Category Archives: Health & Safety

Job Strain and Risk of Acute Recurrent Coronary Heart Disease Events

Source: Corine Aboa-Éboulé, Chantal Brisson, Elizabeth Maunsell, Benoît Mâsse, Renée Bourbonnais, Michel Vézina, Alain Milot, Pierre Théroux, and, Gilles R. Dagenais, Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 298 no. 14, October 10, 2007
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It has been shown in several but not all studies that job strain, a combination of high psychological demands and low decision latitude, increases the risk of a first coronary heart disease (CHD) event. However, the association of job strain with the risk of recurrent CHD events after a first myocardial infarction (MI) has been documented in only 2 prospective studies whose findings were inconsistent. Two major limitations of these previous studies were that they did not assess the duration of psychosocial work exposure and were conducted with a limited number of participants. Our study was undertaken to determine whether job strain increases the risk of recurrent CHD events when the duration of psychosocial work exposure is taken into account in a large cohort who returned to work after a first recent MI.

September 11: Improvements Needed in Availability of Health Screening and Monitoring Services for Responders, September 10, 2007

Source: Cynthia A. Bascetta, testimony before the Subcommittee on Government Management, Organization, and Procurement, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, House of Representatives, United States Government Accountability Office, GAO-07-1229T, September 10, 2007

Six years after the attack on the World Trade Center (WTC), concerns persist about health effects experienced by WTC responders and the availability of health care services for those affected. Several federally funded programs provide screening, monitoring, or treatment services to responders. GAO has previously reported on the progress made and implementation problems faced by these WTC health programs.

The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Fire Fighters and EMS Responders

Source: Diane L. Elliot, Kerry S. Kuehl, International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the United States, Fire Administration (USFA), Oregon Health & Science University, June 2007

From the summary:
This new report, The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Fire Fighters and EMS Responders, along with its accompanying computer-based educational program, presents background information on normal sleep physiology and the health and performance effects of sleep deprivation. Countermeasures for sleep deprivation are reviewed, which relate to identifying those particularly susceptible to risks of sleep deprivation, individual mitigating strategies and work-related issues. The project was supported by a cooperative agreement between the IAFC and the United States Fire Administration (USFA), with assistance from the faculty of Oregon Health & Science University.

U.S. Labor Department issues sixth annual report on child labor in trade beneficiary countries

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2007

From the press release:
The U.S. Department of Labor today released its sixth annual report on the worst forms of child labor in 141 countries and territories that receive U.S. trade benefits.

ILAB prepared the department’s 2006 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor under the child labor reporting requirement of the Trade and Development Act of 2000. The act requires trade-beneficiary countries and territories to implement their international commitments to eliminate the worst forms of child labor.

As defined by the International Labor Organization Convention 182, the worst forms of child labor include any form of slavery, such as forced or indentured child labor; the trafficking of children and the forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict; child prostitution and pornography; the use of children for illicit activities such as drug trafficking; and work that is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children.

This report presents information on the nature and extent of the worst forms of child labor in each of the 141 countries and territories and the efforts being made by their governments to eliminate these problems. The bureau’s Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor and Human Trafficking collected data from a wide variety of sources, including U.S. embassies and consulates, foreign governments, nongovernmental organizations and international agencies. In addition, bureau staff conducted field visits to some countries covered in the report.

Monthly Labor Review: July/August 2007

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monthly Labor Review, Vol. 130 nos. 7/8, July/August 2007
Categories: Income Inequality/Gap, Safety & Health, Statistics, Workforce

Articles include: Price highlights, 2006: energy goods retreat, moderating producer prices; Railroad-related work injury fatalities; Earnings by gender: evidence from Census 2000; Labor force status of families: a visual essay.

