Category Archives: Health & Safety

2012 Police Suicides: the NSOPS Study

Source: Ron Clark, Andy O’Hara, Badge of Life Police Mental Health Foundation, January 4, 2013

Badge of Life has completed its annual survey of police suicides. Known as NSOPS (National Study of Police Suicides), this is our third in a series of studies that began in 2008.

It will take us several months to review our data and profiles of cases, but one thing is already clear: police suicides took a noticeable drop in 2012. We are the first group to track police suicides on a scientific basis and this is the first reduction we have seen since we began monitoring them in 2008. This is encouraging news that we tentatively attribute to the increased number of departments adopting peer support programs and the increased willingness of officers, many of them younger, to seek professional assistance—not only when they have a problem, but before problems develop (through things like annual “mental health checks”). Other factors may be involved, as well, and we will keep you advised through our newsletters, website and, of course, the final published study. Our studies show the following:

2008 police suicides: 141
2009 police suicides: 143
2012 police suicides: 126

An Increase In The Number Of Nurses With Baccalaureate Degrees Is Linked To Lower Rates Of Postsurgery Mortality

Source: Ann Kutney-Lee, Douglas M. Sloane and Linda H. Aiken, Health Affairs, Vol. 32 no. 3, March 2013
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
An Institute of Medicine report has called for registered nurses to achieve higher levels of education, but health care policy makers and others have limited evidence to support a substantial increase in the number of nurses with baccalaureate degrees. Using Pennsylvania nurse survey and patient discharge data from 1999 and 2006, we found that a ten-point increase in the percentage of nurses holding a baccalaureate degree in nursing within a hospital was associated with an average reduction of 2.12 deaths for every 1,000 patients—and for a subset of patients with complications, an average reduction of 7.47 deaths per 1,000 patients. We estimate that if all 134 hospitals in our study had increased the percentage of their nurses with baccalaureates by ten points during our study’s time period, some 500 deaths among general, orthopedic, and vascular surgery patients might have been prevented. The findings provide support for efforts to increase the production and employment of baccalaureate nurses.

Safe Lifting Programs at Long-Term Care Facilities and Their Impact on Workers’ Compensation Costs

Source: Tanya E. Restrepo, Frank A. Schmid, Patricia W. Gucer, Harry L. Shuford, Chun J. Shyong, and Melissa A. McDiarmid, Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, Volume 55 – Issue 1, January 2013
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
To determine the utility of a safe lifting program index and a measure of lift inventory to predict workers’ compensation claim frequency and costs in long-term care facilities in 23 states…. In this national study, we find that a comprehensive safe lift program, endorsed and promoted by directors of nursing, reduces caregiver injury as measured by workers’ compensation claims frequency and costs….

Healthy Officers Are Safer Officers: The Nexus Between Performance & Health

Source: Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, September 18, 2012

Recording: View the multimedia recording of the Webinar.

Last year, 177 police officers lost their lives in the line of duty and 143 committed suicide. These deaths are devastating and unacceptable. The National Institute of Justice has developed a robust research portfolio to improve officer safety and wellness and, ultimately, save lives. The experts on this panel discussed some of the evidence-based practices and policies that law enforcement agencies can put into operation to reduce officer deaths and improve wellness and performance.

Moderator: Brett Chapman, PhD, NIJ Social Science Analyst.

– Bryan Vila, Professor, Washington State University, will discuss his work on officer fatigue.

– Karen Amendola, Chief Operating Officer, Police Foundation, will discuss advantages and disadvantages of 8-, 10- and 12-hour shifts.

– John Violanti, Research Professor, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, will discuss the long-term impact of police work, including suicide.

– Theron Bowman, Chief of Police, Arlington, Texas, will comment on how police leaders can incorporate these research findings into their management and day-to-day work.

Seasonal Influenza and Tdap Vaccination Policies in Michigan Hospitals: Progress Yet Substantial Capacity to Improve

Source: Cristi A. Carlton, Dean G. Sienko, and Patricia A. Vranesich, Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, Vol. 34, No. 3, March 2013
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
We determined the prevalence of mandatory influenza and tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccination policies for staff in Michigan hospitals and factors affecting policy implementation. Forty-one percent of responders reported a mandatory influenza vaccination policy, and 11% reported a mandatory Tdap vaccination policy. The support of hospital leadership is critical to policy implementation and overcoming barriers….

