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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

World Tuberculosis Day calls attention to threat of workplace contagion

March 23, 2014 - Posted by Langdon Dement

March 24, 2014 is World Tuberculosis Day. The slogan this year is “Reach the 3 million.”

Every year, approximately 9 million people are afflicted by this infectious disease. Of those, 3 million are “missed” by health systems. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 450,000 people were infected with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in 2012.

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

Examiner bulk reporting capability will help expedite commercial driver certificates

February 12, 2014 - Posted by Karen O'Hara

The countdown to enforcement of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) new commercial driver medical examiner program continues. The day of reckoning is May 21.

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Topics: occupational health, healthcare, industrial, driver safety, employee health, transportation

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

Workers’ compensation case trackers – your guides to return to work

December 06, 2013 - Posted by Karen O'Hara

The way workers’ compensation cases are tracked from admission to discharge can be a differentiator when an employer is selecting an occupational medicine provider to become its partner in the management of workforce health and well-being.

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Topics: occupational health, return to work, employee health, occupational safety, absenteeism, human resources

Overcoming the odds in workers’ compensation medical management

November 26, 2013 - Posted by Karen.Wolfe

The major league baseball success story, Moneyball, describes “sabermetrics” – the quest for objective knowledge about the game.

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Topics: compliance, occupational health, employee health, illness prevention, presenteeism

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

Recruiting the next generation of occupational safety and health workers

November 07, 2013 - Posted by Katherine Kirkland

In 2011, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) released a report assessing the nation’s need for occupational safety and health services. The report found the “future national demand for occupational safety and health services will significantly outstrip the number of professionals with the necessary training, education and experience to provide such services.”

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Topics: occupational health, employee health, occupational safety, absenteeism, utilities