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Safety and Health for Immigrant Workers

Categories: Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing, Construction, Outdoor Work, Personal Protective Equipment, Training

 

The United States workforce, like the population in general, is becoming more ethnically diverse. “We are and always will be a nation of immigrants,” President Obama stated recently in announcing his initiative on immigration reform. The Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends Project estimates that immigrants will make up roughly 23% of adults of working age in 2050, up from 15% in 2005 (Passel & Cohn, 2008). It is also predicted that immigrants and their children will make up 83% of the growth in the working age population of the U.S. during this same time period (Congressional Budget Office, 2005). Immigration from Latin America to the U.S. has grown dramatically over the past 2 decades and will figure prominently in these numbers. Currently, about 18 million Latino immigrants live in the U.S. (Batalova & Terrazas, 2010).

Latino workers suffer significantly higher rates of workplace fatalities (5.0 per 100,000 workers) than all workers combined (4.0), non-Latino white workers (4.0) or non-Latino black workers (3.7) (Cierpich, Styles, Harrison, et al., 2008). Considered alone, Latino immigrants to the U.S. have a workplace fatality rate of 5.9 per 100,000 which is almost 50% higher than the rate for all workers (4.0). In 2013, two-thirds of work-related deaths among Latinos were among foreign-born individuals, up from slightly more than half in 1992. These data suggest that fatalities among immigrant workers may be the driving force behind the elevated rates of workplace injuries and illnesses among Latinos in the U.S.

Preventing Skin Cancer

Categories: Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing, Cancer, Construction, Oil and Gas, Outdoor Work, Young Workers

sunAs the nation’s doctor, I recently launched a Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer to address the rising rates of skin cancer in the U.S. While nearly 5 million people are treated for skin cancer each year in the U.S., with an annual cost of $8.1 billion, most cases are preventable. Although people with lighter skin are at higher risk, anyone can get skin cancer—and it can be disfiguring, even deadly. Sunburned and even tanned skin is damaged skin that can lead to skin cancer. That’s why this message is extremely important for individuals whose jobs require them to work outdoors.

Adjusting to Work in the Heat: Why Acclimatization Matters

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

Heat stress infographic

Click for the full infograpic

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.

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: Workers’ Memorial Day, April 28, 2014

Categories: Construction, Emergency Response/Public Sector, Lead, Smoking, Total Worker Health

On Workers’ Memorial Day we acknowledge the toll that work-related hazards and exposures have taken on American workers, their families, and communities. Each year, NIOSH collaborates with the staff of CDC’s Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report (MMWR) to publish the most recent annual statistics, NIOSH analyses of occupational illness and injuries, and investigations of occupational hazards. Here are some of the key findings from this year’s Workers Memorial Day issue of MMWR.

Fatal and Nonfatal Occupational Ladder Fall Injuries—United States, 2011

Each year on Workers’ Memorial Day, we are reminded that preventable traumatic injuries continue to claim workers’ lives and health. Fall injuries remain a leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries to workers. Using data from three occupational injury surveillance systems (CFOI, SOII,NEISS-WORK) Christina Socias, DrPH and colleagues described ladder fall injuries among U.S. workers.

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