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Selected Category: Policy and Programs

Prevention through Design Standard

Categories: Engineering Control, Manufacturing, Policy and Programs, Prevention Through Design

PtD logoThe American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) recently announced the approval of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/ASSE standard, “Prevention through Design: Guidelines for Addressing Occupational Risks in Design and Redesign Processes” (Z590.3). This new standard provides guidance on including Prevention through Design concepts within an occupational safety and health management system, and can be applied in any occupational setting.

The new standard focuses specifically on the avoidance, elimination, reduction and control of occupational safety and health hazards and risks in the design and redesign process. Through the application of the concepts presented in the standard, decisions about occupational hazards and risks can be incorporated into the process of design and redesign of work areas, tools, equipment, machinery, substances and work processes.

NIOSH and Electronic Health Records

Categories: Policy and Programs, Technology

white-coated man holds pen and regards clipboardYou’ve probably heard about ‘electronic health records’ or ‘EHRs’—either in the news or from people you know who work in the healthcare field. An electronic health record (EHR) (also electronic patient record (EPR) or computerized patient record) is defined as a systematic collection of electronic health information about individual patients or populations.1 It is a record in digital format that is capable of being shared across different health care settings, by being embedded in network-connected enterprise-wide information systems. Such records may include a whole range of information including age, gender, ethnicity, health history, medications and allergies, immunization status, lab test results, radiology images, and billing information.2 EHRs will soon be coming to a healthcare facility near you, if they haven’t already, and will allow your doctors and other providers to communicate essential information about your health more efficiently and more quickly.

State-based Occupational Safety and Health Surveillance

Categories: Policy and Programs

How did NIOSH and its partners find out that dusty work conditions were putting highway repair workers at risk for developing a potentially severe lung disease called silicosis? The answer: state-based occupational health surveillance. Occupational health surveillance, which is the tracking of occupational injuries, illnesses, hazards and exposures for the purposes of improving worker safety and health and monitoring trends and progress over time, plays a vital role in worker protection. Surveillance data are used by the safety and health community to inform real-world safety and health prevention efforts and focus resources to protect workers.

Prevention in Health Reform

Categories: Policy and Programs

President Obama signing the health insurance reform bill, March 23, 2010.

President Obama signing the health insurance reform bill, March 23, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Health reform or the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed by the House of Representatives on March 21, 2010, and signed by the President on March 23, 2010. While even the passive follower of health reform surely recognizes the historic nature of this event, many of the details are not well understood—specifically the prevention provisions in the bill and the implications for workplace safety and health. I have summarized a few of the prevention provisions below and some of the possible implications for occupational safety and health.

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