Essay: Health and safety in the workplace

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Accidents and mishaps are unforeseen circumstances that can affect individuals and groups at any time and in any place. Most accidents are preventable, but the carelessness or negligence of the involved individuals leads to major injuries and grievances. Accidents can also occur in the workplace and seriously affect the ability and health of the involved workers.

The objectives of this essay to discuss the safety and wellbeing of all workers are necessary for the organization not only for consistent productivity but also due to regulatory requirements. Workers and human resources are the necessary components of all organizations due to their role in the effective accomplishment of objectives. Corporations cannot achieve long-term success and sustainable growth in the absence of motivated, safe, healthy, and effective workers. The health and safety of all workers are necessary to ensure the enhancement of productivity and efficiency at all levels and areas. Lack of safety measures can create havoc for the organization and negatively affect the working criterion of an organization. The management has to devise and implement effective safety procedures to reduce hazards and prevent accidents in the workplace. The can motivate the employees through this perspective as employees admire working in organizations that prefer safe working conditions. Employees believe that safer working conditions enhance their ability work because they do not feel scared in troublesome situations. The management should coordinate with all the related stakeholders when they devise policies about safety at workplace, as this would enhance a positive change in an organization. Different legislations also depict that organizations should focus on these perspectives and they should attain self-sufficiency in providing workplace safety.


Corporations in the current era focus on the development of employees and they believed in the ideology of benefiting employees through different approaches. Safety at the work force is an important aspect that many organizations of today’s world disregard. Many people face mishaps and accidents in various situations especially due to negligence, recklessness, and carelessness. Many accidents and serious injuries are avoidable and preventable by taking effective safety measures and reducing hazards. For example, drivers and passengers can avoid serious injuries and death by wearing seatbelts while traveling in cars. However, many people fail to realize the importance of seatbelts and face a variety of consequences in the event of an accident. Mishaps and accidents are unforeseen occurrences that can lead to several adverse consequences in the absence of effective safety measures and precautions. Accidents, disasters, and mishaps can also occur in the workplace and affect several employees in the absence of precautions and safety procedures. Certain mediocre organizations do not regard this aspect as important and they do not focus on safety at the workplace. The owners and management of the organization need to implement rules, regulations, procedures, and systems relevant to safety and health. The management also needs to ensure that all workers have ample knowledge and information regarding safety procedures, prevention of accidents, and safe working practices.

Human resources

Human resources are one of the most important assets of the organization with respect to success and growth. The success and growth of the organization depend on the effectiveness and efficiency of the human resources. However, the inefficiencies in human resources caused by any circumstances, occurrences, and events can hinder the accomplishments of the organization. Organizations take all necessary measures to ensure the productivity of all workers and employees to maximize profits and achieve organizational objectives (Blair, 2013). The wellbeing, safety, and health of all employees are among the highest priorities of all organizations. Organizations cannot take risk for their respective employees because an occurrence of a negative event would tarnish the credibility of an organization. Safe and healthy workers are more productive as compared to injured or sick employees. Employees that cannot work in safe conditions feel suffocated because of the risks associated with their respective work. Risks and hazards associated with a specific job or organization adversely affect the morale and motivation level of employees. The unsafe or hazardous working conditions have several long-term psychological and physiological consequences for the workers and the organizations. When a negative event occurs in an organization, it sets up the mindset of an employee. Employees would feel that this event would occur again and this would create hurdles in their effective working process. Organizations need to create a safe and healthy working environment for all workers to ensure high levels of motivation and enhancement in efficiency (Stricoff & Groover, 2012).

Safety at Workplace

Workplace safety refers to the prevention of illness, injury, and hazards in the workplace for all employees. Workplace safety involves the creation of a safe and healthy environment for all workers to evade hazards, injuries, and illnesses. Organizations can ensure the efficiency of all workers and circumvent a considerable amount of costs by ensuring workplace safety and health. Organizations develop different strategies through which they set up different work place safety policies and benefit the workers through this. Workplace injuries and illnesses lead to compensation benefits, health insurance costs, hiring temporary replacements, lost work hours, and lawsuits. Lack of concentration would cost severe damage to an organization and they should sort such issues in order to attain proactive benefits. Business can save a considerable amount of costs by creating and maintaining a safe and healthy environment for all workers. Safeguarding the interests and wellbeing of the employees allows organizations to circumvent costs relevant to injuries and illnesses (Legg, Laird, Olsen, & Hasle, 2014). On the other hand, workplace safety instills a sense of commitment and dedication among the employees due to the safety assurance of the organization. The morale and motivation of the workers increase due to the implementation of rules that safeguard the health and interest of the employees. Employees feel that they are safe to work in this place, and through this perspective, they would perform well.

Purpose of Workplace safety

The primary objective of safety in the workplace is to create a safe, healthy, and risk-free environment for all workers. Workplace safety involves the evaluation, analysis, prevention, and elimination of hazardous and dangerous elements from the workplace. Workplace safety programs evaluate and remove the risks and hazards relevant to the safety, well-being, and health of workers and other relevant individuals. Organizations develop health and safety standards due to several reasons including laws, regulatory requirements, organizational policies, and historical occurrences. Certain industries and their associations bind organizations to work for the benefit of their employees and they force organizations to focus on different safety related perspectives. Workplace injuries and illnesses caused by working conditions or environment can lead to lawsuits, high costs, and deterioration of the corporate image. There are instances when employees at times die because of sever working conditions. Employees might got injured because of certain safety and the lack of safety would be the only probable reason of this. Enhanced safety measures and appropriate quality of these measures can reduce this perspective to a considerable level.

Safety at the workplace enables organizations to comply with regulatory requirements and prevent high costs resulting from injuries and illnesses. Several corporations can consider the fact that these safety measures would save their health and medicinal costs that would arise when an employees would hurt him. They should take proactive measures earlier through which people can benefit from these perspectives. The management can maintain high levels of productivity and efficiency by creating a safe and healthy working environment. Conversely, the employees work with dedication due to their perceptions regarding the commitment of the organization with respect to the wellbeing of the workers.

Importance of safety at workplace

Legislative and legal requirements are the most prominent cause of health and safety policies in most organizations. The Occupational and Safety Health Act is the primary law for the assurance of health and safety of all workers throughout the United States. The Occupational and Safety Health Act (OSHA) necessitates the dissemination of standards, rules, and regulations relevant to the safety and health of workers. The government establishes and enforces the standards for the safety and health of all workers and their families through the Act. All public and private organizations have to comply with the rules, regulations, and standards prescribed in OSHA (Jung & Makowsky, 2014). They would face legal complications if they do not comply with such policies and measures taken by the decision makers. However, many organizations develop and implement health and safety procedures to safeguard their interests relevant to organizational objectives rather than legal requirements. The financial and moral aspects of workers’ health and safety have a greater influence as compared to regulatory compliance. Corporations can save considerable costs by avoiding high insurance expenses, lawsuits, and employee replacement costs in the event of injuries and illnesses (Barling & Frone, 2003).

Manpower and Management

The primary objective of all managers is to enhance and promote productivity and efficiency in all areas and functions. However, the managers cannot uphold efficiency and effectiveness in the absence of a safe workplace. The managers need to create a safe working environment and increase the awareness and knowledge of all employees with respect to safe working practices. The employees and workers also need to understand the importance of workplace safety and reduce personal injury through attentiveness and removal of hazards. These safety hazards are negative for the effectiveness of organizations and create a long-term negative impact. The attitude of the employees, management, and employers plays a vital role in preventing accidents and creating a safe working environment. The negligence on the part of the employers and employees can cause a variety of hazards and accidents (Rahim, Ng, Biggs, & Boots, 2014). However, the diligence and commitment of all stakeholders regarding safe work practices leads to the prevention of major accidents and injuries. The employees and management can create a safe workplace through a shared responsibility model for workplace safety and cooperation. Organizations should own this perspective and they should realize the fact that it is their managerial responsibility to focus on this perspective so that employees can remain safe.

Conclusively, a safety plan is necessary and it comprises of certain steps that would develop a safer workplace. Organizations should make sure that everyone else in the workplace is aware of the core problem. People should notify their respective supervisors and they should file any reports if there is a problem. An important aspect is that people should realize that there is a problem as sitting back and holding the problem for a long time would not solve the problem.

Barling, J., & Frone, M. (2003). The Psychology of Workplace Safety. New Jersey: Amer Psychological Assn. Blair, E. H. (2013). Building safety culture. Professional Safety , 58 (11), 59-65. Cobb, E. (2013). Bullying, Violence, Harassment, Discrimination and Stress: Emerging Workplace Health and Safety Issues. New Jersey: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. Jung, J., & Makowsky, M. D. (2014). The determinants of federal and state enforcement of workplace safety regulations: OSHA inspections 1990’2010. Journal of Regulatory Economics , 45 (1), 1-33. Legg, S., Laird, I., Olsen, K., & Hasle, P. (2014). Creating healthy work in small enterprises – from understanding to action: Summary of current knowledge. Small Enterprise Research , 21 (2), 139-147. Mathis, T., & Galloway, S. (2013). Steps to Safety Culture Excellence. New Jersey: Wiley. Rahim, A. N., Ng, H. K., Biggs, D., & Boots, K. (2014). Perceptions of safety, physical working conditions and stress between Malaysia and United Kingdom. International Journal of Business & Society , 15 (2), 321-338. Stricoff, R., & Groover, D. (2012). The Manager’s Guide to Workplace Safety. New York : Safety in Action Press.

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National Academies Press: OpenBook

Health Care Comes Home: The Human Factors (2011)

Chapter: 7 conclusions and recommendations.

7 Conclusions and Recommendations

Health care is moving into the home increasingly often and involving a mixture of people, a variety of tasks, and a broad diversity of devices and technologies; it is also occurring in a range of residential environments. The factors driving this migration include the rising costs of providing health care; the growing numbers of older adults; the increasing prevalence of chronic disease; improved survival rates of various diseases, injuries, and other conditions (including those of fragile newborns); large numbers of veterans returning from war with serious injuries; and a wide range of technological innovations. The health care that results varies considerably in its safety, effectiveness, and efficiency, as well as its quality and cost.

The committee was charged with examining this major trend in health care delivery and resulting challenges from only one of many perspectives: the study of human factors. From the outset it was clear that the dramatic and evolving change in health care practice and policies presents a broad array of opportunities and problems. Consequently the committee endeavored to maintain focus specifically on how using the human factors approach can provide solutions that support maximizing the safety and quality of health care delivered in the home while empowering both care recipients and caregivers in the effort.

The conclusions and recommendations presented below reflect the most critical steps that the committee thinks should be taken to improve the state of health care in the home, based on the literature reviewed in this report examined through a human factors lens. They are organized into four areas: (1) health care technologies, including medical devices and health information technologies involved in health care in the home; (2)

caregivers and care recipients; (3) residential environments for health care; and (4) knowledge gaps that require additional research and development. Although many issues related to home health care could not be addressed, applications of human factors principles, knowledge, and research methods in these areas could make home health care safer and more effective and also contribute to reducing costs. The committee chose not to prioritize the recommendations, as they focus on various aspects of health care in the home and are of comparable importance to the different constituencies affected.


Health care technologies include medical devices that are used in the home as well as information technologies related to home-based health care. The four recommendations in this area concern (1) regulating technologies for health care consumers, (2) developing guidance on the structure and usability of health information technologies, (3) developing guidance and standards for medical device labeling, and (4) improving adverse event reporting systems for medical devices. The adoption of these recommendations would improve the usability and effectiveness of technology systems and devices, support users in understanding and learning to use them, and improve feedback to government and industry that could be used to further improve technology for home care.

