Source: B. Barone Gibbs, R. J. Kowalsky, S. J. Perdomo, M. Grier and J. M. Jakicic, Occupational Medicine, Advance Access, First published online: August 11, 2016
From the abstract:
Background: Recent guidelines recommend accruing 2–4h of standing or light activity during the working day. Use of sit–stand desks could achieve this goal, but whether standing can meaningfully increase energy expenditure (EE) is unclear.
Aims: To study EE, heart rate, feelings and productivity during deskwork while sitting, standing or alternating positions.
Methods: We measured EE by indirect calorimetry in working adults over three randomly ordered 60-min conditions while performing deskwork: continuous sitting (SIT), 30min of each standing and sitting (STAND–SIT) and continuous standing (STAND). We also assessed heart rate, productivity and self-reported energy, fatigue and pain. Linear mixed models compared minute-by-minute EE and heart rate across conditions. Non-parametric tests compared remaining outcomes across conditions.
Results: The study group comprised 18 working adults. Compared with SIT, STAND–SIT engendered an additional 5.5±12.4 kcal/h (7.8% increase) and STAND engendered an additional 8.2±15.9 kcal/h (11.5% increase) (both P < 0.001). Alternating positions to achieve the recommended 4h/day of standing could result in an additional 56.9 kcal/day for an 88.9kg man and 48.3 kcal/day for a 75.5kg woman. STAND–SIT and STAND also increased heart rate over SIT by 7.5±6.8 and 13.7±8.8 bpm, respectively (both P < 0.001). We observed no meaningful differences in feelings or productivity.
Conclusions: Desk-based workers could increase EE without added discomfort by using a sit–stand desk. These findings inform future research on sit–stand desks as a part of workplace interventions to increase EE and potentially improve health.
Source: Orianne Dumas, Aleta S. Wiley, Paul K. Henneberger, Frank E. Speizer, Jan-Paul Zock, Raphaëlle Varraso, Nicole Le Moual, Krislyn M. Boggs and Carlos A. Camargo Jr., American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Early View, November 15, 2016
From the abstract:
Background: Disinfectant use among healthcare workers has been associated with respiratory disorders, especially asthma. We aimed to describe disinfectants used by U.S. nurses, and to investigate qualitative and quantitative differences according to workplace characteristics and region.
Methods: Disinfectant use was assessed by questionnaire in 8,851 nurses. Hospital characteristics were obtained from the American Hospital Association database.
Results: Working in a hospital was associated with higher disinfectant use (OR: 2.06 [95%CI: 1.89–2.24]), but lower spray use (0.74 [0.66–0.82]). Nurses working in smaller hospitals (<50 beds vs. ≥200 beds) were more likely to use disinfectants (1.69 [1.23–2.32]) and sprays (1.69 [1.20–2.38]). Spray use was lower in the West than in the Northeast (0.75 [0.58–0.97]).
Conclusion: Disinfectant use was more common among nurses working in smaller hospitals, possibly because they perform more diverse tasks. Variations in spray use by hospital size and region suggest additional targets for future efforts to prevent occupational asthma.
Source: Dana Madigan, Linda Forst and Lee S. Friedman, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Early View, November 15, 2016
From the abstract:
Background: The physical and psychological risks of temporary employment are well documented but there are still many questions regarding the consequences of injuries among these workers.
Methods: This analysis examines Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission filings from 2007 through 2012 to compare total cost of the decision, days of work missed, and percent disability of employees of temporary agencies with direct hire claims.
Results: Total award median was $5,813.66 for direct hire employees and $2,625.00 for temporary workers. Of those employees claiming time off from work, median total time off was 1.3 weeks for direct hire employees compared to 1.2 weeks for temporary workers. Median total percent disability was 16.0% for direct hire and 10.0% for temporary employees.
Conclusions: There are differences between temporary workers and direct hire employees in terms of total workers’ compensation awards, total time off, and percent disability. Additional studies are needed to validate these findings. Am. J. Ind. Med. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Source: Congressional Budget Office, 51925, November 2016
From the summary:
CBO analyzes how canceling scheduled changes to overtime regulations before they take effect would affect employers, employees, and family income. The potential economic impact of the scheduled changes has raised concerns among some policymakers.
CBO finds that canceling the changes would reduce employers’ payroll and compliance costs and increase profits. The cancellation would also lower employees’ pay but increase real family income.
Source: Federal Privacy Council, 2016
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Source: Bibi Alajmi, Library Management , (2016) Vol. 37 Iss: 8/9, 2016
From the abstract:
Purpose: This research aims to shed light on the role of libraries as community institutions by reflecting on the experience of the Ferguson Municipal Public Library (FMPL), Missouri, USA, during the time of social unrest in the summer of 2014. The research explores the traditional and non-traditional roles of libraries during times of social unrest while focusing on relevant areas of crisis management preparedness and competencies necessary during crisis.
Design/methodology/approach: The study adopts a qualitative approach in investigating the research problem and uses the case study method to collect relevant data
Findings: This paper reports on the experience of the FMPL staff during this time. Their experience of what happened, how they dealt with it, and what their expectations were after the crisis are all documented
Research limitations/implications – Practical implications – Originality/value: Several scholars have studied how public libraries respond to disasters, yet little is known about whether public libraries proactively engage in community-wide disaster planning, and if so, what is the nature of those partnerships.
