Categories: Bloodborne pathogens, Emergency response, Health care, women
May 17th, 2013 9:48 am ET -
Thomas Cunningham, PhD, and Garrett Burnett, MS, MBA
May 19, 2013, is Hepatitis Testing Day. Health care workers are at risk of contracting hepatitis B and C in the workplace. Doctors, nurses, and other staff are predominately exposed to these devastating diseases through needle sticks and other sharps injuries or when fluids from patients splash onto their eyes, nose, or mouth. Hepatitis B and C are life-changing infections, but they can be avoided in many cases. Improved processes and safer equipment are essential. The procedures and equipment used are a reflection of an organization’s safety culture.
A strong safety culture demonstrates a high level of commitment from both managers and employees to a healthy work environment.
What does your workplace do to support a safe work environment? What practices seem to be most effective? Do you do anything innovative at your organization to influence attitudes and behaviors related to safety?
6 Comments -
Categories: Bloodborne pathogens, Cancer, Chemicals, Construction, Health care, Personal protective equipment, Stress, Transportation, Violence, women
May 13th, 2013 10:04 am ET -
Naomi Swanson,Ph.D.; Julie Tisdale-Pardi, MA; CAPT Leslie MacDonald, Sc.D.; Hope M. Tiesman, Ph.D.
This week is Women’s Health Week. With over 58% of U.S. women in the labor force[i], the workplace must be considered when looking at women’s overall health. We must keep in mind that susceptibility to hazards can be different for men and women. Additionally, women face different workplace health challenges than men partly because men and women tend to have different kinds of jobs. Women generally have more work-related cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, respiratory diseases, infectious diseases, and anxiety and stress disorders. Social, economic, and cultural factors also put women at risk for injury and illness. While workplace exposures can affect both male and female reproduction, issues related to reproduction and pregnancy are of particular concern to women. Below you will find summaries, with links to more research, of some hazards faced by women in the workplace as well as links to industry-specific research from NIOSH that relates to women. More information is available on the NIOSH topic page Women’s Safety and Health Issues at Work.
9 Comments -
Categories: Health care, Personal protective equipment, women
May 8th, 2013 9:28 am ET -
Ronald E. Shaffer, Ph.D. ; Debra Novak, DSN, RN; Jaclyn Krah, MA
Photos courtesy of Kimberly Clark, Moldex, 3M, and Alpha Protec
Poor compliance with respiratory protection requirements and proper use recommendations in healthcare settings remains a vexing problem. Given the many possible methods to improve compliance, and the constraints of limited budgets and resources available for research, we are asking the question: where should NIOSH conduct research to address this issue?
There are many reasons to focus attention on healthcare workplaces. There are more than 14 million workers in the United States employed in the healthcare field. Healthcare personnel are sometimes exposed to a variety of potential airborne respiratory hazards (e.g., Mycobacterium tuberculosis, hazardous chemicals, influenza etc.). In some of these situations the patient is the source of the exposure, but still requires medical care. Not surprisingly, some studies have found that compared to non-healthcare settings, healthcare personnel could be at a higher risk of exposure to infectious respiratory diseases. Preferred methods of reducing exposure (elimination, substitution, administrative, and engineering controls) are often not possible or practical to implement, especially during an emerging infectious disease outbreak or pandemic.
7 Comments -
Categories: Exposure, Health care, Personal protective equipment, women
January 15th, 2013 9:42 am ET -
William G. Lindsley, PhD
A sneeze in progress. Need we say more? Cover your mouth!
As we enter another influenza season, one question continues to vex medical and public health professionals: How do you stop people from catching the flu? The best way to prevent the flu is by getting an influenza vaccine every year. However, in the event of a large-scale influenza outbreak of a new virus strain or a pandemic, when influenza vaccine may not be promptly available, we will see tremendous demands on the health care system and its workers. Thus, it’s critical to understand how influenza is transmitted from person to person so that we can determine the best ways to protect health care workers while still enabling them to do their jobs.
The typical incubation period for influenza is 1-4 days (average: 2 days). Adults shed influenza virus from the day before symptoms begin through 5-10 days after illness onset. However, the amount of virus shed, and presumably infectivity, decreases rapidly by 3-5 days after onset in an experimental human infection model. Young children also might shed virus several days before illness onset, and children can be infectious for 10 or more days after onset of symptoms. Severely immunocompromised persons can shed virus for weeks or months.
18 Comments -