Ensuring the safety of emerging technologies is a challenge, in part because it is not always clear which federal agency has regulatory authority and what regulations must be met. Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has responsibility for devices, and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has similar authority with respect to health information technology. However, the dividing line between medical devices and health information technology is blurring, and many new systems and applications are being developed that are a combination of the two, although regulatory oversight has remained divided. Because regulatory responsibility for them is unclear, these products may fall into the gap.

The committee did not find a preponderance of evidence that knowledge is lacking for the design of safe and effective devices and technologies for use in the home. Rather than discovering an inadequate evidence base, we were troubled by the insufficient attention directed at the development of devices that account, necessarily and properly, for users who are inadequately trained or not trained at all. Yet these new users often must

rely on equipment without ready knowledge about limitations, maintenance requirements, and problems with adaptation to their particular home settings.

The increased prominence of the use of technology in the health care arena poses predictable challenges for many lay users, especially people with low health literacy, cognitive impairment, or limited technology experience. For example, remote health care management may be more effective when it is supported by technology, and various electronic health care (“e-health”) applications have been developed for this purpose. With the spectrum of caregivers ranging from individuals caring for themselves or other family members to highly experienced professional caregivers, computer-based care management systems could offer varying levels of guidance, reminding, and alerting, depending on the sophistication of the operator and the criticality of the message. However, if these technologies or applications are difficult to understand or use, they may be ignored or misused, with potentially deleterious effects on care recipient health and safety. Applying existing accessibility and usability guidelines and employing user-centered design and validation methods in the development of health technology products designed for use in the home would help ensure that they are safe and effective for their targeted user populations. In this effort, it is important to recognize how the line between medical devices and health information technologies has become blurred while regulatory oversight has remained distinct, and it is not always clear into which domain a product falls.

Recommendation 1. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology should collaborate to regulate, certify, and monitor health care applications and systems that integrate medical devices and health information technologies. As part of the certification process, the agencies should require evidence that manufacturers have followed existing accessibility and usability guidelines and have applied user-centered design and validation methods during development of the product.

Guidance and Standards

Developers of information technologies related to home-based health care, as yet, have inadequate or incomplete guidance regarding product content, structure, accessibility, and usability to inform innovation or evolution of personal health records or of care recipient access to information in electronic health records.

The ONC, in the initial announcement of its health information technology certification program, stated that requirements would be forthcom-

ing with respect both to personal health records and to care recipient access to information in electronic health records (e.g., patient portals). Despite the importance of these requirements, there is still no guidance on the content of information that should be provided to patients or minimum standards for accessibility, functionality, and usability of that information in electronic or nonelectronic formats.

Consequently, some portals have been constructed based on the continuity of care record. However, recent research has shown that records and portals based on this model are neither understandable nor interpretable by laypersons, even by those with a college education. The lack of guidance in this area makes it difficult for developers of personal health records and patient portals to design systems that fully address the needs of consumers.

Recommendation 2. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, in collaboration with the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, should establish design guidelines and standards, based on existing accessibility and usability guidelines, for content, accessibility, functionality, and usability of consumer health information technologies related to home-based health care.

The committee found a serious lack of adequate standards and guidance for the labeling of medical devices. Furthermore, we found that the approval processes of the FDA for changing these materials are burdensome and inflexible.

Just as many medical devices currently in use by laypersons in the home were originally designed and approved for use only by professionals in formal health care facilities, the instructions for use and training materials were not designed for lay users, either. The committee recognizes that lack of instructional materials for lay users adds to the level of risk involved when devices are used by populations for whom they were not intended.

Ironically, the FDA’s current premarket review and approval processes inadvertently discourage manufacturers from selectively revising or developing supplemental instructional and training materials, when they become aware that instructional and training materials need to be developed or revised for lay users of devices already approved and marketed. Changing the instructions for use (which were approved with the device) requires manufacturers to submit the device along with revised instructions to the FDA for another 510(k) premarket notification review. Since manufacturers can find these reviews complicated, time-consuming, and expensive, this requirement serves as a disincentive to appropriate revisions of instructional or training materials.

Furthermore, little guidance is currently available on design of user

training methods and materials for medical devices. Even the recently released human factors standard on medical device design (Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation, 2009), while reasonably comprehensive, does not cover the topic of training or training materials. Both FDA guidance and existing standards that do specifically address the design of labeling and ensuing instructions for use fail to account for up-to-date findings from research on instructional systems design. In addition, despite recognition that requirements for user training, training materials, and instructions for use are different for lay and professional users of medical equipment, these differences are not reflected in current standards.

Recommendation 3. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should promote development (by standards development organizations, such as the International Electrotechnical Commission, the International Organization for Standardization, the American National Standards Institute, and the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation) of new standards based on the most recent human factors research for the labeling of and ensuing instructional materials for medical devices designed for home use by lay users. The FDA should also tailor and streamline its approval processes to facilitate and encourage regular improvements of these materials by manufacturers.

Adverse Event Reporting Systems

The committee notes that the FDA’s adverse event reporting systems, used to report problems with medical devices, are not user-friendly, especially for lay users, who generally are not aware of the systems, unaware that they can use them to report problems, and uneducated about how to do so. In order to promote safe use of medical devices in the home and rectify design problems that put care recipients at risk, it is necessary that the FDA conduct more effective postmarket surveillance of medical devices to complement its premarket approval process. The most important elements of their primarily passive surveillance system are the current adverse event reporting mechanisms, including Maude and MedSun. Entry of incident data by health care providers and consumers is not straightforward, and the system does not elicit data that could be useful to designers as they develop updated versions of products or new ones that are similar to existing devices. The reporting systems and their importance need to be widely promoted to a broad range of users, especially lay users.

Recommendation 4. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration should improve its adverse event reporting systems to be easier to use, to collect data that are more useful for identifying the root causes of events

related to interactions with the device operator, and to develop and promote a more convenient way for lay users as well as professionals to report problems with medical devices.


Health care is provided in the home by formal caregivers (health care professionals), informal caregivers (family and friends), and individuals who self-administer care; each type of caregiver faces unique issues. Properly preparing individuals to provide care at home depends on targeting efforts appropriately to the background, experience, and knowledge of the caregivers. To date, however, home health care services suffer from being organized primarily around regulations and payments designed for inpatient or outpatient acute care settings. Little attention has been given to how different the roles are for formal caregivers when delivering services in the home or to the specific types of training necessary for appropriate, high-quality practice in this environment.

Health care administration in the home commonly involves interaction among formal caregivers and informal caregivers who share daily responsibility for a person receiving care. But few formal caregivers are given adequate training on how to work with informal caregivers and involve them effectively in health decision making, use of medical or adaptive technologies, or best practices to be used for evaluating and supporting the needs of caregivers.

It is also important to recognize that the majority of long-term care provided to older adults and individuals with disabilities relies on family members, friends, or the individual alone. Many informal caregivers take on these responsibilities without necessary education or support. These individuals may be poorly prepared and emotionally overwhelmed and, as a result, experience stress and burden that can lead to their own morbidity. The committee is aware that informational and training materials and tested programs already exist to assist informal caregivers in understanding the many details of providing health care in the home and to ease their burden and enhance the quality of life of both caregiver and care recipient. However, tested materials and education, support, and skill enhancement programs have not been adequately disseminated or integrated into standard care practices.

Recommendation 5. Relevant professional practice and advocacy groups should develop appropriate certification, credentialing, and/or training standards that will prepare formal caregivers to provide care in the home, develop appropriate informational and training materials

for informal caregivers, and provide guidance for all caregivers to work effectively with other people involved.


Health care is administered in a variety of nonclinical environments, but the most common one, particularly for individuals who need the greatest level and intensity of health care services, is the home. The two recommendations in this area encourage (1) modifications to existing housing and (2) accessible and universal design of new housing. The implementation of these recommendations would be a good start on an effort to improve the safety and ease of practicing health care in the home. It could improve the health and safety of many care recipients and their caregivers and could facilitate adherence to good health maintenance and treatment practices. Ideally, improvements to housing design would take place in the context of communities that provide transportation, social networking and exercise opportunities, and access to health care and other services.

Safety and Modification of Existing Housing

The committee found poor appreciation of the importance of modifying homes to remove health hazards and barriers to self-management and health care practice and, furthermore, that financial support from federal assistance agencies for home modifications is very limited. The general connection between housing characteristics and health is well established. For example, improving housing conditions to enhance basic sanitation has long been part of a public health response to acute illness. But the characteristics of the home can present significant barriers to autonomy or self-care management and present risk factors for poor health, injury, compromised well-being, and greater dependence on others. Conversely, physical characteristics of homes can enhance resident safety and ability to participate in daily self-care and to utilize effectively health care technologies that are designed to enhance health and well-being.

Home modifications based on professional home assessments can increase functioning, contribute to reducing accidents such as falls, assist caregivers, and enable chronically ill persons and people with disabilities to stay in the community. Such changes are also associated with facilitating hospital discharges, decreasing readmissions, reducing hazards in the home, and improving care coordination. Familiar modifications include installation of such items as grab bars, handrails, stair lifts, increased lighting, and health monitoring equipment as well as reduction of such hazards as broken fixtures and others caused by insufficient home maintenance.

Deciding on which home modifications have highest priority in a given

setting depends on an appropriate assessment of circumstances and the environment. A number of home assessment instruments and programs have been validated and proven to be effective to meet this need. But even if needed modifications are properly identified and prioritized, inadequate funding, gaps in services, and lack of coordination between the health and housing service sectors have resulted in a poorly integrated system that is difficult to access. Even when accessed, progress in making home modifications available has been hampered by this lack of coordination and inadequate reimbursement or financial mechanisms, especially for those who cannot afford them.

Recommendation 6. Federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, along with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Energy, should collaborate to facilitate adequate and appropriate access to health- and safety-related home modifications, especially for those who cannot afford them. The goal should be to enable persons whose homes contain obstacles, hazards, or features that pose a home safety concern, limit self-care management, or hinder the delivery of needed services to obtain home assessments, home modifications, and training in their use.

Accessibility and Universal Design of New Housing

Almost all existing housing in the United States presents problems for conducting health-related activities because physical features limit independent functioning, impede caregiving, and contribute to such accidents as falls. In spite of the fact that a large and growing number of persons, including children, adults, veterans, and older adults, have disabilities and chronic conditions, new housing continues to be built that does not account for their needs (current or future). Although existing homes can be modified to some extent to address some of the limitations, a proactive, preventive, and effective approach would be to plan to address potential problems in the design phase of new and renovated housing, before construction.

Some housing is already required to be built with basic accessibility features that facilitate practice of health care in the home as a result of the Fair Housing Act Amendments of 1998. And 17 states and 30 cities have passed what are called “visitability” codes, which currently apply to 30,000 homes. Some localities offer tax credits, such as Pittsburgh through an ordinance, to encourage installing visitability features in new and renovated housing. The policy in Pittsburgh was impetus for the Pennsylvania Residential VisitAbility Design Tax Credit Act signed into law on October 28, 2006, which offers property owners a tax credit for new construction

and rehabilitation. The Act paves the way for municipalities to provide tax credits to citizens by requiring that such governing bodies administer the tax credit (Self-Determination Housing Project of Pennsylvania, Inc., n.d.).

