Category: Healthcare

AJPH Highlights Health Worker Mental Health

The American Journal of Public Health recently published a special supplement with 15 articles focusing on health worker mental health. This special issue of the journal was sponsored and edited by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and stems from the health worker mental health initiative from the Centers for Disease Control Read More >

Posted on by Thomas Cunningham, PhDLeave a comment

Want to Improve the Well-Being of Health Workers? The System Itself Must Change

  The pandemic has brought attention to the safety, health, and well-being of workers in healthcare. Recent efforts to address these issues include, the Office of the Surgeon General’s Addressing Health Worker Burnout,(1) an “Advisory on Building a Thriving Health Workforce,” from the National Academy of Medicine’s National Plan for Healthcare Workforce Wellbeing (2) and Read More >

Posted on by Michael R Privitera, MD, MS; Chia-Chia Chang, MPH, MBA; L. Casey Chosewood, MD, MPH3 Comments

Bloodborne Pathogen Exposures Continue in Operating Room Settings

Despite legislation and improved technology, data from Massachusetts hospitals show that sharps injuries have increased in the operating room (OR) [1]. These injuries place healthcare workers at risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens (BBPs). There is an urgent need to renew efforts to protect healthcare workers inside the operating room. The Massachusetts data highlight a gap Read More >

Posted on by Ahmed Gomaa, MD, ScD, MSPH; Sarah Hughes, MPH; Sue Afanuh, MA; and Amy Mobley, MEnLeave a comment

Safety Culture in Healthcare Settings

  As of 2019, more than 18 million people, 11.5 % of the United States workforce, were employed in healthcare settings. Everyday healthcare workers face hazardous work conditions due to exposures to infectious agents and hazardous drugs and chemicals. Examples include: Influenza Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) Mycobacterium tuberculosis Antineoplastic agents Surgical smoke Disinfectants Physical Read More >

Posted on by Bonnie Rogers, DrPH, and David Weissman, MD7 Comments

Workplace Safety and Health in a Barbie World

As the occupational safety and health community continues to combat very real and serious hazards, we are closing out the summer with a little fun. This summer Barbie and friends have recaptured national attention breaking box office records with movie ticket sales exceeding one billion dollars in just a few weeks. While Barbie’s first “job” Read More >

Posted on by Stephen Leonard, Julie Tisdale-Pardi, Tanya Headley3 Comments

Working Hours and Fatigue: Meeting the Needs of American Workers and Employers

In November 2022, the American Journal of Industrial Medicine (AJIM) published a special issue focusing on work-related fatigue. The issue explores factors that may increase work-related fatigue and actions to reduce work-related injuries and illnesses. [1] This issue is a result of discussions and collaborations from the 2019 NIOSH Working Hours, Sleep and Fatigue Forum Read More >

Posted on by Grace Vixama, MPH; Imelda Wong, PhD; and Naomi Swanson, PhD1 Comment

Critical Steps Your Workplace Can Take Today to Prevent Suicide

  Employers can play a vital role in suicide prevention. Historically, suicide, mental health, and well-being have been underrepresented in workplace health and safety efforts, but this is changing. In some European countries, there are workplace standards for workplace psychosocial hazards that put workers at risk for suicide. Additionally, in France, employers have been made Read More >

Posted on by Hope M. Tiesman, PhD; Jodi Frey, PhD, LCSW-C, CEAP; and Sally Spencer-Thomas, PsyDLeave a comment

Violence Against Public Health Workers

  Many workers who were on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic experienced increased physical and mental stress. One study found that 70% of U.S. workers felt more stressed at work during COVID-19 than at any other point in their professional careers [1]. Public health workers, including epidemiologists, contact tracers, laboratory scientists, community health workers, Read More >

Posted on by Hope M. Tiesman, PhD; Scott A. Hendricks, MS; Douglas M. Wiegand, PhD; Barbara Lopes-Cardozo, MD; Carol Y. Rao, ScD; Libby Horter, MPH; Ramona Byrkit, MPH; and Charles E. Rose, PhD.1 Comment

Pre-pandemic Mental Health and Well-being of Healthcare Workers

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare workers faced substantial work-related stress. Most research on the mental health and well-being of healthcare workers has focused on physicians and nurses, with less attention paid to other healthcare occupations. Recent research from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) evaluated the pre-pandemic mental health and well-being Read More >

Posted on by Sharon Silver, MS; Jia Li, MS; Suzanne Marsh, MPA; and Eric Carbone, PhD6 Comments

Demonstrating the Ability to Protect Healthcare Personnel from COVID-19 in High-Risk Settings

This content can also be found on CDC’s Safe Healthcare Blog. The COVID-19 pandemic brought about stresses to the U.S. healthcare workforce never seen before. Since early in the pandemic, reports have abounded of healthcare personnel (HCP) being infected, sometimes resulting in severe outcomes and death. As of July 20, 2022, there have been nearly 1 Read More >

