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Inputs: Emerging Issues

Infectious disease such as Avian influenza and SARS may place workers in the hospitality industry at risk as they make contact with travelers and their discarded materials.

Needle stick injuries are increasing outside medical clinics and hospitals. More and more patients are injecting medications for diabetes, arthritis and other common ailments at home. Needles from illicit drug use also get placed in domestic solid waste. Workers in waste handling, hospitality, and housekeeping experience increased injury and infection risks as they handle contaminated discarded needles.

Wireless technology is changing the locations where work can be completed especially for information industries. Miniaturization of some electronic devices may result in increased musculoskeletal disorders and in hearing loss with long-term use.

Ergonomic interventions have reduced muscle strain from lifting but have increased the loads that are pushed or pulled by workers. These new job demands may have long-term health risks that have yet to be recognized.

Violence is an increasing risk for many in the service sector, especially those in public safety and food and alcohol service.

Work Organization changes have led to increasing responsibilities with less control over work factors in many industries and jobs. Increased reliance on electronic measures has created productivity pressures on workers in the information sector.

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