Visitability, rather than full accessibility, is characterized by such limited features as an accessible entry into the home, appropriately wide doorways and one accessible bathroom. Both the International Code Council, which focuses on building codes, and the American National Standards Institute, which establishes technical standards, including ones associated with accessibility, have endorsed voluntary accessibility standards. These standards facilitate more jurisdictions to pass such visitability codes and encourage legislative consistency throughout the country. To date, however, the federal government has not taken leadership to promote compliance with such standards in housing construction, even for housing for which it provides financial support.

Universal design, a broader and more comprehensive approach than visitability, is intended to suit the needs of persons of all ages, sizes, and abilities, including individuals with a wide range of health conditions and activity limitations. Steps toward universal design in renovation could include such features as anti-scald faucet valve devices, nonslip flooring, lever handles on doors, and a bedroom on the main floor. Such features can help persons and their caregivers carry out everyday tasks and reduce the incidence of serious and costly accidents (e.g., falls, burns). In the long run, implementing universal design in more homes will result in housing that suits the long-term needs of more residents, provides more housing choices for persons with chronic conditions and disabilities, and causes less forced relocation of residents to more costly settings, such as nursing homes.

Issues related to housing accessibility have been acknowledged at the federal level. For example, visitability and universal design are in accord with the objectives of the Safety of Seniors Act (Public Law No. 110-202, passed in 2008). In addition, implementation of the Olmstead decision (in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Americans with Disabilities Act may require states to provide community-based services rather than institutional placements for individuals with disabilities) requires affordable and accessible housing in the community.

Visitability, accessibility, and universal design of housing all are important to support the practice of health care in the home, but they are not broadly implemented and incentives for doing so are few.

Recommendation 7. Federal agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Federal Housing Administration, should take a lead role, along with states and local municipalities, to develop strategies that promote and facilitate increased housing visitability, accessibil-

ity, and universal design in all segments of the market. This might include tax and other financial incentives, local zoning ordinances, model building codes, new products and designs, and related policies that are developed as appropriate with standards-setting organizations (e.g., the International Code Council, the International Electrotechnical Commission, the International Organization for Standardization, and the American National Standards Institute).


In our review of the research literature, the committee learned that there is ample foundational knowledge to apply a human factors lens to home health care, particularly as improvements are considered to make health care safe and effective in the home. However, much of what is known is not being translated effectively into practice, neither in design of equipment and information technology or in the effective targeting and provision of services to all those in need. Consequently, the four recommendations that follow support research and development to address knowledge and communication gaps and facilitate provision of high-quality health care in the home. Specifically, the committee recommends (1) research to enhance coordination among all the people who play a role in health care practice in the home, (2) development of a database of medical devices in order to facilitate device prescription, (3) improved surveys of the people involved in health care in the home and their residential environments, and (4) development of tools for assessing the tasks associated with home-based health care.

Health Care Teamwork and Coordination

Frail elders, adults with disabilities, disabled veterans, and children with special health care needs all require coordination of the care services that they receive in the home. Home-based health care often involves a large number of elements, including multiple care providers, support services, agencies, and complex and dynamic benefit regulations, which are rarely coordinated. However, coordinating those elements has a positive effect on care recipient outcomes and costs of care. When successful, care coordination connects caregivers, improves communication among caregivers and care recipients and ensures that receivers of care obtain appropriate services and resources.

To ensure safe, effective, and efficient care, everyone involved must collaborate as a team with shared objectives. Well-trained primary health care teams that execute customized plans of care are a key element of coordinated care; teamwork and communication among all actors are also

essential to successful care coordination and the delivery of high-quality care. Key factors that influence the smooth functioning of a team include a shared understanding of goals, common information (such as a shared medication list), knowledge of available resources, and allocation and coordination of tasks conducted by each team member.

Barriers to coordination include insufficient resources available to (a) help people who need health care at home to identify and establish connections to appropriate sources of care, (b) facilitate communication and coordination among caregivers involved in home-based health care, and (c) facilitate communication among the people receiving and the people providing health care in the home.

The application of systems analysis techniques, such as task analysis, can help identify problems in care coordination systems and identify potential intervention strategies. Human factors research in the areas of communication, cognitive aiding and decision support, high-fidelity simulation training techniques, and the integration of telehealth technologies could also inform improvements in care coordination.

Recommendation 8 . The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality should support human factors–based research on the identified barriers to coordination of health care services delivered in the home and support user-centered development and evaluation of programs that may overcome these barriers.

Medical Device Database

It is the responsibility of physicians to prescribe medical devices, but in many cases little information is readily available to guide them in determining the best match between the devices available and a particular care recipient. No resource exists for medical devices, in contrast to the analogous situation in the area of assistive and rehabilitation technologies, for which annotated databases (such as AbleData) are available to assist the provider in determining the most appropriate one of several candidate devices for a given care recipient. Although specialists are apt to receive information about devices specific to the area of their practice, this is much less likely in the case of family and general practitioners, who often are responsible for selecting, recommending, or prescribing the most appropriate device for use at home.

Recommendation 9. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in collaboration with device manufacturers, should establish a medical device database for physicians and other providers, including pharmacists, to use when selecting appropriate devices to prescribe or recommend

for people receiving or self-administering health care in the home. Using task analysis and other human factors approaches to populate the medical device database will ensure that it contains information on characteristics of the devices and implications for appropriate care recipient and device operator populations.

Characterizing Caregivers, Care Recipients, and Home Environments

As delivery of health care in the home becomes more common, more coherent strategies and effective policies are needed to support the workforce of individuals who provide this care. Developing these will require a comprehensive understanding of the number and attributes of individuals engaged in health care in the home as well as the context in which care is delivered. Data and data analysis are lacking to accomplish this objective.

National data regarding the numbers of individuals engaged in health care delivery in the home—that is, both formal and informal caregivers—are sparse, and the estimates that do exist vary widely. Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes estimates of the number of workers employed in the home setting for some health care classifications, they do not include all relevant health care workers. For example, data on workers employed directly by care recipients and their families are notably absent. Likewise, national estimates of the number of informal caregivers are obtained from surveys that use different methodological approaches and return significantly different results.

Although numerous national surveys have been designed to answer a broad range of questions regarding health care delivery in the home, with rare exceptions such surveys reflect the relatively limited perspective of the sponsoring agency. For example,

  • The Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) and the Health and Retirement Survey (administered by the National Institute on Aging) are primarily geared toward understanding the health, health services use, and/or economic well-being of older adults and provide no information regarding working-age adults or children or information about home or neighborhood environments.
  • The Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance Survey (administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC), the National Health Interview Survey (administered by the CDC), and the National Children’s Study (administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) all collect information on health characteristics, with limited or no information about the housing context.
  • The American Housing Survey (administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) collects detailed information regarding housing, but it does not include questions regarding the health status of residents and does not collect adequate information about home modifications and features on an ongoing basis.

Consequently, although multiple federal agencies collect data on the sociodemographic and health characteristics of populations and on the nation’s housing stock, none of these surveys collects data necessary to link the home, its residents, and the presence of any caregivers, thus limiting understanding of health care delivered in the home. Furthermore, information is altogether lacking about health and functioning of populations linked to the physical, social, and cultural environments in which they live. Finally, in regard to individuals providing care, information is lacking regarding their education, training, competencies, and credentialing, as well as appropriate knowledge about their working conditions in the home.

Better coordination across government agencies that sponsor such surveys and more attention to information about health care that occurs in the home could greatly improve the utility of survey findings for understanding the prevalence and nature of health care delivery in the home.

Recommendation 10. Federal health agencies should coordinate data collection efforts to capture comprehensive information on elements relevant to health care in the home, either in a single survey or through effective use of common elements across surveys. The surveys should collect data on the sociodemographic and health characteristics of individuals receiving care in the home, the sociodemographic attributes of formal and informal caregivers and the nature of the caregiving they provide, and the attributes of the residential settings in which the care recipients live.

Tools for Assessing Home Health Care Tasks and Operators

Persons caring for themselves or others at home as well as formal caregivers vary considerably in their skills, abilities, attitudes, experience, and other characteristics, such as age, culture/ethnicity, and health literacy. In turn, designers of health-related devices and technology systems used in the home are often naïve about the diversity of the user population. They need high-quality information and guidance to better understand user capabilities relative to the task demands of the health-related device or technology that they are developing.

In this environment, valid and reliable tools are needed to match users with tasks and technologies. At this time, health care providers lack the

tools needed to assess whether particular individuals would be able to perform specific health care tasks at home, and medical device and system designers lack information on the demands associated with health-related tasks performed at home and the human capabilities needed to perform them successfully.

Whether used to assess the characteristics of formal or informal caregivers or persons engaged in self-care, task analysis can be used to develop point-of-care tools for use by consumers and caregivers alike in locations where such tasks are encouraged or prescribed. The tools could facilitate identification of potential mismatches between the characteristics, abilities, experiences, and attitudes that an individual brings to a task and the demands associated with the task. Used in ambulatory care settings, at hospital discharge or other transitions of care, and in the home by caregivers or individuals and family members themselves, these tools could enable assessment of prospective task performer’s capabilities in relation to the demands of the task. The tools might range in complexity from brief screening checklists for clinicians to comprehensive assessment batteries that permit nuanced study and tracking of home-based health care tasks by administrators and researchers. The results are likely to help identify types of needed interventions and support aids that would enhance the abilities of individuals to perform health care tasks in home settings safely, effectively, and efficiently.

Recommendation 11. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality should collaborate, as necessary, with the National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to support development of assessment tools customized for home-based health care, designed to analyze the demands of tasks associated with home-based health care, the operator capabilities required to carry them out, and the relevant capabilities of specific individuals.

Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation. (2009). ANSI/AAMI HE75:2009: Human factors engineering: Design of medical devices. Available: [April 2011].

Self-Determination Housing Project of Pennsylvania, Inc. (n.d.) Promoting visitability in Pennsylvania. Available: [March 30, 2011].

In the United States, health care devices, technologies, and practices are rapidly moving into the home. The factors driving this migration include the costs of health care, the growing numbers of older adults, the increasing prevalence of chronic conditions and diseases and improved survival rates for people with those conditions and diseases, and a wide range of technological innovations. The health care that results varies considerably in its safety, effectiveness, and efficiency, as well as in its quality and cost.

Health Care Comes Home reviews the state of current knowledge and practice about many aspects of health care in residential settings and explores the short- and long-term effects of emerging trends and technologies. By evaluating existing systems, the book identifies design problems and imbalances between technological system demands and the capabilities of users. Health Care Comes Home recommends critical steps to improve health care in the home. The book's recommendations cover the regulation of health care technologies, proper training and preparation for people who provide in-home care, and how existing housing can be modified and new accessible housing can be better designed for residential health care. The book also identifies knowledge gaps in the field and how these can be addressed through research and development initiatives.

Health Care Comes Home lays the foundation for the integration of human health factors with the design and implementation of home health care devices, technologies, and practices. The book describes ways in which the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and federal housing agencies can collaborate to improve the quality of health care at home. It is also a valuable resource for residential health care providers and caregivers.


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Responsibilities of the management in an organization

Equity principles, meeting issues, effective and innovative solutions to oh & s, equity and meeting issues.

