to collect medical data for the purposes of drawing a conclusion about the worker's ability to start or continue to work in an environment with a particular hazard (like Silica, Asbestos, Lead, etc.)
  3. Employers are entitled to receive the conclusion of the health tests, but NOT the raw data collected during the tests. Thus, we are allowed to inform an employer that an employee is "fit to work", but we are do not provide the specific results of blood pressure, vision tests, etc.
  4. The fact that employers are paying for health testing does not provide any additional entitlement to the raw employee health data.
  5. In cases where we become aware of an employee illness, we do not necessarily find the employ "unfit", unless the illness would interfere with the person's ability to do the work safely.

    For example: in the worst case scenario a prospective employee could inform the nurse of a terminal disease and still be found "fit for work" if the disease did not immediately interfere with the his/her ability to work.

Before Testing:

Employers and employees alike should know that PIPEDA was designed to protect consumer data, and does not apply to data that is part of the employer-employee relationship. As such, it does not prevent employers from sharing data such as employee numbers and birthdates with medical service providers -- because that data is necessary in order to properly conduct the health tests and evaluate the resulting data.

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