Does it make economic sense for employers to offer or expand paid sick leave benefits to their employees? A new NIOSH study published in the American Journal of Public Health reported that workers with access to paid sick leave were 28% less likely overall to suffer nonfatal occupational injuries than workers without access to paid sick leave. Workers in high-risk occupations and industry sectors, such as construction, manufacturing, agriculture, and health care and social assistance, appeared to benefit most from paid sick leave. From these results we concluded that introducing or expanding employee access to paid sick leave might help businesses reduce the incidence of occupational injuries. This could, in turn, reduce costs to employers. To our knowledge, this is the first U.S. study to examine this issue empirically.
Safer Healthier Workers
Select Month: July 2012
July 30th, 2012 10:02 am ET - Abay Asfaw, PhD; Regina Pana-Cryan, PhD; Roger R. Rosa, PhD
July 27th, 2012 11:54 am ET - Vladimir Murashov, PhD; Paul Schulte, PhD; John Howard, MD
In the last five years, research and development activities in the field of nanotechnology have shifted to include advanced nanomaterials. The main feature of advanced nanomaterials that distinguishes them from simpler nanomaterials, such as carbon black and nanoscale TiO2 used primarily as additives, is the ability of advanced nanomaterials to change or evolve properties during their use, as a result of intended and unintended reactions to the external environment. Examples of advanced nanomaterials include nanomaterials functionalized for specific applications, such as nanoscale gold used in cancer treatment therapies, quantum dots used in medical imaging of the body, and carbon nanotubes and graphene used in electronics. Depending on the type of nanomaterial and the conditions of exposure, such a change of properties may result in health risks to workers handling advanced nanomaterials if exposure is not adequately controlled.
July 19th, 2012 9:44 am ET - L. Casey Chosewood, MD
Profound changes continue to unfold in the American workforce as Baby Boomers—Americans born between 1945 and 1964—swell the ranks of our workplaces. This has led many employers to fear the possibilities of negative impacts associated with this demographic trend. On one hand, they are concerned that having age-gifted workers on the job may mean escalating age-related healthcare costs, workers compensation and pension liabilities. On the other hand, they worry about impacts on quality and productivity or an impending shortage of skilled labor as skilled, experienced veteran workers retire. But these concerns haven’t been paralyzing. We’ve learned some employers are looking at the aging workforce issue more broadly, often positively, and have implemented policies and practices that support a more competitive, sustainable and safer workforce, regardless of its overall age. We’ll share with you some strategies from our research and partners’ research and we invite you to share your own experiences as well.
July 13th, 2012 4:40 pm ET - Corey Campbell and Liz Dalsey
Wildland fires continue to increase in the Western United States as hot, dry and windy conditions persist, resulting in an extended fire season and factors conducive to fires. Currently, drought conditions are prevalent in the West due to low snow-pack levels, below average rainfall, record setting temperatures and high winds, resulting in a greater than average number of fires this year. Since January 2012, over 32,000 fires have burned almost 3.3 million acres in the US. [NIFC, 2012a]. Additionally, in the last 50 years, there has been a general increase in the occurrence and severity of forest wildfires in the US, as over 5 million wildfires have burned over 206 million acres [NIFC, 2012b].
When wildland fires occur in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI), the area where houses meet undeveloped land, they can easily become catastrophic because a large number of people, homes and structures are at-risk. When a fire ignites in these areas, a quick and aggressive response from wildland fire agencies and wildland fire fighters is required.
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