Special Issue: Green Jobs

Source: Monthly Labor Review, Vol. 136, Number 1, January 2013

Articles include:
BLS green jobs overview by Dixie Sommers
The Green Goods and Services survey: collection and results by Nicholas Fett, Robert Viegas, and Mark deWolf
The Green Goods and Services Occupational survey: initial results by Zack Warren
Green technologies and practices: a visual essay by Audrey Watson
Workplace safety and health profiles of occupations with green technology jobs by Aaron Parrott and William Wiatrowski

Health care personnel immunization programs: An assessment of knowledge and practice among infection preventionists in US health care facilities

Source: Ruth M. Carrico, Timothy Wiemken, Kelly Westhusing, Diana Christensen, W. Paul McKinney, AJIC: American Journal of Infection Control, published online 14 January 2013
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Guidelines exist that recommend specific vaccines for health care personnel and supporting documents provide guidance for program development and implementation, but the extent to which those guidelines have been implemented in health care personnel immunization programs has not been fully explored. This project aimed to evaluate current practices in US health care facilities concerning health care personnel immunization programs. … Results of the survey have identified a number of education and training opportunities that can be addressed by professional associations using available evidence-based and proven implementation materials as resource documents. …

Health care versus non-health care businesses’ experiences during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic: Financial impact, vaccination policies, and control measures implemented

Source: Terri Rebmann, Jing Wang, Zachary Swick, David Reddick, Corina Minden-Birkenmaier, AJIC: American Journal of Infection Control, published online 31 January 2013
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Only limited data are available on businesses’ experiences related to the 2009 H1N1 pandemic in terms of interventions implemented, staffing shortages, employees working while ill, and H1N1 vaccination policy. A questionnaire was administered to human resource professionals during May-July 2011 to assess US businesses’ experiences related to the 2009 pandemic. …In all, 471 human resource professionals participated. Most did not work while ill. Twelve percent reported staffing shortages, 2.1% needed to hire temporary staff, and fewer than 1% reduced workload or closed during the pandemic. From logistic and linear regressions, determinants of providing employees H1N1 influenza training, respiratory hygiene education, offering H1N1 vaccine to employees, and higher infection prevention intervention scores were size of the business (with larger businesses implementing more interventions, such as providing education and vaccine, than smaller businesses) and being a health care agency…. Businesses should continue to improve business continuity and pandemic plans to prepare for the next biologic event (ie, pandemic, bioterrorism attack, or emerging infectious disease outbreak)….
Business continuity and pandemic preparedness: US health care versus non-health care agencies
Source: Terri Rebmann, Jing Wang, Zachary Swick, David Reddick, Corina Minden-Birkenmaier, AJIC: American Journal of Infection Control, published online 21 January 2013
(subscription required)

Businesses Can Avoid the High Cost of Workplace Injuries by Offering Earned Sick Days

Source: Liz Ben-Ishai, Center for Law and Social Policy, January 2013

Add one more piece of evidence to the increasingly-difficult-to-ignore body of facts that suggests earned sick days – particularly for lower-wage workers – are crucial to our country’s economic success and families’ economic security. A new study by health economist J. Paul Leigh shows that the economic cost of workplace injuries among low-wage workers amounted to more than $39 billion in 2010. The high cost of workplace injuries among low-wage workers is particularly striking in light of recent research demonstrating that there is a significant correlation between lack of paid sick leave and the incidence of nonfatal occupational injuries. A study by Abay Asfaw and colleagues, released earlier this year, showed that workers with paid sick leave were 28 percent less likely than those without leave to be injured. Given that 80 percent of workers making very low wages have no access to paid sick leave, the need to heed these findings on workplace injuries and sick leave is urgent.
Numbers and Costs of Occupational Injury and Illness in Low-Wage Occupations
Source: J. Paul Leigh, Center for Poverty Research, and Center for Health Care Policy and Research, University of California Davis, December 2012

Paid Sick Leave and Nonfatal Occupational Injuries
Source: Abay Asfaw, Regina Pana-Cryan, and Roger Rosa, American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 102 No. 9, September 2012
(subscription required)