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A public health approach to preventing occupational diseases and injuries.
Weeks JL; Wagner GR; Rest KM; Levy BS
Preventing occupational disease and injury, second edition. Levy BS, Wagner GR, Rest KM, Weeks JL, eds. Washington, DC: American Public Health Association, 2005 Jan; :11-37
Each year in the United States, 5000 to 6000 workers die from acute traumatic occupational injuries. The same industries report the highest rates of fatal injury every year-underground mining, construction, agriculture-forestry-fishing, and transportation. The construction, manufacturing, and agriculture sectors report the highest rates of nonfatal injury. Consistently, the most common causes of occupational injuries are motor vehicle crashes (on and off the road), violent acts and homicide, and falls from heights. Strains and sprains are the most common types of reported injuries, with back injuries accounting for the most lost time. There is, in short, sufficient knowledge to anticipate the potential for and types of many fatal and nonfatal occupational injuries in order to direct preventive efforts. Similarly, the causes of, and methods to prevent, many occupational diseases are well known. The causes of some diseases, such as lead poisoning and silicosis, have been known since antiquity; successful prevention and control methods have been available for many decades. Dermatitis, musculoskeletal injuries, and noise-induced hearing loss continue to occur, despite many advances in our understanding of their causes and how to prevent them. With the development of more sophisticated means to measure exposures, identify subclinical effects, and process large amounts of information, more occupational causes of disease are being identified, including the occupation-attributable ,fraction of such common ailments as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and stress-related conditions. Work can be hazardous. More importantly, most hazards can be anticipated. Knowledge about hazards and the methods to control them exist in many places: the scientific literature, regulatory agencies, workers' compensation organizations, the collective experience of workers and their employers, insurance companies, industry and trade organizations, labor unions, health and safety professionals, and elsewhere. At times, this knowledge is acquired and applied only after injuries, illnesses, or even catastrophes have occurred.
Public-health; Occupational-health; Occupational-diseases; Preventive-medicine; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Underground-mining; Construction-industry; Agricultural-industry; Fishing-industry; Transportation-industry; Transportation; Motor-vehicles; Back-injuries; Lead-poisoning; Silicosis; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Respiratory-system-disorders; Heavy-metals; Dermatitis; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Cumulative-trauma-disorders; Cumulative-trauma; Ergonomics; Hearing-loss; Noise-induced-hearing-loss; Cancer; Cardiovascular-system-disorders; Cardiovascular-system-disease; Aerosols; Surveillance-programs; Medical-screening; Epidemiology; Exposure-assessment; Risk-analysis
Levy BS; Wagner GR; Rest KM; Weeks JL
Preventing occupational disease and injury, second edition
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division