National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2006

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, USDL 07-1202, August, 9, 2007

There were 5,703 fatal work injuries in the United States in 2006, down slightly from the revised total of 5,734 fatalities in 2005. The rate of fatal work injuries in 2006 was 3.9 per 100,000 workers, down from a rate of 4.0 per 100,000 in 2005. The numbers reported in this release are preliminary and will be updated in April 2008.
Key findings of the 2006 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries:
• The overall fatal work injury rate for the U.S. in 2006 was lower than the rate for any year since the fatality census was first conducted in 1992.
• Coal mining industry fatalities more than doubled in 2006, due to the Sago Mine disaster and other multiple-fatality coal mining incidents.
• The number of workplace homicides in 2006 was a series low and reflected a decline of over 50 percent from the high reported in 1994.
• Fatalities among workers under 25 years of age fell 9 percent, and the rate of fatal injury among these workers was down significantly.
• The 937 fatal work injuries involving Hispanic or Latino workers in 2006 was a series high, but the overall fatality rate for Hispanic or Latino workers was lower than in 2005.
• Fatalities among self-employed workers declined 11 percent and reached a series low in 2006.
• Aircraft-related fatalities were up 44 percent, led by a number of multiple-fatality events including the August 2006 Comair crash.

OSHA Dictionaries (English-to-Spanish and Spanish-to-English)

Source: Occupational Safety & Health Administration, Hispanic Task Force

OSHA’s Hispanic Task Force developed these English-to-Spanish and Spanish-to-English dictionaries. The dictionaries include over 2,000 general OSHA, general industry, and construction industry terms. They are intended to assist OSHA, Susan Harwood Training Grant applicants and recipients, and others in their Spanish-language translations. Phonetic pronunciation guides are included in the dictionaries for frequently used general industry and frequently used construction industry terms.

New Report: Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis (XDR-TB): Quarantine and Isolation

Source: Kathleen S. Swendiman and Nancy Lee Jones, CRS Report for Congress, Order Code RS22672, June 5, 2007

The recent international saga of a traveler with XDR-TB, a drug-resistant form of tuberculosis, has placed a spotlight on existing mechanisms to contain contagious disease threats and raised numerous legal and public-health issues. This report will briefly address the existing law relating to quarantine and isolation, with an emphasis on the interaction of state and federal laws and international agreements. It will not be updated.

Occupational Cancer / Zero Cancer : Work started it. Unions will stop it.

Source: International Metalworkers’ Federation, March 23, 2007

The International Metalworkers’ Federation has launched a global union campaign, “Occupational Cancer/Zero Cancer.”

Occupational cancer is the most common work-related cause of death. The International Labor Organization estimates the human toll at over 600,000 deaths a year – one death every 52 seconds. At least 1 in every 10 cancers – probably many more – is the result of preventable, predictable workplace exposure. Today, more people face a workplace cancer risk than at any other time in history. It’s just that most of them don’t know it. Unions have won recognition of causes of occupational cancer, restrictions on their use and compensation for their victims. By finding out about workplace risks and taking action to eliminate, substitute or control the risks, workers and their unions can make the workplace safer. Occupational Cancer/Zero Cancer is a global union campaign to prevent occupational cancer. On this campaign page you will find links to campaign materials, background information and other relevant resources.

Medical Surveillance for Health Care Workers Exposed to Hazardous Drugs Recommended in New NIOSH Report

Source: National Institute For Occupational Safety And Health, NIOSH Publication No. 2007-117, April 2007

A new report from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends that employers institute medical surveillance programs for health-care workers who are occupationally exposed to hazardous drugs, and suggests practical strategies and components for such programs.

The document, Workplace Solutions: Medical Surveillance for Health Care Workers Exposed to Hazardous Drugs, supplements previous NIOSH resources that highlighted potential health risks for health-care employees who are exposed to hazardous drugs.

The U.S. health care industry is one of the fastest growing sectors, with over 16.6 million workers in 2005. It is estimated that 5.5 million of these health care workers are potentially exposed to hazardous drugs or drug waste, including pharmacists, nurses, physicians, maintenance workers, operating room personnel, and others who may come into contact with these drugs while performing their job.

Hazardous drugs are those that have been determined through research studies to have a potential for causing harm to healthy individuals, including potential risks of cancer, skin rashes, birth defects, and reproductive toxicity. These same drugs also play a critical role in treatment of patients with serious illnesses like cancer and HIV infection. Although the potential therapeutic benefits of hazardous drugs outweigh the risks of side effects for ill patients, exposed health care workers risk these same side effects with no therapeutic benefit.