  • Belbin R.M., 2012. Management teams. Routledge.
  • Cameron, E. and Green, M., 2015. Making sense of change management: a complete guide to the models, tools and techniques of organisational change. Kogan page publishers.
  • Clegg, S.R., Kornberger, M. Pitsis, T., 2015. Managing and organisations: An introduction to theory and practice. Sage.
  • Rice, A.L., 2013. The enterprise and its environment: A system theory of management organization (Vol.10) Routledge.
  • Resnik, M.L., & Zanotti, A. 1997. Using ergonomics to target productivity improvements. Computers and Industrial Engineering, 33(1-2), 185-188.
  • Davis, V., Tomasin, K. 1999, Construction safety handbook, 2nd ed., Thomas Telford, NY.
  • Hale, A., Baram 1998, Safety management, Pergamon books, Amsterdam.
  • Micale, F.A.2002. Not another meeting! A practical guide for facilitating effective meetings. Central point, OR: Oasis.
  • Moscovick, R.K., And Robert B. N. 1996. We’ve got to start meeting like this: A guide to successful meeting, management, Indianapolis, IN: Jist publishing, 1996.
  • Streibel, BJ. 2002. The manager’s guide to effective meetings. New York, McGraw-Hill.

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Health And Safety Essay Examples

The sample essay on Health And Safety Essay Examples deals with a framework of research-based facts, approaches and arguments concerning this theme. To see the essay’s introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion, read on.

Potential for falling objects – The employer or employee must do certain that all points of equipment. stuffs and tools that are non in usage must be stored/stacked right and firmly. Otherwise. there is a possible that the item/item may fall and wound a individual. . Crisp borders and draging leads – Sharp borders must be rounded off to do certain that a individual does non band a portion of their organic structure on them and draging leads should be wrapped in something protective to bunch them together.

and to do certain they are out of the manner.

. Emptying assembly countries – This is a designated country for staff and other members to run into. We have these to round up people off from the fire to guarantee the safety of everyone.

Employers must develop their staff about a fire emptying. doing certain they know which point on the premises to travel to. . Site edifice plants – From clip to clip. employees may happen themselves holding to come in certain countries which may be risky. holding to come into contact with risky substances or holding to be exposed to noisy countries.

It is the employers that should guarantee that any edifice work is kept separate from employees but in certain fortunes. all attention must be taken to do certain employees are kept safe in their working environment.

conclusion to health and safety essay

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. Off-site work – Any hazards that are connected with off-site work must be assessed before the work takes topographic point. These hazards are highlighted and controlled in a similar manner as to how they would be in the workplace. Employees and persons involved in off-site working must be provided with the right preparation and must be given the right information about wellness and safety working.

Health And Safety Essay

. Organic infestation – When organic plagues arrive in the workplace. they can show infection jeopardies. be violative. pollute nutrient. create harm to stuffs and constructions and besides. can be an irritation to employees. Employers have a responsibility to guarantee that there is an efficient direction of organic plagues. otherwise things may intensify. But besides. employees have a duty to describe any sightings of plagues or to convey up grounds of their being to the suited individual. . Vermin infestation – Vermin infestation can do some serious jobs in the workplace.

This can include: harm to equipment. harm to electrical supplies. and taint of any H2O supplies and besides the menace of holding disease from dungs or piss. Employers must do certain that they carry out hazard appraisals and employees must do certain that they report any sightings of rat/mice activity. Infestations can be prevented by holding good workplace hygiene. which involves regular housework. ( hoovering. cleaning rugs and cloths exhaustively ) . . Dampness and Mould – When moistness and mold arises. it can do legion wellness issues and jobs for the employees who work at that place.

They may endure from allergic reactions and cold-like symptoms. which includes sneeze and cranky eyes. Damp jobs can besides do serious respiratory jobs for employees. It is the employer’s responsibility to maintain his staff happy and healthy. and so to lodge with this. they should guarantee that they can make all they can to forestall it. Ways which consist of: drying up any condensation around the workplace within 48 hours. put in proper airing and guaranting that cold surfaces are decently insulted. . Materials and Waste disposal – Some employees may come into contact with stuffs which could be risky to their wellness.

If this isn’t dealt with decently. these can ensue in hurt or even decease. Employers must attest that they minimise the hazards to their workers that are exposed to these stuffs. Equally good as this. directors have a responsibility to do certain that risky waste is accurately recognized at certain phases of production and that appropriate steps are taken to protect the wellness of the environing people. . Hygiene installations – There are general public assistance demands for staff and employers must guarantee that certain minimal degrees of hygiene installations are provided in the workplace.

Types of rinsing installations depend on the nature of what type of working concern it is. The country in which staff can rinse must be in an easy. accessible topographic point. They must be hygienic. good illuminated and ventilate. Hot soap and H2O must be provided and either manus towels and electric manus driers. Besides. work forces and adult females should hold separate installations. . Disabled entree and lavatory installations – Employers have a responsibility to guarantee that if they do employer a individual who is disabled to come and work for them. that there is sufficient handicapped lavation installations and lavatory installations.

The installations should hold: drop down manus and besides support tracks. exigency pull cords. accessible wash basins. soap dispensers. toilet paper and paper towels. . Food readying countries – In any type of nutrient readying are. there must be rigorous regulations and ordinances laid down by the employer to forestall nutrient from being contaminated. Equally good as this. it is their duty to do certain that their employees and staff aren’t a hazard to nutrient safety. This is where employers need to concentrate on 4 chief countries to guarantee wellness and safety: maintaining the country clean. describing any unwellnesss. vesture and personal cleanliness/hygiene.

. Pest control – Employers must make a figure of things to command plagues. A few of them being: securing edifices to forestall them from come ining. puting and maintain toxicants and traps to kill them. spraying insect powders to kill plagues and put ining ultraviolet insect slayers. . Noise and atmospheric pollution – This can be a serious issue to workers and employers have a responsibility to cut down any noise pollution that might take to damage to the ears. The Control of Noise at Work Regulations applies to any workers who are exposed to noises over 85 dBs or more in the workplace.

Durable exposure to this sum of noise will damage an employees hearing. In add-on to commanding noise pollution. employers must guarantee that their workers aren’t exposed to atmospheric pollution. This is known as air pollution. Atmospheric pollution is any particulate affair nowadays in the air that has the possible to damage someone’s wellness. This includes: dust. exhausts and gases. Any wellness status that is caused by atmospheric pollution has the possible to be really fatal for the people in the workplace. Employers have a legal duty to do certain that hazard appraisals are carried out.

Suitable and efficient proviso must be provided to guarantee that every workspace is ventilated by a measure of fresh or even purified air. . Temperature and airing – Temperature in work countries should supply sensible comfort without the demand for certain types of vesture. If the temperature is excessively hot or cold. stairss should be taken to accomplish a sensible temperature which is close to comfortable. If employees. staff or any kind of worker is exposed to temperatures that are excessively high or low. the employer must do proviso to do certain that their workers are every bit comfy as possible.

Equally good as temperature control. workplaces must guarantee that there is some signifier of airing. This gives workers the chance to take a breath fresh. clean air when they are working. Windows can be one from of airing and another could be decently installed mechanical systems. Both of which provide airing for workers. Ventilation systems which are provided in the workplace should take and thin. warm. humid air which can sometimes be uncomfortable to work in. . Equipment – Maintenance of a safe working environment ranges from holding safe equipment and warning marks to assist protect workers from being harmed.

. Safety guards – The guarding of unsafe machinery has been a legal demand for many old ages under the Health and Safety at Work act 1974. Employers must do certain that unsafe machinery that is being used by the workers are trained and the appropriate individual for the occupation. . Warning marks and sound signals – One of the most common safety characteristics in the workplace are warning marks which are used to alarm employees and workers to the possible hazards or dangers that are around them. Besides. warning marks may teach employees on what to make if an exigency occurred.

Certain marks such as fire issues must be able to illume up in the instance of an exigency and they must besides be fitted with hearable dismaies. Training must be provided to every employee so that they understand the information or waies being conveyed by any warning marks in their workplace. Another point is. is that the general safety demands for staff in the workplace is that all workers should be cognizant of any sound signals that the company uses if there is of all time an exigency state of affairs. These sound signals are classed as safety marks and staff should do certain that they know what to make if one of these goes away.

Staff and workers should be trained to cognize what each and every sound signal agencies in instance of an exigency and besides to cognize what they have to make in the event of hearing it travel off. . Maintenance frequence – A batch of accidents that that go on in the workplace are due to faulty or ill maintained work equipment. Employers have a responsibility to do certain that all of their equipment is maintained and in good form. They should besides guarantee that the care log is kept up to day of the month screening when the machinery and equipment was last inspected/serviced.

The care frequence of workplace machinery and equipment depends on legion factors. such as the working bounds and maximal usage of equipment. how it is used and the hazard to safety of malfunction. . Protective vesture – Several occupation functions require staff and workers to have on protective vesture. This can do the occupation that they have much easier. can forestall them from acquiring an hurt and can even salvage lives. Baseball gloves. helmets. footwear. face masks. chemical suits. high-visibility waistcoats and oculus defenders all come under types of PPE.

It is the employer’s duty to guarantee that their workers and employees have PPE provided and that it besides matches the possible jeopardies. They must besides guarantee that employees know why they must have on their PPE and that it must be worn right. . Accessible exigency exits – As a portion of their exigency hazard appraisal. employers must take into consideration whether. in the event of an exigency. like a fire that is taking topographic point. all persons that are in the workplace could go forth in a safe mode and make a safe finish. So for this. they must supply safe and accessible fire issues.

These fire issues must be clearly signposted with marks that light up and that are alarmed. . Fire asphyxiators or sprinkler systems – In the workplace. employers must do certain that they provide the agencies for staff to handle little fires. The figure of fire asphyxiators that are required within a concern. all depends on how big or little that concern is. Typically. asphyxiators are sited following to possible fire hazards. such as warmers or a computing machine. and they are besides near to issue doors and staircases. Besides. asphyxiators must be obviously signed and labelled.

There are five chief types of asphyxiator. and these are: H2O. froth. CO2. pulverization and wet chemical. Employers must do certain that they train their staff and workers to cognize which type of asphyxiator to utilize on a fire and so that they besides know how to work them decently. A much more effectual manner of covering with fires that occur in the workplace. is the installing of a H2O sprinkler system. These work by a fire triping them and H2O is so fed from the H2O supply and puts out the fire. These sprinkler systems are seen as a safer manner of seting out a fire and besides much more effectual.

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National Research Council (US) and Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on the Health and Safety Needs of Older Workers; Wegman DH, McGee JP, editors. Health and Safety Needs of Older Workers. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2004.

Cover of Health and Safety Needs of Older Workers

Health and Safety Needs of Older Workers.

  • Hardcopy Version at National Academies Press

9 Conclusions and Recommendations


To permit effective examination of the relationship between health and employment and work-related factors among older workers it is necessary to create new, longitudinal data sets containing detailed information on workers' employment histories and the specific demands of the job, as well as objective information on the health and safety risks to workers in the job. Such data sets do not currently exist because they are costly to create.

An ideal longitudinal data set would contain baseline information on the health status and previous work histories of a representative sample of older Americans, with overrepresentation of minority and other high-risk groups. The survey that collects these data would periodically gather from respondents and their employers data that provide researchers with consistent, reliable, and continuous information on respondents' employment and earnings, the risk factors associated with employment, including work organization and job demands on physical and mental capacity, and exposure to risk factors such as harmful chemicals. These data are needed to follow work and retirement patterns in aging cohorts of workers and to assess the effects of work on health. These data are also needed to assess the effects of health, workplace health risks, family obligations, and other causal factors on employment in later life. The old Retirement History Survey and newer Health and Retirement Study, as well as other longitudinal surveys now available, do not contain reliable or continuous information on the risk factors to which workers are exposed in their jobs.

