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Connecting Occupational Public Health and Patient Care Through Electronic Health Records (EHRs)

Categories: Safety and Health Data, Technology

ehr2This week is Health IT Week which recognizes efforts to improve the quality of healthcare delivery, increase patient safety, decrease medical errors, and strengthen the interaction between patients and healthcare providers via electronic health records (EHR).  NIOSH is working to improve occupational safety and health through health information technology.

In 2007, NIOSH undertook a seemingly straightforward task: to incorporate work information in electronic health records (EHRs).

Thank You Truck Drivers!

Categories: Total Worker Health, Transportation

truck3When you eat lettuce from California or purchase a new couch, consider how these goods got to your local grocery store or home. Nearly 2 million heavy or tractor-trailer truck drivers cross the nation every year to bring us the goods we are used to finding on our store shelves or to deliver our online purchases [BLS 2012]. In honor of Truck Driver Appreciation Week (September 14-20), we want to thank all truck drivers for their hard work and dedication.

Emergency Preparedness Month

Categories: Emergency Response/Public Sector

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September is Emergency Preparedness Month. To mark this event, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) announces the new NIOSH Emergency Preparedness and Response Directory web page.

The page will help our stakeholders find resources faster and easier for preventing injury and illness among responders in the line of duty. The web page is coordinated by the Emergency Preparedness and Response Office (EPRO) in the NIOSH Director’s Office. EPRO has three main goals: (1) to be the Institute’s focal point for technical expertise on our area in emergency preparedness and response (protecting emergency responders), (2) to help with rapid and specific on-site support, and (3) to advance research into emergency preparedness and response to better safeguard responder safety and health in the line of duty, and promote collaborations that enhance current efforts.

WTC Rescue/Recovery and Obstructive Airway Disease

Categories: Emergency Response/Public Sector, Respiratory Health, World Trade Center Health Program

 

The inhalation of chemicals, particulate matter (dusts and fibers), and the incomplete products of combustion during occupational and environmental disasters has long been associated with respiratory disorders[1]. While there is substantial literature on the association between respiratory diseases and chronic environmental exposures such as air pollution and long term occupational exposure in industries such as mining, silica handling, and construction, much remains to be learned regarding the biological mechanisms that cause such disease and on the latency between acute exposure and disease onset.

The destruction of the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York after a terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, resulted in a massive, intense dust cloud that was found to contain a huge variety of irritants including partially combusted and/or pulverized wood, paper, and jet fuel; pulverized construction materials including asbestos, glass, silica, fiberglass, concrete, and silica; complex organic chemicals; lead; and other metals.[2] Increased incidence of respiratory disease has been reported in firefighters who worked in the rescue/recovery effort and in other cohorts. Obstructive airways diseases (OAD), such as asthma and chronic bronchitis, have been shown to be associated with intensity of exposure as measured by arrival time at the WTC site.[3] New onset OAD continues to be observed many years after exposure,[4] contrary to conventional wisdom that irritant-induced asthma should be triggered within a relatively short time after exposure.[5]

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