Category Archives: Health & Safety

Expecting the unexpected: A mixed methods study of violence to EMS responders in an urban fire department

Source: Jennifer A. Taylor, Brittany Barnes, Andrea L. Davis, Jasmine Wright, Shannon Widman and Michael LeVasseur, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Early View, Article first published online: January 4, 2016
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Background: Struck by injuries experienced by females were observed to be higher compared to males in an urban fire department. The disparity was investigated while gaining a grounded understanding of EMS responder experiences from patient-initiated violence.

Methods: A convergent parallel mixed methods design was employed. Using a linked injury dataset, patient-initiated violence estimates were calculated comparing genders. Semi-structured interviews and a focus group were conducted with injured EMS responders.

Results: Paramedics had significantly higher odds for patient-initiated violence injuries than firefighters. Females reported increased odds of patient-initiated violence injuries compared to males, but this relationship was entirely mediated through occupation. Qualitative data illuminated the impact of patient-initiated violence and highlighted important organizational opportunities for intervention.

Conclusions: Mixed methods greatly enhanced the assessment of EMS responder patient-initiated violence prevention.

The quest for meaningful and accurate occupational health and safety statistics

Source: Dino Drudi, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monthly Labor Review, December 2015

From the abstract:
To help mark the Monthly Labor Review’s centennial, the Review invited several producers and users of BLS data to take a look back at the last 100 years. This installment of the anniversary series comes from the Bureau’s Occupational Safety and Health Statistics (OSHS) program. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics collects and publishes data on occupational injuries and illnesses. The OSHS program administers these efforts and has evolved for the purpose of collecting more accurate and complete data. Over time, this evolution has required a variety of changes, including new classification systems, recordkeeping procedures, injury and illness categorization, data collection methods, and coding schemes.
For much of its 130 year history, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Work-related injuries to animal care workers, Washington 2007–2011

Source: Heather Fowler, Darrin Adams, David Bonauto and Peter Rabinowitz, Early View, Fist published online: December 17, 2015
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Background: For workers engaged in animal care, workplace hazards are common and may outnumber those experienced by human healthcare workers.
Methods: We used accepted Washington State workers’ compensation claims for the period from January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2011 to compare injury rates and types of injuries across animal care occupations.
Results: Work-related injuries frequently affect veterinary support staff and those working in pet stores, shelters, grooming facilities and kennels. Animal-related injuries were the most commonly reported injury type experienced by all groups, though the animal source of injury appears to differ by work setting.
Conclusions: Workplace related injuries among animal care workers are common and most often caused by physical insults resulting from worker-animal interaction

Flexible Work Designs and Employee Well‐Being: Examining the Effects of Resources and Demands

Source: Claartje L. Ter Hoeven, Ward Van Zoonen, New Technology, Work and Employment, Vol. 30 Issue 3, 2015
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Advances in communication technology continue to expand the possibilities for redesigning work environments to allow for temporal and spatial flexibility. Although flexible work designs (FWDs) are typically launched with high expectations, recent research shows that FWDs also pose challenges to employees and can even impede employee well‐being. Based on the Job Demands–Resources model, we argue that FWDs offer both advantages (FWD‐related resources) and challenges (FWD‐related demands) to employee well‐being. The results (n = 999) show that FWDs are related to employee well‐being through several positive and one negative pathways. FWDs are positively associated with employee well‐being through enhanced work/life balance, autonomy, and effective communication and negatively associated with employee well‐being through increased interruptions. Thus, we introduce a framework that reveals the underlying positive and negative mechanisms in the relationship between FWDs and employee well‐being.

Nonfatal Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Requiring Days Away From Work – 2014

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Press Release, USDL 15-2205, November 19, 2015

The overall incidence rate of nonfatal occupational injury and illness cases requiring days away from work to recuperate was 107.1 cases per 10,000 full-time workers in 2014, down from the 2013 rate of 109.4, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. In 2014, there were 1,157,410 days-away-from- work cases in private industry, state government, and local government–essentially unchanged from the number of cases reported in 2013. The median days away from work to recuperate–a key measure of severity of injuries and illnesses–was 9 days in 2014, 1 day more than reported in 2013…. There were six occupations in 2014, for all ownerships, where the incidence rate per 10,000 full-time workers was greater than 300 and the number of cases with days away from work was greater than 10,000. These occupations were police and sheriff’s patrol officers, correctional officers and jailers, firefighters, nursing assistants, construction laborers, and heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers. ….

….State and local government:
For all occupations, the incidence rate for public sector workers was 167.4 cases per 10,000 full-time workers, compared to the rate of 97.8 for all private sector workers. Some public sector (state and local government combined) occupations experienced higher rates than the equivalent private sector occupations. Public sector janitors and cleaners had an incidence rate that was over twice that of private sector janitors and cleaners. (See chart C.) The rate for public sector landscaping and groundskeeping workers was 795.1 cases per 10,000 full-time workers, compared to 190.4 for private sector landscaping and groundskeeping workers…..