Creating an ideal data set would be very costly, but it may represent the only strategy likely to produce sufficient data to elucidate completely the relationship between workplace risk factors and workers' health and employment patterns in later life. A more limited and less expensive alternative is to modify existing longitudinal and nonlongitudinal surveys so they contain crucial information about workplace health risks. Another alternative is to collect information on a convenience sample for which longitudinal record gathering is less costly in contrast to a nationally representative, random sample with periodic in-person or telephone survey updates. One possibility is to conduct thorough baseline interviews in a cohort of workers and recent retirees from a large national employer, such as the U.S. government. Personnel and other administrative records and less frequent in-person interviews would be used to construct lifetime work histories and measure subsequent employment and retirement patterns in the cohort. The size of the government workforce would also permit targeted sampling for better assessment of demographic subgroups. It would likely, however, exclude the possibility of assessing a full range of occupations.

Recommendation 1: New longitudinal data sets should be developed that contain detailed information on workers' employment histories and the specific demands of their jobs, as well as objective information on the health and safety risks to workers in the job. If cost makes it impossible to create a nationally representative, longitudinal survey focused on workplace health and safety, a less expensive alternative is to create a new longitudinal data set using a convenience sample in which information gathering is less costly, for example, a representative sample of workers at a large national employer, such as the U.S. government.

The risk of workplace injury or illness or disorder varies both across and within occupation and industry, and workers' exposure to such risks varies across the course of their lives. Therefore, analyses that attempt to explain life course health outcomes or that use health characteristics as variables to help explain major life course transitions such as retirement should have good information on these health and safety risks.

However, otherwise richly detailed socioeconomic surveys such as the Health and Retirement Study or the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, which contain detailed information on the health characteristics of their respondents, lack information on the health and safety risks that workers face in their current or past jobs. A National Research Council (2001) report has strongly encouraged longitudinal research to disentangle and illuminate the complex interrelationship among work, health, economic status, and family structure. Without capturing the independent effects of the work environment on these factors, however, it will be difficult to fully achieve this goal.

Regular population-based information on the distribution of common workplace exposures that can be assessed by interview is essential to our understanding of their relationship to the detailed health information in the Health and Retirement Study and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, and also of the ways these exposures affect labor force exits.

Recommendation 2: Ongoing longitudinal surveys (for example, the Health and Retirement Study and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics) should either increase the information they gather on health and safety risk factors of the workplace or develop periodic modules to do so.

Accurate occupational injury and illness or disorder data are important to the development of public policy concerning older workers. However, there is evidence-based concern that occupational illnesses or disorders and occupational injuries may be underreported; a number of studies have raised concern about how well these data represent the full complement of work-related illness or disorder and injury experiences of older workers. There is insufficient knowledge of trends in under-ascertainment of both work-related injuries and illnesses or disorders, generally and with regard to older workers, and of the contribution of various factors to under-ascertainment (e.g., decline in unionization, increase in immigrant workforce, growth in precarious employment, incentive systems affecting reporting, and the features of workers' compensation systems).

The primary assessment of trends has been directed at how well industries are reporting those injuries and illnesses or disorders of which they are aware. Inadequate attention, however, has been given to the barriers that may interfere with individual workers' documenting of work-related injuries and the even greater barriers to recognizing that their illness or disorder episodes may be work related. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has undertaken and needs to continue efforts to evaluate and improve the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) based reporting of occupational injury and illnesses or disorders. In addition, new approaches are necessary to cast a broader net in order to describe the full extent of work-related injury and illness or disorder burden among older workers. Approaches should include new initiatives in several areas. Community-based studies that focus on older workers, with particular attention to immigrant and minority workers, should be undertaken to add important new information to that provided solely from current workplace audits. Surveys of workers should be used to complement audits of employer records, with particular attention to small and medium-sized firms where the audits have suggested problems may exist. Research collaborations should be developed with a variety of nongovernmental groups such as workers' compensation insurance carriers, industry associations, labor/management health and welfare funds, and other private groups with direct or indirect access to sources of work-related injury and illness or disorder data.

Recommendation 3: The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health should collaborate with the Bureau of Labor Statistics in conducting a comprehensive review and evaluation of occupational injury and illness or disorder reporting systems, examining the extent of and trends in underreporting and underascertainment. This effort should include filling in important knowledge gaps through innovative research approaches and should be complemented by research directed at understanding trends and barriers to reporting, especially for older workers. Studies of incentives/disincentives to injury and illness or disorder reporting should be conducted with the end in mind of surveillance system reform.

To monitor the importance of the job environment on morbidity and mortality in nationally available data sets such as the National Health Interview Survey and National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, it is necessary to have consistent, reliable, and continuous information on the risk factors associated with jobs. This information must be available at a sufficiently detailed level of industry and occupation (for example, at least as detailed as the three-digit categories defined by the Standard Industrial Classification and the Standard Occupational Classification systems). Currently, when work risk factors are assessed it is most common to consider them in a very limited fashion using job title or industry group only.

Little detail on the nature of work exposures over a broad range of occupations is currently available for linkage to health-based national or representative data sets. Data that characterize the full range of all types of work exposures are needed to permit assessment and tracking of relationships between these exposures and the prevalence or incidence of health conditions.

These exposure data should be structured in a way that allows easy linkage to data sets (both administrative records and surveys) that provide individual information on health and socioeconomic characteristics. Previously the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has carried out surveys focusing only on chemical and a limited set of physical hazards (National Occupational Hazards Survey, National Occupational Exposure Survey). A more comprehensive assessment of work exposures is required associated with regular revisions to accommodate the evolution of existing occupations and the development of new ones.

Recent organizational developments related to stressful systems or features of work organization (e.g., job strain, effort-reward imbalance, and extended work hours) have been associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease, already a major cause of disability among older workers. Although tools exist to assess organizational factors in etiologic research, they are not necessarily easily adapted to population surveys. In order to characterize exposures associated with work organization for use in such surveys, research will be needed to identify components or factors related to work organization that provide adequate sensitivity, specificity, and ease of use.

Recommendation 4: NIOSH should be provided sufficient funds to develop a database that characterizes types and levels of exposures associated with work. Exposures considered should include chemical, physical, biomechanical, and psychosocial factors. The database should be organized in a manner that permits the assignment of a full range of exposures to detailed occupation and industry groups and in a form that permits linkage to population health data sets. The database should be revised and updated periodically, at least every decade.

As first cataloged by Shock and others decades ago, populations undergo age-related decrements in the functioning of organs and of the human as a whole. While occupational health research has documented many adverse health effects of specific worksite environmental exposures, there is almost no research on the impact of these and other exposures on the trajectory of normal aging throughout the life span. Similarly, there is little research on how later-life workplace exposures affect age-related processes that are already altered by a variety of earlier occupational exposures. Approaches are needed to these issues at the general population level, as well as for cohorts with specific workplace exposures. Additional issues requiring investigation include how these cumulative and age-dependent exposures affect later-life physical, cognitive, and social function, and the occurrence and natural history of the major disabling diseases of older persons, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and degenerative arthritis. An emphasis on the effect of workplace exposures on mental health and function is also needed, particularly those related to workplace social stresses and changing work demands and organization.

Recommendation 5: Substantial research is needed on the physiological, pathological, and functional effects of common and potentially harmful worksite exposures—physiochemical, biological, biomechanical, and psychosocial—on older workers. This research should include determining how these environmental exposures may affect the trajectory of normal age-related human and organ function, including the cumulative effects of various prior workplace exposures, and the net impact on the pathogenesis of age-related chronic illnesses or disorders.

Many older workers have existing chronic illness or disorder and disease risk factors that are under various levels of personal and clinical management and control, including mental illnesses or disorders. Research is needed on how potentially adverse workplace exposures—physiochemical, biological, biomechanical, and psychosocial—affect the status, control, and outcomes of these chronic conditions. For example, these exposures may have direct, toxic effects on already diseased organs, interact pharmacologically with medications used to treat existing conditions, or distract and impede older workers from timely disease management interventions. Outcomes that might be studied include longevity and mortality, changes in disease and illness or disorder severity, changes in physical functional status, social effects on the individual and families, interactions with the health care system, and overall quality of life. Chronic conditions that are high priority for consideration in such investigations include cardiovascular disease and musculoskeletal disorders.

Recommendation 6: A research program should be conducted to provide systematic and substantial understanding of the effects of potentially harmful workplace exposures on individual and population outcomes among older workers with existing chronic conditions, both during periods of employment and after retirement.

A variety of public policy interventions have been designed to enable workers to remain in the labor market while minimizing or preventing occupationally caused morbidity. These include polices that operate directly through regulation of workplace hazards (Occupational Safety and Health Act, Mine Safety and Health Act) or indirectly through intervention in more general employment practices that impact older or disabled workers (Americans with Disabilities Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Family and Medical Leave Act). Little is known about the effectiveness of these laws in achieving their goals for older workers. For example, there are insufficient data regarding whether the Americans with Disabilities Act has resulted in increased job accommodation, and therefore greater work longevity, for aging workers with qualifying disabilities. There has been no systematic evaluation of the combined and independent effectiveness of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, or the Family and Medical Leave Act in assisting aging workers to remain in the workforce and to obtain new employment when they are dislocated. Further study is also needed to assess whether these laws create barriers for continued and safe employment or reemployment of aging workers.

Recommendation 7: Evaluation research is needed to determine the degree to which public policies intended to enable workers to remain at work safely and productively have met these objectives specifically with regard to older workers. Policies that should be the subject of such evaluation research include the Occupational Safety and Health Act and other health and safety laws; the Americans with Disabilities Act; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; the Family and Medical Leave Act; and related state laws.

Many existing intervention programs have demonstrated at least some efficacy for workers generally, and some for older workers, specifically. In principle, effective workplace interventions address hazards as close to the source as possible. Therefore, job design, including redesign and engineering to improve the exposures and accommodations for older workers, deserves the highest level of attention. There are design approaches to address a variety of age-related changes in vision, hearing, and physical strength and capacity and approaches that address work-related musculoskeletal disorders that are anticipated to be an important problem for aging workers. There is evidence for the effectiveness of a limited number of interventions to address cardiovascular disease by improving work organization and job design and by reducing job stressors. Many effective interventions also involve changing the social climate in the workplace (e.g., empowering workers), introducing better work practices (e.g., ergonomic interventions to improve body posture for bending and lifting), improving physical fitness with exercise, and substituting machine work for human exertion. Training is an intervention that seems particularly relevant for older workers, who are likely to be the most distant from initial professional training and from initial job training. Access to training, however, is often too limited.

Accommodations for workers with impairments and return-to-work programs are important interventions for older workers, who are more likely to bring impairments into the workplace and to be out of work longer than their younger colleagues after an injury at work. Modified work programs have been clearly shown to facilitate the return to work of workers with temporary or permanent impairments.

Attention to general health promotion programs is relevant for older workers, in part because chronic illness or disorder rates are higher at older ages. It is important to add, however, that general health promotion programs directed at workers appear to be more effective when tied to environmental controls in the workplace. Factors known to result in shortening the duration of disability consistently include medical and vocational rehabilitation interventions, organizational level employer factors, and employer-and insurer-based disability prevention and disability management interventions. Although most employee assistance programs (EAPs) have not emphasized employee needs related to aging, they have strong potential as a support for older workers in relation to occupational health and safety concerns. EAPs can also assist workers challenged by the need to provide eldercare support, plan for retirement or outplacement, and address substance abuse and emotional distress.

For each of these interventions there is need for research on the prevalence of the intervention (which firms and older workers use them), on the effectiveness of the intervention (the degree to which it protects older workers' health and safety), and on the costs of the intervention (how it compares with the benefits obtained).

