Reducing risks from toxic exposures, among NIOSH goals for 21st century
Speaking at a recent celebration for Workers' Memorial Day, Dr. John Howard outlined the challenges and opportunities facing NIOSH.
Workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths cost the U.S. economy an estimated $250 billion annually, according to a study cited by the head of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Despite great strides made in the last hundred years, he said more must be done, including:
- Eliminating the legacy occupational hazards of the 20th century, including traumatic physical injuries and serious health impairments caused by exposures to harmful dusts, fumes, and chemicals.
- Incorporating appropriate health and safety controls as new industries emerge and as new technologies are introduced into the workplace, which Howard called a critical strategy for remaining strong and competitive in the global market.
- Anticipating and addressing the health and safety implications associated with dramatic changes in the nature of work and the increasing diversity of the U.S. workforce in today's economy.
- Strengthening the safety and security of the workforce against the threats of injury, illness, and death in large-scale emergencies, whether natural in origin or the result of human action.
- Furthering a culture in which occupational safety and health is recognized and valued as a fundamental component of economic growth and prosperity.
"We fall far short of success as long as the cost of any job is an injury, illness, or death that results in physical, financial, or emotional hardship for a worker or a worker's family," Howard said.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
June 21, 2012
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