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Knowledge at Work - UL Workplace Health & Safety

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Occupational Health

A Dedicated Occupational Health EMR System Supports Safer, Healthier Workplaces

May 27, 2014 - Posted by Karen O'Hara

An electronic medical record (EMR) system that is maintained separately from an enterprise-wide EMR is a key contributor to an occupational health program’s success.

Having invested in a global EMR system, hospitals and clinic networks understandably want to maximize the system’s capabilities. However, large-scale inpatient and ambulatory care EMR systems are not designed to manage the specific clinical, legal and financial aspects of occupational health as a business enterprise.

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Topics: occupational health, employee health, workplace wellness, EMR

The Importance of Medical Surveillance in the Workplace

May 15, 2014 - Posted by Dr. Richard Lewis

The term surveillance generally refers to “keeping a watchful eye over someone or something.” In the workplace, surveillance programs have been used to screen individuals for potential over-exposures (such as to lead) or disease development (such as asbestosis). In a more broad sense, programs can be used to observe the health of populations for the development of work-related problems such as hearing loss from noise exposure or allergic reactions from dusts or dander. The keys to success and effectiveness of these types of programs are to identify problems early and take appropriate corrective actions.

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Topics: employee health, illness prevention, workplace wellness, medical surveillance

Successful Return to Work Programs Focus on Positive Recovery Expectations

May 02, 2014 - Posted by Susan Isernhagen

An injured employee’s attitude that they will return to work safely has a lot more to do with expectations than the nature of the injury. People who are empowered by their caregivers to get better are much more likely to return to full function.

The longer a case takes to resolve, the greater the likelihood of “doctor shopping,” litigation, extended treatment duration and needless disability.

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Topics: return to work, employee health, absenteeism, workplace wellness

Coping with mental fatigue myths and realities in the workplace

January 30, 2014 - Posted by Dr. James C. Miller

The American comedian Ron White says, "You can't fix stupid!" However, in the workplace you can prevent some of the stupidity caused by mental fatigue.

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Topics: occupational health, Featured, industrial, employee health, occupational safety, injury prevention, illness prevention, worker fatigue, workforce, risk management, employees, human resources, workplace wellness, construction

Industries grapple with business necessity of employee flu vaccination

November 19, 2013 - Posted by Karen O'Hara

In a recent post, I discussed the rights of healthcare organizations to mandate flu vaccinations and for employees to decline them. Other types of industries are also wrestling with this issue. Many employers have business needs, worker protection and public health concerns that may justify a flu vaccine policy.

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Topics: compliance, occupational health, employee health, illness prevention, absenteeism, employees, workplace wellness

Controlling the spread of infectious diseases in the workplace

September 23, 2013 - Posted by Langdon Dement

Infectious disease risks often pose a serious problem in the workplace. From the seasonal flu to respiratory diseases, a plethora of infectious diseases is responsible for worker illnesses, and in worse-case scenarios, death.

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Topics: wellness, occupational health, Featured, employee health, OHS, illness prevention, worker fatigue, bloodborne pathogens, absenteeism, workplace wellness, OSHA recordkeeping

Occupational health nursing beyond nursing – why strategic thinking is so important

August 19, 2013 - Posted by Cathy Loiselle

The workplace presents an opportunity for nurses to use strategic thinking and apply critical reasoning in support of clinical excellence and business objectives. I call this opportunity “nursing beyond nursing.”

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Topics: occupational health, healthcare, employee health, illness prevention, workplace wellness

MERS-CoV: The growing importance of employee infection control programs

August 07, 2013 - Posted by Langdon Dement

As more companies send employees on global travel, it's important for safety and health managers to have a proper infection control system. If an employee contracts an infectious disease, the possibility of spreading it throughout the company could develop into a serious problem for the employer.

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Topics: wellness, occupational health, healthcare, employee health, illness prevention, bloodborne pathogens, absenteeism, human resources, workplace wellness

Empowered employees are happier, healthier

July 09, 2013 - Posted by Karen O'Hara

Books, articles and commentaries abound on the value of empowering people to take a more active role in managing their own health.

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Topics: occupational health, employee health, illness prevention, employees, workplace wellness

New workplace wellness rules are all about rewards

June 04, 2013 - Posted by Karen O'Hara

Kudos to employers who offer employees health promotion programs, even when they are preaching to the choir or their message is falling on deaf ears. They believe in the value of prevention.

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Topics: occupational health, employee health, employees, workplace wellness