In-home care agency takes steps to trim caregiver turnover

Source: Cathy Molitoris, Lancaster Online, November 15, 2015

….But Lancaster-based Independent Living Services is trying to stem the tide, by launching initiatives to combat burnout among its 175 caregivers. The initiatives — which include more hours, better training and more support — are hoped to cut its annual turnover rate from 60 percent to 40 percent…. “If we want to retain quality caregivers, we have to be able to provide hours,” Franey says. So the agency plans to provide full-time jobs even though it will cost more in salaries and benefits…. Boyd adds that spending money on the back end will reduce the upfront expenses that go into traditional recruitment methods. …. Franey and Boyd are also working hard to make sure their caregivers have the support they need to do their job well. “We created a lab in both of our facilities,” Franey says, noting that Independent Living Services also has an office in Tamaqua. “We’re offering hands-on training.” The lab, which opened in September, shifts the focus on training away from just communicating what needs to be done to an active learning experience, where caregivers can see firsthand how to do many of the tasks their job requires…. To better support caregivers, Accessing Independence also has started a safety mentor program. … In addition, the agency has created a transitional care attendant position for experienced care attendants. ….

An urgent need to understand and address the safety and well-being of hospital “sitters”

Source: Ashley L. Schoenfisch, Lisa A. Pompeii, Hester J. Lipscomb, Claudia D. Smith, Mudita Upadhyaya and John M. Dement, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Volume 58, Issue 12, December 2015
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Background: Hospital sitters provide continuous observation of patients at risk of harming themselves or others. Little is known about sitters’ occupational safety and well-being, including experiences with patient/visitor-perpetrated violence (type II).
Methods: Data from surveys, focus groups, individual interviews at six U.S. hospitals were used to characterize the prevalence of and circumstance surrounding type II violence against sitters, as well as broader issues related to sitter use.
Results: Sitter respondents had a high 12-month prevalence of physical assault, physical threat, and verbal abuse compared to other workers in the hospital setting. Sitters and other staff indicated the need for clarification of sitters’ roles regarding patient care and sitter well-being (e.g., calling for assistance, taking lunch/restroom breaks), training of sitters in personal safety and de-escalation, methods to communicate patient/visitor behaviors, and unit-level support.
Conclusions: The burden of type II violence against hospital sitters is concerning. Policies surrounding sitters’ roles and violence prevention training are urgently needed.

Employer-Reported Workplace Injuries and Illnesses–2014

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, USDL-15-2086, October 29, 2015

The nearly 3.0 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers in 2014 occurred at a rate of 3.2 cases per 100 equivalent full-time workers, according to estimates from the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (See tables 1 and 2.) The rate reported for 2014 continues a pattern of declines that, with the exception of 2012, occurred annually for the last 12 years. Private industry employers reported nearly 54,000 fewer nonfatal injury and illness cases in 2014 compared to a year earlier. Because of this decline combined with an increase in reported hours worked, the total recordable cases (TRC) incidence rate fell 0.1 cases per 100 full-time workers. The fall in the TRC rate was driven by a decline in the rate of other recordable cases, as rates for both cases involving days away from work (DAFW) and for cases of job transfer or restriction only (DJTR) were unchanged in 2014. …

….An estimated 722,300 injury and illness cases were reported in 2014 among the approximately 18.3 million state and local government workers–for example, police protection and fire protection– resulting in a rate of 5.0 cases per 100 full-time workers. The rate among these workers was relatively unchanged from a year earlier (5.2 cases) but was higher than the rate among private industry workers (3.2 cases) in 2014. Nearly 4 in 5 injuries and illnesses reported in the public sector occurred among local government workers in 2014, resulting in an injury and illness rate of 5.4 cases per 100 full-time workers–higher than the 4.1 cases per 100 full-time workers in state government…..
Nonfatal injury and illness rates by state, 2014
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, The Economics Daily, November 06, 2015

Going to Work Ill: A Meta-Analysis of the Correlates of Presenteeism and a Dual-Path Model

Source: Mariella Miraglia, Gary Johns, Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, November 9 , 2015
(subscription required)

From the press release:
High job demands, stress and job insecurity are among the main reasons why people go to work when they are ill, according to new research by an academic at the University of East Anglia….

Violation Tracker

Source: Good Jobs First, October 2015

Discover Which Corporations are the Biggest Violators of Environmental, Health and Safety Laws Throughout the United States

Violation Tracker is the first national search engine on corporate misconduct. Version 1.0 covers environmental, health and safety cases initiated by 13 federal regulatory agencies since 2010, including those referred to the Justice Department. Other violations (banking, antitrust, wage & hour, etc.) will be added later. Violation Tracker is produced by the Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First.
BP and Its Brethren (a report analyzing the largest violators)
Data Sources
User Guide