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First, Do No Harm: Temporary Threshold Shift Screening Is Not Worth the Risk

Categories: Hearing Loss, Manufacturing

 

Recently, a study by Dr. Hanns Moshammer and colleagues on “The Early Prognosis of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss” garnered national media attention.[1] Their research, published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine, [2] recommended routine implementation of a temporary threshold shift (TTS) screening test to identify workers particularly at risk of developing noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) from occupational exposure to hazardous noise. NIHL is one of the most common work-related conditions in the United States. Susceptibility to NIHL varies across individuals, but unfortunately, no methods are available to predict risk for a particular worker.

A Health and Safety Evaluation at an Airline Catering Facility

Categories: Ergonomics, Exposure, Stress

 

The airline industry predicts that more than 24 million people will fly during the Thanksgiving holiday this year. If you are one of those passengers, chances are that you’ll have a snack or a soda on your way to your destination. Before reaching your seat, those snacks, beverages, and meals are prepared, assembled, and delivered by a catering company. In a recent Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) report, we described our evaluation of a catering facility in Michigan. We conducted the evaluation at the request of a union representing airline catering employees. The union was concerned about risks for musculoskeletal disorders, working in extreme hot and cold temperatures, job stress, and injuries in the facility’s kitchen and loading docks.

Work-family Conflict, Sleep, and the Heart

Categories: Cardiovascular Disease, Health care, Sleep, Total Worker Health

 

nursesleepHealth care workers represent an increasingly important and ever growing work force in our society. They are also a group of “high-risk workers” meaning they report a lot of musculoskeletal pain, work-related injuries and sleep deficiencies. In addition to this, many health care workers labor in rotating shifts, with little time in-between shifts, so it is no surprise that many of these workers also report scheduling difficulties between work and family. A large study on nurses from 2006 reported that they are concerned about their lack of time and energy when prioritizing family responsibilities and friends outside the workplace. Perhaps exacerbating this concern are increasing demands from a strained economy, the increasing number of single parents in the US, and the fact that health care workers often report working additional jobs – restricting this time even further.

Motor Vehicle Safety and Law Enforcement Officers

Categories: Emergency Response/Public Sector, Motor Vehicle Safety

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In 2010, motor-vehicle-related events accounted for approximately two out of every five fatal work injuries in the United States [BLS 2011a]. Non-fatal motor-vehicle crashes can result in serious long-term injuries, permanent disabilities, and costly medical care. Notably absent from motor-vehicle research has been research addressing the safety of law enforcement officers who not only spend a significant amount of time behind the wheel, but often drive in dangerous conditions including inclement weather and at high speeds. Motor-vehicle crashes have been the leading cause of death for law enforcement officers for the last decade. [NLEOMF]. The survey described below revealed that from 2008-2011, 20% of officers had been in at least one motor-vehicle crash, and 16% reported being struck by or nearly struck by a motor-vehicle while outside their patrol car.

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