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Survey of Washington's local health jurisdictions regarding occupational safety and health.

Jones-J; Bonauto-D
Olympia, WA: Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, 80-2-2003, 2003 Dec; :1-15
In Washington State most occupational safety and health activities originate from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I). Consultation and enforcement inspections for workplace safety and health issues are performed by Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act (WISHA) Services, a component of L&I. Additional, public health activities for occupational health and safety are conducted both through WISHA and the Washington State Safety and Health Assessment and Research for Prevention (SHARP) program. The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) traditionally handles a broad range of non-occupational public health activities including, but not limited to, assessment, program planning/implementation, education and policy on issues such as nonoccupational infectious disease outbreaks, environmental health, maternal and child health and investigation of cancer clusters. Public health activities are also performed by the 35 Washington State local health jurisdictions (LHJs), which are generally organized geographically by Washington counties. The primary areas of responsibility for LHJs, according to the DOH, are infectious diseases, environmental health and the registration of vital statistics in their jurisdictions. There is little mandate for LHJs to be involved in occupational health conditions. Although non-infectious diseases/conditions are the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in most communities, health officers generally have limited direct responsibilities in this area. This may relate, in part, to more limited health jurisdiction activities around non-infectious diseases/conditions, limited funding (with likely interruptions of support), and lack of statutory responsibilities for the health officer. Although occupational health and safety is not a primary responsibility of the LHJs, it is still related to public health and therefore the LHJs are likely to receive inquiries/complaints that need to be addressed. Relatively little is known regarding the occupational health inquiries received by Washington State LHJs and how they respond. In an attempt to define these inquiries and provide better support regarding the education of employers and workers on occupational health issues, the SHARP program surveyed the health officers at Washington's LHJs. The information gathered will be used to develop a resource list for LHJs to assist with occupational health issues.
Injuries; Injury-prevention; Workers; Work-environment; Humans; Men; Women; Surveillance-programs; Safety-measures; Health-programs; Public-health; Education; Diseases; Cancer; Morbidity-rates; Mortality-rates
SHARP Program, Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, PO Box 44330, Olympia, WA 98504-4330
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Survey of Washington's local health jurisdictions regarding occupational safety and health
Performing Organization
Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division