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Workplace Exposures and the National Action Plan for Infertility

Categories: Reproductive Health

Infertility is a significant health issue in the U.S. as well as globally.  In addition to the large health and fiscal impacts of infertility, the inability to conceive can be devastating to individuals or couples. Research suggest that between 12% and 18% of couples struggle with infertility,[1] which may be caused by a wide variety of factors including genetic abnormalities, aging, acute and chronic diseases, treatments for certain conditions, behavioral factors, and exposure to environmental, occupational, and infectious hazards. However, many questions about infertility remain unanswered.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the National Public Health Action Plan for the Detection, Prevention and Management of Infertility. This plan was created in consultation with many governmental and nongovernmental partners.  NIOSH contributed to this Action Plan, specifically related to reducing exposures to occupational agents that can harm reproductive health and fertility in women and men.

200 and Counting!

Categories: Media

This is the 200th post to the NIOSH Science Blog.  In our nearly seven years of posting we have covered topics ranging from nanotechnology to noise-induced hearing loss for workers at the World Cup.  Since our first post in 2007, the blog has received 1,155,680 views. Our top five most popular blogs are: N95 Respirators and Surgical Masks; Preventing Back Injuries in Health Care Settings; Workplace Stress; Frequency of Respirator Fit Testing; and Truck Driver Safety and Health.

Adjusting to Work in the Heat: Why Acclimatization Matters

Categories: Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing, Construction, Outdoor Work

The first segment of an infographic on heat stress

Click the image for the full infographic

Acclimatization is important in keeping your workforce safe and well as temperatures rise. This natural adaptation to the heat takes time, and from a management perspective, it may require careful planning.

Make acclimatization part of your plan

A good heat illness prevention plan takes into account the need for more breaks, a cool place to rest, the availability of fluids, and the careful allotment of time for a worker to become fully adjusted or acclimatized to the heat. It will need to be flexible based on the intensity of the heat, the level of humidity, the workers’ experience on the job, and the workers’ physical fitness. 

A Wrench in the Gear: Lockout/tagout in the food industry

Categories: Manufacturing

The food manufacturing industry includes animal slaughtering as well as the processing and packaging of meat, dairy, fruit, vegetable, grain, seafood, beverages, and bakery products. The industry employs nearly 1.5 million workers.1 Work in food manufacturing is typically fast-paced and workers can face exposure to hazards such as slips trips and falls, musculoskeletal disorders, and machine-related injuries.2

Although there has been improvement in recent years, workers in food manufacturing have a higher rate of injuries and illnesses than workers in private industry as a whole. For example, in 2012, the injury and illness rate in food manufacturing was 5.4 per 100 workers compared with 3.4 per 100 workers for private industry overall.3

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