For instance, ergonomic job designs have the potential to create workplaces that are suitable for the widest range of worker abilities. Workplace accommodations may permit older adults with a variety of impairments to work safely and productively. It is important to assess prevalence in part to determine whether an efficacious practice is not being employed as well as to assess the extent to which interventions not determined to be efficacious or ones known to be ineffective are being employed.

Although many intervention programs have at least some demonstrated efficacy, nearly all have been incompletely evaluated. For instance, weaknesses in existing evaluations of job design and training interventions include the use of small and unrepresentative samples in a small set of occupations. In addition, intermediate outcome measures such as changes in posture or self-ratings of work ability need to be complemented by direct measures of illness or disorder, injury, and symptom syndromes.

Few of the interventions and even fewer of the evaluations of those programs have tested their effectiveness specifically for older workers. Moreover, studies have not routinely included samples representative of the workforce of the future that will include increasing proportions of women and minority workers. Past research has focused on a limited set of occupations and workplace environments, and little is currently known about those that will in the future be employing increasing proportions of older workers. For instance, computer workstations have been introduced in many job settings, and yet there has been little evaluation of the adequacy of their design for older users. Such research can lead to the creation of guidelines and best practices that will lead to safer, healthier, and more productive workplaces.

Recommendation 8: For promising job design, training, and workplace accommodation interventions, research should be conducted to determine the prevalence, effectiveness, and associated costs of intervention. The resulting data should be used to perform evaluations and benefit-cost analyses to guide the implementation of future interventions.

There are gaps in our knowledge about how socioeconomic and demographic variables (e.g., minority or immigration status, low literacy, low-education level, lack of fluency in English, lack of continuous connection to the formal labor market) might increase health and safety risks for subpopulations of older workers, and about the degree to which these variables predict employment in hazardous occupations and industries. There are also gaps in our knowledge about variables that may lead some older workers to stay in the workforce despite declining health (e.g., income insecurity, low-income levels, gaps in health insurance coverage, barriers to access to other public and private benefit programs).

A separate research effort is needed to collect data about these high-risk older workers, given that this population may be less readily identified through standard sampling procedures. To assure comparability with findings from other studies, it is important that standard instruments be used when feasible.

Recommendation 9: Targeted research should be undertaken to identify the extent to which, and mechanisms whereby, socioeconomic and demographic variables are related to health and safety risks of older workers; the degree to which these variables predict employment in hazardous occupations and industries; and how they may be associated with retirement decisions and barriers.


According to an agreement with OSHA, the BLS annually collects and analyzes workplace injury and illness or disorder statistics. The employer survey instrument required by OSHA, however, does not seek demographic information on employees at risk of injury or illness or disorder. Consequently, much of the data on workplace injury and illness or disorder are presented only as counts or proportions. Denominator data can be developed using occupation and injury data available in the Current Population Survey. The necessary compromises needed to apply Current Population Survey data to this purpose are minor compared with the benefits that result from detailed rate-based data reporting. It has already been determined that it is feasible to determine quite accurate death rates by this method.

Recommendation 10: The Bureau of Labor Statistics should initiate reporting of workplace injury and illness or disorder rates according to demographic characteristics (for age, gender, and ethnicity at a minimum) based on Current Population Survey reports of total number of hours worked by people in subpopulations defined by age, gender, industry, and occupation.

Worksite health promotion programs and employee assistance programs have demonstrated benefits for workers' health, but their effectiveness, specifically for older workers, has not been studied. Worksites can promote the health of older workers through health promotion programs that aim to reduce risk-related behaviors (e.g., tobacco use, physical inactivity) and promote screening for early detection and treatment of illness or disorder and disease (e.g., ambulatory blood pressure monitoring at work to detect hidden workplace hypertension). While there is evidence that the integration of health promotion programs with work risk reductions is successful in reducing risky behaviors, little research has been conducted to identify effective ways to tailor these programs to older workers' needs or strategies to maximize worker participation in programs. In addition, there is need for research to assess the efficacy of these interventions, specifically for older workers.

Employee assistance programs can also play a useful role in protecting and promoting the health and safety of older workers, and they may offer support services specifically tailored for older workers, such as preretirement planning, substance abuse interventions customized for older workers, or family care programs. Research is needed to develop and assess the effectiveness of such services as well.

Another domain of prevention and health promotion programs at the worksite is the possibility of disease management programs for older workers. These programs help manage disease risk factors or physiological domains that can prevent disease progression. Examples include diabetes, hypertension, and asthma management. Evaluation is needed to assess the feasibility, cost, and maintenance of these worker health programs. Simultaneously, the overarching problem of maintaining confidentiality or worker medical conditions needs to be considered.

In addition, particular attention is needed to develop strategies for extending these interventions to small business settings, where they are often lacking.

Recommendation 11: Research should be conducted to assess the effectiveness, benefits, and costs of worksite health promotion programs and employee assistance interventions tailored to older workers in both small and large worksites.

The Department of Labor has been developing and validating a system called O*NET™ intended to advance information useful in describing the nature and scope of job characteristics that can be collected for use in a number of settings, most particularly in the BLS statistical systems. The O*NET database, when complete, will provide a valuable description of the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for various jobs; that information will permit detailed comparison of job requirements with the developing knowledge of the capacities of older workers. The O*NET is a large undertaking, and progress on this valuable resource has been slow.

Recommendation 12: This committee endorses the recommendation, defined in the 1999 National Research Council report The Changing Nature of Work , that the O*NET system be developed as a fully operational system. A sense of urgency should be applied: efforts should be devoted to achieving a comprehensive, interactive O*NET database as quickly as possible.

Development of information on the individual, family, and societal costs of occupational injuries and illnesses or disorders is necessary to allow policy makers to place a proper priority on the problem and determine the necessary level of effort for prevention efforts focused on this older worker population. Much of the necessary data to carry out such studies is available from the Health Care Financing Administration, the National Hospital Discharge Survey, the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, the Health and Retirement Study, and the Ambulatory Care Visits Study, along with data from the BLS that provides age-specific rates on all categories of occupational injuries and illnesses or disorders, including days away from work, restricted workdays, and events with no lost or restricted time.

Recommendation 13: Research should be undertaken to assess the full (direct and indirect) costs of older workers' occupational injuries and illnesses or disorders to individuals, families, and society.

The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) is the principal source of information on the health of the civilian noninstitutionalized population of the United States. The main objective of the NHIS is to monitor the health of the U.S. population through the collection and analysis of data on a broad range of health topics. A major strength of this survey lies in its ability to display these health characteristics by many demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. To date, only the 1988 survey included substantial information about population exposure to work-related risk factors and detailed assessment of the occupational nature of selected conditions. Regular population-based information on the distribution of common workplace exposures that can be assessed by interview is essential to understanding the relationship of these risk factors to health data contained within NHIS.

Recommendation 14: The National Center for Health Statistics and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health should develop a survey supplement on work risk factors and occupational disorders for periodic inclusion in the National Health Interview Surveys. Additional funds should be devoted to support this effort.

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) is a continuous annual survey designed to examine public health issues that can best be addressed through physical and laboratory examinations of the U.S. population. Currently over 100 environmental chemicals are measured in either blood or urine specimens for various subpopulations.

Recommendation 15: The National Center for Health Statistics and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health should collaborate in an effort to identify, using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, subpopulations of older workers where chemical exposure is likely to be an important work risk factor and to develop a list of chemicals to be included in surveys of such populations in the future. Additional funds should be devoted to support this effort.

In the 1970s, the BLS carried out national Quality of Employment Surveys to describe the prevalence of and trends in job characteristics and other workplace risk factors. These nationally representative databases proved a valuable resource for assessing prevalence and trends for work risk factors. For example, the surveys were central to the development of the Job Content Questionnaire.

Recommendation 16: The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the Department of Labor should collaborate and be funded to develop a survey instrument and periodically conduct surveys to describe the prevalence of and trends in job characteristics and other workplace risk factors in a manner similar to the Quality of Employment Surveys.

  • Cite this Page National Research Council (US) and Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on the Health and Safety Needs of Older Workers; Wegman DH, McGee JP, editors. Health and Safety Needs of Older Workers. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2004. 9, Conclusions and Recommendations.
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Occupational safety and health should not be sidelined as a service delivery issue. Health worker health and well-being is an important aspect of workers’ motivation and job satisfaction, which influence productivity as well as retention. Health worker safety also affects the quality of care; caring for the caregiver should be a priority area of concern for the health system’s performance. What is good for employee health is good for patient health. Multistakeholder initiatives that include global principles, national policy advocacy, and the involvement of professional councils, schools, and health facilities can facilitate OSH risk reduction measures and fill the gaps. The PPE Campaign represents an important approach to bringing occupational safety and health policies to practice, ensuring the well-being of the health sector’s most important resource and in turn that of the patients and populations they serve, thus helping to transform the health system at large.

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  • 1. Why does workplace safety matter?
  • 2. How do you make health workers’ safety a higher-level policy issue?
  • 3. Creating positive practice environments to prioritize occupational health
  • 4. Conclusion

The views expressed in this document do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Agency for International Development or the United States Government.

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Safety and Health, Essay Example

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In Chapter 24, the focus is on chemical compounds.  The interest in chemicals by the general public has become greatly increased recently due to chemical catastrophes in India, Michigan, New York, and other locations.  In India in 1988, methyl isocyanate gas leaked from a chemical plant and settled over a 15 square mile area.  The chemical killed 2,500 people and injured 20,000 others.  Because of events like this, the public has become rightly concerned with chemicals.  There are a multitude of chemical compounds, greater than 3,000,000 registered compounds, of which approximately 60,000 have economic value in the marketplace.  Another estimated 700-1000 compounds enter the marketplace each year.  According to NIOSH, 5000 chemicals have some inherent hazards.  However, only 500 chemical compounds have published exposure standards.  So, many chemicals are lacking published hazards.

The three main types of hazards for chemicals are: 1. health effects , 2. fires and explosions, and 3. reactivity with other materials.  Chapter 24 mainly focuses on the different health effects of chemical compounds.  It is important to note that the hazards are interrelated.  That is, a fire can cause a chemical to become less stable and more reactive.  As the chemical becomes more reactive it can cause more serious health effects, so it becomes very important to understand how to properly address each of the hazards without causing greater hazards.

Since the focus of this chapter is health effects, this summary will mainly address those concerns.  There are three main entries into the body for chemicals, inhalation, ingestion, and absorption.  To understand the health effects of inhalation, one must understand the two forms of airborne contaminants: particulates and gases or vapors.  Particulates are classified by their size and chemical makeup and include dusts, fumes, smoke, aerosols, and mists.  The shape of the particulate is also important as some are spherical while others are long and fibrous.  Dusts are made of fine particulate matter created from processes that break matter into smaller pieces.  Fumes are fine solids often formed from the condensation of vapors.  Smoke is carbon or soot particles that result from incomplete combustion of carbonaceous materials.  Aerosols are solid or liquid particulates that are dispersed in the air.  Mists are liquid droplets that are suspended in or falling through air.  Gases are a different state of matter from solids or liquids.  Lastly, vapors are the gaseous phase of a substance that is a liquid at normal temperature and pressure.