Posted on by L. Clifford McDonald, MD, and David Weissman, MD2 Comments

Health Worker Mental Health Initiative

A new Surgeon General’s Advisory highlights the urgent need to address the health worker burnout crisis across the country. Workers providing health services face many on-the-job challenges that can lead to work-related stress. For many of the 20 million health workers in the U.S., the COVID-19 pandemic has led to new and worsening mental health Read More >

Posted on by Tom Cunningham, PhD; L. Casey Chosewood, MD, MPH; and Jennifer Tyrawski, PhD1 Comment

Suicide Prevention for Healthcare Workers

Some occupations are known to have higher rates of suicide than others (see related blogs). Job factors – such as low job security, low pay, and job stress – can contribute to risk of suicide, as can easy access to lethal means among people at risk—such as medications or firearms. Other factors that can influence the link between occupation and suicide include gender, socioeconomic status, the economy, cultural factors, and stigma. Read More >

Posted on by Hope Tiesman, PhD; David Weissman, MD; Deborah Stone, ScD, MSW, MPH; Kristen Quinlan, PhD; and L. Casey Chosewood, MD, MPH3 Comments

Home Healthcare Workers: A Growing and Diverse Workforce at High Risk for Workplace Violence

  Home healthcare workers provide healthcare services to millions of Americans who need assistance at home. Home healthcare workers work closely with patients and often are in close contact with the public while they provide healthcare services to patients. Both situations can pose increased risks for exposure to workplace violence [1],[2]. The issue of violence Read More >

Posted on by Tamara Felice Small, PhD; Susan Goodwin Gerberich, PhD, MSPH; Anthony Oliveri, PhD, MPH, CIH, CSP; Christina Socias-Morales, DrPH; Dawn Castillo; and Richard Olawoyin, PhD, CSP12 Comments

Preventing Needlestick Injuries at COVID–19 Vaccination Sites

The need to administer large numbers of COVID–19 vaccines means work conditions may be dramatically different from the traditional setting. Administering vaccines to a large number of people in a variety of settings may increase the risk for needlestick injuries among vaccinators and other vaccination site workers. Needlestick injuries have the potential to transmit bloodborne pathogens (BBP), like hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This blog recommends safety measures to reduce needlestick injuries and exposures to bloodborne pathogens. Read More >

Posted on by Ahmed Gomaa, L. Casey Chosewood, Marie Haring Sweeney, Susan Afanuh, Sarah Hughes, Adam Hornbeck, and Amy Mobley12 Comments

Advancements in Elastomeric Respirator Technology for Use as Source Control

Respirator design is constantly improving and evolving to meet new challenges. Manufacturers have recently developed innovative NIOSH-approved elastomeric half mask respirator (EHMR) designs that both protect the wearer as well as provide adequate source control – protecting others by filtering the wearer’s exhaled air that may contain harmful viruses or bacteria. EHMRs are being used more Read More >

Posted on by Rohan Fernando, M.S; Jeffrey Peterson; and Lee Portnoff, M.S11 Comments

Lighting Interventions to Reduce Circadian Disruption in Rotating Shift Workers

  Shift work has been linked to poor sleep, chronic metabolic disorders (e.g., cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity), several forms of cancer [1-3], depression, and elevated risk for the occurrence of accidents. These risks are especially acute for those who work rotating shifts that involve working through the night [4-8], as sometimes occur in hospitals. Read More >

Posted on by Mariana G. Figueiro, PhD, and David PedlerLeave a comment

Celebrating Nurses

Could there be a more fitting year to honor nurses?  As 2020 comes to a close, so does our blog series celebrating the Year of the Nurse.  The COVID-19 pandemic has tested our healthcare system and, in some cases, pushed it to the brink. Nurses and other healthcare professionals are working tirelessly and sacrificing much Read More >

Posted on by John Howard, MD6 Comments

Preventing Needlesticks and Sharps Injuries: Reflecting on the 20th Anniversary of the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act

November marked the 20th anniversary of the passage of the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act (PL 106-430) into law. The act required that OSHA amend its Bloodborne Pathogens Standard to include additional protections for workers to prevent occupational exposures to blood and body fluids. This included: new requirements for the evaluation and use of engineering Read More >

Posted on by Amber Hogan Mitchell, DrPH, MPH, CPH9 Comments

Can Exoskeletons Reduce Musculoskeletal Disorders in Healthcare Workers?

Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) remain a major concern for workers in the healthcare industry. Healthcare workers are at high risk of work-related MSDs mainly caused by overexertion from lifting and moving patients (i.e., patient handling). Wearable robots—exoskeletons or exosuits—may be a useful tool to help reduce risk of MSDs during patient handling. Background Based on the Read More >

Posted on by Liying Zheng, PhD3 Comments

The Unique Occupational Environment of the Home Healthcare Worker

Patient care is expanding beyond the walls of healthcare organizations. Improvements in technology, progression of disease management, and a growing number of persons seeking care within their homes are driving the growth of the home healthcare industry. Home healthcare workers (HHCWs) are a vital part of the rapidly growing industry and their work environment and Read More >

Posted on by Elizabeth Bien, PhD, MSN, RN, and Ron Smith, AIA, ACHA, ACHE, LEED AP8 Comments