Source: Anna U. Morgan, Roxanne Dupuis, Bernadette D’Alonzo, Andria Johnson, Amy Graves, Kiahana L. Brooks, Autumn McClintock, Heather Klusaritz, Hillary Bogner, Judith A. Long, David Grande and Carolyn C. Cannuscio, Health Affairs, Vol. 35 no. 11, November 2016
From the abstract:
Public libraries are not usually included in discussions about improving population health. They are, however, well positioned to be partners in building a culture of health through programming that addresses the social determinants of health. The Healthy Library Initiative, a partnership between the University of Pennsylvania and the Free Library of Philadelphia (the public library system that serves the city), has undertaken such efforts in Philadelphia. In this article we report findings from an assessment of how ten highly subscribed programs address the social determinants of health, as well as results of interviews with community residents and library staff. Of the 5.8 million in-person Free Library visits in 2015, 500,000 included attendance at specialized programs that addressed multiple health determinants, such as housing and literacy. Library staff provided intensive support to vulnerable populations including homeless people, people with mental illness and substance use, recent immigrants, and children and families suffering from trauma. We found that public libraries are trusted institutions that have broad population reach and untapped potential to improve population health.
Source: Elissa Nadworny, NPR, November 17, 2016
Is preschool worth it? Policymakers, parents, researchers and us, at NPR Ed, have spent a lot of time thinking about this question.
We know that most pre-kindergarten programs do a good job of improving ‘ specific skills like phonics and counting, as well as broader social and emotional behaviors, by the time students enter kindergarten. Just this week, a study looking at more than 20,000 students in a state-funded preschool program in Virginia found that kids made large improvements in their alphabet recognition skills.
So the next big question to follow is, of course, Do these benefits last?
New research out of North Carolina says yes, they do. The study found that early childhood programs in that state resulted in higher test scores, a lower chance of being held back in a grade, and a fewer number of children with special education placements. Those gains lasted up through the fifth grade.
Impact of North Carolina’s Early Childhood Programs and Policies on Educational Outcomes in Elementary School
Source: Kenneth A. Dodge, Yu Bai, Helen F. Ladd, Clara G. Muschkin, Child Development, Early View, November 17, 2016
From the abstract:
North Carolina’s Smart Start and More at Four (MAF) early childhood programs were evaluated through the end of elementary school (age 11) by estimating the impact of state funding allocations to programs in each of 100 counties across 13 consecutive years on outcomes for all children in each county-year group (n = 1,004,571; 49% female; 61% non-Latinx White, 30% African American, 4% Latinx, 5% other). Student-level regression models with county and year fixed effects indicated significant positive impacts of each program on reading and math test scores and reductions in special education and grade retention in each grade. Effect sizes grew or held steady across years. Positive effects held for both high- and low-poverty families, suggesting spillover of effects to nonparticipating peers.
Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), GAO-17-31, November 15, 2016
From the summary:
Officials in five selected states reported using three main approaches to develop plans for implementing career pathways, sector partnerships, and regional planning strategies under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). GAO selected states that had various levels of experience with these strategies. Specifically, as a condition of receiving funding, federal agencies require state plans under WIOA to include career pathways strategies, which align education, job training, and support services to help job seekers obtain employment. These plans must also include sector partnership strategies, which help employers in an industry address shared goals and hiring needs. In addition, states are required to establish regions, which may be made up of multiple local workforce areas. According to the Department of Labor (DOL), these regions are intended in part to align workforce activities with regional economies. To address these requirements, officials in each of the five states reported:
– Building on prior experience to enhance career pathways, sector partnerships, or both strategies. For example, Pennsylvania’s state plan proposes building on over 10 years of experience with sector partnerships by increasing technical assistance for them and exploring the development of a certification program for these partnerships.
– Increasing the involvement of stakeholders, which uncovered ways to enhance services in most selected states. For example, Ohio officials said they involved the state agency that oversees employment services for individuals with disabilities and advocates for these individuals in planning efforts for the first time, which led them to provide training on disability awareness for staff at all local workforce centers.
– Using multiple sources of labor market information, which helped better align career pathways strategies with employer needs in some selected states. For example, Colorado officials said they asked employers to review projected worker shortages in the medical industry over the next 10 years, and employers said they would need more workers over a shorter period of time. Officials used this information to focus their career pathways strategies on preparing individuals to eventually fill the jobs that were projected to have worker shortages.
Officials in four of the states GAO selected reported facing challenges establishing regions due to local areas’ concerns, which they addressed by revising regional boundaries or increasing the number of regions and by providing incentives for regional collaboration or innovation. In three states, officials said they revised their regions in response to local concerns. For example, California officials said they redrew regional boundaries after a local area requested that it be assigned to a different region based on commuting patterns, among other factors. In addition, to encourage regional collaboration or innovation, officials in four states reported providing financial incentives. For example, a Kentucky official said the state is using a private grant to fund regional efforts to develop career pathways and sector partnership strategies. Additionally, DOL and Department of Education (Education) officials told us that they plan to support states with related technical assistance.
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, October 31, 2016
State tax incentives continue to be on state legislative agendas and more and more lawmakers have expressed interest in having good information on the impact of incentives. As a result, states across the country are starting to gather data and use evidence to systematically evaluate tax incentives.
To illustrate what sort of evaluations states are conducting, NCSL, with the generous support of The Pew Charitable Trusts, created a database of state tax incentive evaluations. Evaluations published since the start of 2008 are included and more reports will be added over time.