When chemicals enter the body, they often affect particular organs of the body.  The effects on the organs can cause physical change, such as headache and nausea, and behavioral change, such as hallucinations and confusion.  Three factors determine the damage that the chemical will cause.  One is the type and form of the substance, two is the type and rate of exposure, and three is what happens to the substance in the body.  The time of exposure affects the latency period.  Some chemicals cause immediate effects while others may not have effects for years, as is the case with carcinogens.  Time also determines if an exposure is acute or chronic.  An acute exposure is one that causes damage in a single short exposure.  A chronic exposure is one that causes damage over a long period of multiple exposures.  Additionally, health effects can be local or systemic.  A local effect is one that causes injury to eyes, skin, or the respiratory tract after one or more exposures.  A systemic effect occurs when a substance enters the body and disrupts organs or other biological functions.  Interestingly, chemicals known as asphyxiants do not directly affect the body.  Instead, they displace oxygen which then causes damage to the organs and tissues of the body.  Some of the most serious health effects from chemicals are carcinogens, mutagens, and teratogens.  A substance that falls into one of these three categories causes damage to the DNA of a person resulting in a wide-range of effects for a long period of time.

Interestingly, not every person reacts the same to a chemical.  Some people have allergies to chemicals that cause increased responses.  Others become desensitized through exposure and do not show health effects until they are placed in repeated exposures.

So, what methods are used to assess the toxic properties of these chemicals, given that they have sometimes serious and wide-ranging effects?  The first method is through human experimentation.  However, it is unethical to test chemicals on humans for toxicity.  So, human experimentation is no longer used to test chemicals if the chemical is suspected to be toxic.  Another more useful method of assessing toxicity is through human experience.  While we do not allow humans to be exposed on purpose, sometimes they are exposed through accident.  By studying the outcomes of these accidents, the effects of the chemicals involved can be gauged.  Most toxicity data comes from the use of animal experimentation.  When chemicals are tested on animals that are similar in physiology to humans, much can be learned about their effects.  There are some drawbacks to this procedure.  For instance, a chemical with a long latency time must be tested at higher doses than a human would normally encounter in order to speed up the effects.  This process means that the animal experiments are useful for the study of toxicity in humans but not completely reliable.  Lastly, chemicals can be tested on microorganisms in order to more quickly get results.  These tests are generally short-term as microorganisms have such a short life.  The most common of these tests is the Ames test.

Chemicals are some of man’s greatest inventions, but they have the potential for great harm.  One must understand how the chemical works and how it can be toxic to a human in order to handle it safely.

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What kind of a business student are you? Using your personal, academic, or volunteer/work experiences, describe the topics or issues that you care about and why they are important to you. Your response should convey how your interests align with the school to which you are applying within the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business (Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management or the Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration). (650 word limit)

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Instructions: All applicants are required to write two supplemental essays. Each has a limit of 250 words. Essay 1 is required of all applicants. For Essay 2, you must choose between Question A and Question B.

Essay 1: Required response. (250-word limit)

How do your interests directly connect with Cornell Engineering? If you have an intended major, what draws you to that department at Cornell Engineering? If you are unsure what specific engineering field you would like to study, describe how your general interest in engineering most directly connects with Cornell Engineering. It may be helpful to concentrate on one or two things that you are most excited about.

Essay 2: Choose either Question A and Question B. (250-word limit)

Question A: Describe an engineering problem that impacts your local community. This could be your school, neighborhood, town, region, or a group you identify with. Describe one to three things you might do as an engineer to solve the problem.

Question B: Diversity in all forms is intrinsic to excellence in engineering. Engineering the best solutions to complex problems is often achieved by drawing from the diverse ingenuity of people from different backgrounds, lived experiences, and identities. How do you see yourself contributing to the diversity and/or the inclusion of the Cornell Engineering community? What is the unique voice you would bring to the Cornell Engineering community?

College of Human Ecology

How have your related experiences influenced your decision to apply to the College of Human Ecology (CHE)? How will your choice of major impact your goals and plans for the future? Your response should show us that your interests and aspirations align with CHE and your choice of major. (Refer to our essay application tips before you begin.) (650 word limit)

School of Industrial and Labor Relations

Using your personal, academic, or volunteer/work experiences, describe the topics or issues that you care about and why they are important to you. Your response should show us that your interests align with the ILR School. (650 word limit)

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Providing Safe and Healthy Work Environment Essay

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Workplace safety is a matter of great importance. It is an issue worthy utmost concern from the management in any given organization (Harvey, 2003). This is because safety involves “preventing harm whether physical, physiological, or psychological in nature” (Nigel, 2004). Ensuring employees’ safety and health can be equated to protecting company’s assets (Nigel, 2004). This is because employees are the most important assets in an organization.

In a situation where an employee is injured in the workplace, this may result to lowered productivity and increased expenses to the organization (Harvey, 2003). This is because the company will spend more money in treating the injured employee. On the other hand, having appropriate measures that will guarantee safe workplace means that, the workforce will be healthy and ready to sustain a steady economical growth in both short and long-term (Nigel, 2004). Therefore, the most critical issue is maintaining a safe and healthy workplace environment for social change.

Because the issue of workplace safety is a very sensitive topic, the HR departments in most organizations have tried to implement numerous measures that are meant to ensure a safe and healthy work environment. Among the proposed solutions, include designing safer systems of work, exhibiting commitment by the HR department, developing a monitoring policy, training employees, inspecting the work environment, establishing appropriate preventing procedures and controls, setting up safety and health committees, and drawing up action plan (Admin, 2011). Among these recommended solution I fully agree with developing training program, inspecting the workplace, and designing safer system in the workplace.

One of the most reliable ways of ensuring workplace safety and health is by providing appropriate training to employees (Admin, 2011). Developing a safety and healthy workplace training program can play a major role in promoting healthy and safety workplace. Developing a relevant training program will help employees to acquire knowledge, skills, and experience (Admin, 2011). Training on issues of health and safety in the workplace will not only increase skills, but will also help in improving employees’ performance and hence increase productivity (Nigel, 2004).

In a farm (a coffee farm), the human resource manager can develop a training program that will provide knowledge and enlighten all farm employees on issues of safety in their work environment. In such a farm, a number of factors pose potential health and safety risks. Farm machinery, drugs and chemical, fire, and individuals are risks to healthy and safety in the farm. The HR manager should sensitize all involved participants by making them understand the importance of safety in such a work environment.

As a healthy and safety measure, the HR manager should provide training to all employees so that they can acquire appropriate knowledge on how to use farm machineries, how to prevent fire outbreaks, how to prevent accidents, and proper handling of drugs and chemicals. Such training is imperative as the employees get to know the best practices that would minimize potential hazards and hence ensuring healthy and safety in the workplace (Nigel, 2004).

In order to ensure effective training program, both employees and the manager must play their roles accordingly. The HR manager has a legal and moral obligation to play in the training process. When beginning a healthy and safety training program, the HR manager should ensure that, the training environment is friendly for all staff (Nigel, 2004). For instance, it should be accommodative to employees with special needs. As a moral obligation, the HR should also ensure that the training program does not discriminate any of the organization’s employees (Nigel, 2004).

The program should be able to promote fairness. In order to improve the workplace safety and health through training, the HR manager must fully inform his subordinates of their rights and responsibilities throughout the training session. Most importantly, the manager should commit resources necessary to complete the safety and health training session. He should be able to provide safety equipments (Nigel, 2004).

I do agree that designing safer system of works is also a safety and health measure in the work environment. Purchasing working and “in good condition” machines will reduce the safety and health hazards in any given organization (Nigel, 2004). It has been noted that most of the work-related accidents happen due to failure of machines (Harvey, 2003). In a factory for instance, when employees are operating a cutting machine, they may be exposed to safety risks in case a machine fails. Such a machine may cause severe damage to the operators (employees).

Designing safer systems is an appropriate solution because the risk is eliminated at the early stages. The HR should carry an extensive research to investigate and indentify machineries that are not in good condition. The HR should inform his staff about those machineries that are not effective so that they can avoid working with such machines. As a long-term solution, the management should replace non-working machines with properly working machines.

I am also of the opinion that carryout inspection at the work can also improve workplace safety and health (Harvey, 2003). As such, it is important for all companies and organizations to do regular safety inspections in the Workplace. Conducting workplace inspection has many advantages namely, cost saving, increased workers productivity, and identifying hazards before they cause any harm (Harvey, 2003).

Regular inspection at the workplace saves the organization a lot of money that could be spend for compensating workers in case of an accident. Employees are company’s most valued asset and should be protected at all cost (Harvey, 2003). Preventing accidents that cause physical injury to employees ensures productivity and success of the company. When workers are out of danger, they spend their time working to ensure that they meet the goals and objectives of the company.

In maintaining workplace safety, both the human resource manager and employees have a responsibility to play. The employees need to report any accident or illness that occurs in their area of work promptly to facilitate compensation and insurance cover in time to eliminate any chances of accidents (Harvey, 2003).

As a moral obligation, the human resource manager should ensure that employees work in safe and healthy environment (Harvey, 2003). The management of the organization needs to respond fast to any accident reports without biasness or favor. The HR department needs to investigate any reported cases to find out what caused the accident and any preventive measures that can be used to prevent similar accidents (Harvey, 2003). For instance, restaurants that have electronic equipments or machines that may cause burns and cut among other forms of injury must be inspected to identify any malfunctions in such machines. The HR department should always carryout systematic investigations to ensure adequate safety measures are put in place (Harvey, 2003). Once faults are discovered in such machines, the HR should report the case to the relevant department for maintenance or change of equipments.

In conclusion, while trying to provide safe and healthy work environment, the HR must play his role adequately. As such, the HR should play his legal and moral roles in accordance to company’s policy. The manager should be able to promote fairness and address the needs of all employees without cases of discrimination. The HR should consider a method that best suits the situation and addresses the potential risks for better and safe workplace.

Admin. (2011). Role of Management in Improving Workplace Safety and Health . Web.

Harvey, S. (2003). Workplace Safety . Chatswood: Software Publications Pty, Limited.

Nigel, B. (2004). Workplace safety .Sidney: Pearson Education.

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IvyPanda. (2020, July 22). Providing Safe and Healthy Work Environment.

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Home — Essay Samples — Arts & Culture — African American Culture — African American Female College Students’ Barriers


African American Female College Students’ Barriers

  • Categories: African American African American Culture African American History

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Words: 10095 |

Pages: 22 |

51 min read

Published: Jun 18, 2024

Words: 10095 | Pages: 22 | 51 min read

Table of contents

Historical context, financial barriers, societal and familial expectations, systemic racism and discrimination, mental health challenges, lack of representation and support, overcoming barriers: strategies and recommendations, additional barriers and strategies, community and external support, enhancing cultural competence and inclusivity, long-term strategies for systemic change, enhancing peer support and engagement, institutional commitment to diversity and inclusion, addressing the digital divide, enhancing career development and professional opportunities, building a supportive campus community, addressing socioeconomic barriers, engaging alumni and building networks, promoting research and scholarship, financial support, mentorship and support networks, mental health services, representation and inclusion, community and policy support, creating a supportive and inclusive campus environment, technological barriers, navigating predominantly white institutions (pwis).

This essay explores the multifaceted barriers faced by African American female college students, including financial constraints, societal expectations, systemic racism, mental health challenges, and lack of representation. It discusses the historical context and the compounded effects of these barriers, emphasizing the need for financial support, mentorship, culturally competent mental health services, and inclusive campus policies. The essay highlights strategies for overcoming these obstacles, such as increasing diversity in faculty, enhancing peer support networks, addressing the digital divide, and promoting community and policy engagement to create a more equitable and supportive educational environment.

  • “The State of Higher Education for Black Women and Girls” – National Coalition on Black Civic Participation
  • “Supporting Black Female Students: Challenges and Opportunities” – American Association of University Women
  • “The Invisible Ones: How Latino and African American Women Experience Higher Education” – Institute for Women’s Policy Research
  • “Microaggressions in the Classroom” – University of Denver
  • “The Financial Crisis Facing Black College Students” – Forbes
  • “Mental Health and African American Students” – American College Health Association
  • “Intersectionality and Higher Education: Identity and Inequality on College Campuses” – Oxford University Press
  • “The Impact of Racism on Mental Health” – American Psychological Association
  • “The Digital Divide Among College Students” – Pew Research Center
  • “Why Black Women Are Leaving Higher Education” – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “Creating Inclusive College Classrooms” – Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching
  • “The Importance of Cultural Centers in Higher Education” – NASPA
  • “Supporting Students of Color: Strategies for Success” – Education Trust
  • “The Role of Mentorship in Promoting Diversity in STEM” – National Institutes of Health”Food Insecurity on College Campuses: A Growing Concern” – NPR
  • “How HBCUs Support Black Students” – Brookings Institution
  • “Financial Literacy Programs for College Students” – National Endowment for Financial Education
  • “Supporting the Mental Health Needs of Students of Color” – JED Foundation
  • “The Economic Impact of Closing the Racial Wealth Gap” – McKinsey & Company
  • “The Benefits of Diverse Faculty in Higher Education” – American Council on Education

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Guest Essay

Surgeon General: Why I’m Calling for a Warning Label on Social Media Platforms

An illustration of a girl lying in bed in a darkened room. The glow from her phone illuminates her pillow with a warning sign, a triangle with an exclamation point inside it.

By Vivek H. Murthy

Dr. Murthy is the surgeon general.

One of the most important lessons I learned in medical school was that in an emergency, you don’t have the luxury to wait for perfect information. You assess the available facts, you use your best judgment, and you act quickly.

The mental health crisis among young people is an emergency — and social media has emerged as an important contributor. Adolescents who spend more than three hours a day on social media face double the risk of anxiety and depression symptoms, and the average daily use in this age group, as of the summer of 2023, was 4.8 hours . Additionally, nearly half of adolescents say social media makes them feel worse about their bodies.

It is time to require a surgeon general’s warning label on social media platforms, stating that social media is associated with significant mental health harms for adolescents. A surgeon general’s warning label, which requires congressional action, would regularly remind parents and adolescents that social media has not been proved safe. Evidence from tobacco studies show that warning labels can increase awareness and change behavior. When asked if a warning from the surgeon general would prompt them to limit or monitor their children’s social media use, 76 percent of people in one recent survey of Latino parents said yes.

To be clear, a warning label would not, on its own, make social media safe for young people. The advisory I issued a year ago about social media and young people’s mental health included specific recommendations for policymakers, platforms and the public to make social media safer for kids. Such measures, which already have strong bipartisan support, remain the priority.

Legislation from Congress should shield young people from online harassment, abuse and exploitation and from exposure to extreme violence and sexual content that too often appears in algorithm-driven feeds. The measures should prevent platforms from collecting sensitive data from children and should restrict the use of features like push notifications, autoplay and infinite scroll, which prey on developing brains and contribute to excessive use.

Additionally, companies must be required to share all of their data on health effects with independent scientists and the public — currently they do not — and allow independent safety audits. While the platforms claim they are making their products safer, Americans need more than words. We need proof.

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Discovering the Versatility and Health Benefits of Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth

This essay discusses the numerous benefits and versatile uses of food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE). It highlights DE’s role as a natural detoxifier, aiding in the elimination of toxins and promoting digestive health. The essay explains how DE effectively combats parasites in both humans and animals, serving as a gentle insecticide. Additionally, it covers DE’s contributions to skin, hair, and nail health due to its high silica content. Beyond personal health, DE’s household applications are explored, including its use as a cleaning agent and pest deterrent. The essay also touches on DE’s benefits in gardening and animal husbandry, emphasizing its role in organic pest control and soil enrichment.

How it works

Food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE), derived from the fossilized remains of microscopic aquatic organisms known as diatoms, is gaining recognition for its wide array of applications and health benefits. Though its industrial counterpart is commonly used for filtration and pest control, the food-grade variety offers a plethora of advantages, particularly for human and animal health. This unique powder has a surprising number of uses that make it an essential addition to many households.

One of the most remarkable benefits of food-grade DE is its detoxifying properties.

Composed mainly of silica, DE helps the body rid itself of toxins, heavy metals, and other impurities. When ingested, the fine, abrasive particles of DE gently cleanse the digestive tract, promoting a healthier gut environment. Users often report improved digestion, enhanced nutrient absorption, and a general boost in energy levels after incorporating DE into their daily routine. This gentle internal cleansing can lead to a noticeable increase in overall vitality and well-being.

In addition to its detoxifying effects, DE serves as a natural insecticide within the body, effectively combating parasites. The microscopic sharp edges of DE particles can pierce the exoskeletons of intestinal parasites, causing them to dehydrate and die. This makes DE a powerful yet gentle remedy for parasitic infestations, eliminating the need for harsh chemical treatments. For pet owners, adding a small amount of food-grade DE to their pets’ diets can help keep them free from worms and other internal parasites, enhancing their health and longevity.

Food-grade DE also offers significant benefits for skin, hair, and nail health. The high silica content is essential for the production of collagen, a protein that maintains skin elasticity and strength. Regular consumption of DE can lead to thicker hair, stronger nails, and a more youthful complexion. Additionally, DE can be applied topically as an exfoliant to remove dead skin cells, promoting clearer, smoother skin. Its natural drying and anti-inflammatory properties make it an effective treatment for acne and other skin conditions, providing a natural alternative to commercial skincare products.

Beyond its health benefits, food-grade diatomaceous earth is incredibly versatile for household use. Its abrasive quality makes it an excellent cleaning agent, ideal for scrubbing pots and pans, polishing metal, and even acting as a gentle abrasive in homemade toothpaste. DE can also be sprinkled around the home as a natural pest deterrent. Its ability to dehydrate insects makes it effective against ants, bedbugs, and other common household pests without introducing harmful chemicals into the living environment.

In the garden, DE serves as a natural pesticide, protecting plants from insect damage. When dusted onto plants, the fine particles adhere to insects, causing them to dehydrate and die. This organic solution to pest control is safe for the environment and does not compromise soil health or the safety of fruits and vegetables. Additionally, the silica in DE can enrich the soil, promoting stronger and healthier plant growth.

For those involved in animal husbandry, food-grade diatomaceous earth is invaluable. Farmers often mix DE into livestock feed to prevent parasitic infections and improve the overall health of their animals. Chickens, for example, benefit from DE as it helps control mites and other parasites when dusted onto their feathers and nesting areas. The result is healthier animals and a reduction in the need for chemical interventions, making DE an excellent addition to any farm management strategy.

While the benefits of food-grade diatomaceous earth are numerous, it is important to use it correctly to avoid potential issues. When consuming DE, it is crucial to ensure it is food-grade and to start with small amounts, gradually increasing the dosage to prevent digestive discomfort. Additionally, while DE is generally safe for most people and animals, those with respiratory issues should handle it with care to avoid inhaling the fine dust, which can irritate the lungs.

Incorporating food-grade diatomaceous earth into daily life can lead to a host of improvements. For example, individuals looking to enhance their personal care routine might mix DE with water to create a natural face mask that exfoliates and revitalizes the skin. Those interested in boosting their pet’s health can simply sprinkle a small amount into their food, helping to maintain their internal health without synthetic medications.

Gardeners might find that using DE as a natural pesticide not only protects their plants but also improves the quality of their soil. The ability to control pests without harmful chemicals means that gardens can thrive organically, producing healthier fruits and vegetables. In the kitchen, a sprinkle of DE can keep the pantry free from unwanted pests, ensuring that stored foods remain fresh and uncontaminated.

In essence, food-grade diatomaceous earth is a multifaceted substance that offers significant benefits across various aspects of life. From enhancing personal health and beauty routines to providing practical household solutions and improving agricultural practices, DE proves to be an indispensable tool. As more people become aware of its versatile applications, it is likely that food-grade diatomaceous earth will become a staple in many homes around the world, valued for its natural effectiveness and wide-ranging benefits.


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"Discovering the Versatility and Health Benefits of Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth." , 17 Jun 2024, (2024). Discovering the Versatility and Health Benefits of Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth . [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 18 Jun. 2024]

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"Discovering the Versatility and Health Benefits of Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth," , 17-Jun-2024. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 18-Jun-2024] (2024). Discovering the Versatility and Health Benefits of Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth . [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 18-Jun-2024]

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    Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is to ensure all staff are aware of their part in health and safety. Mental Health Act 1983 to ensure that people that have mental disorders get the care and treatment needed. Electricity at Work Regulations. Free Essays from Bartleby | Health and Safety Precautions When carrying out my treatment plans I will ...

  21. Safety and Health, Essay Example

    The three main types of hazards for chemicals are: 1. health effects , 2. fires and explosions, and 3. reactivity with other materials. Chapter 24 mainly focuses on the different health effects of chemical compounds. It is important to note that the hazards are interrelated. That is, a fire can cause a chemical to become less stable and more ...

  22. The Safety and Health Implications of Drinking Distilled Water

    This essay is about the safety and health implications of drinking distilled water. Distilled water is highly purified through boiling and condensation, removing contaminants but also essential minerals like calcium and magnesium. ... In conclusion, distilled water stands as a safe consumable option, offering a degree of purity that resonates ...

  23. RasGuides: Parts of the Paper: Conclusion Paragraph

    To be effective, a conclusion must mesh logically and stylistically with what comes earlier. A long, complex paper often ends with a summary of the main points, but several other options may be used for shorter papers with easy-to-understand ideas. Most short essays have single-paragraph conclusions; longer papers may require two or three ...

  24. Allocative Policies and Dental Public Health

    Introduction. Dental public health is an essential aspect of overall well-being, yet it remains a neglected area in many healthcare systems. Allocative policies, which determine the distribution of resources within the healthcare sector, play a critical role in shaping dental public health outcomes.

  25. Cornell First-Year Writing Supplement Prompts

    Instructions: All applicants are required to write two supplemental essays. Each has a limit of 250 words. Essay 1 is required of all applicants. For Essay 2, you must choose between Question A and Question B. Essay 1: Required response. (250-word limit) How do your interests directly connect with Cornell Engineering?

  26. Reflecting on the Heartbreaking Tragedy of Sandy Hook: A Call for

    It explores the aftermath of the tragedy, including discussions on gun control, mental health, and school safety. Through an examination of the societal response to Sandy Hook, the essay highlights the need for comprehensive reform in addressing issues surrounding gun violence, improving access to mental health care, and fostering a culture of ...

  27. Providing Safe and Healthy Work Environment Essay

    The HR manager has a legal and moral obligation to play in the training process. When beginning a healthy and safety training program, the HR manager should ensure that, the training environment is friendly for all staff (Nigel, 2004). For instance, it should be accommodative to employees with special needs. As a moral obligation, the HR should ...

  28. African American Female College Students' Barriers

    Institutions must critically examine and revise their policies and practices to ensure they promote equity and inclusion. This includes reviewing admissions processes, financial aid policies, and campus safety protocols to identify and address any biases or barriers that disproportionately affect African American female students.

  29. Opinion

    Public health leaders should demand healthy digital environments for young people. Doctors, nurses and other clinicians should raise the issue of social media with kids and parents and guide them ...

  30. Discovering the Versatility and Health Benefits of Food Grade

    This essay discusses the numerous benefits and versatile uses of food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE). It highlights DE's role as a natural detoxifier, aiding in the elimination of toxins and promoting digestive health. The essay explains how DE effectively combats parasites in both humans and animals, serving as a gentle insecticide.