Health Hazard Prevention

Occupational illnesses have some unique features that can be attributed to the underreporting of them. The following is some information about occupational illnesses:

  • • They are more difficult to recognize or diagnose.
  • • There is often a latency period between exposure and the occurrence of symptoms.
  • • There is not always a clear cause-and-effect relationship.
  • • Root or basic causes are not clearly apparent.
  • • It is difficult to determine a sequence of events.

This is why preventing occupation illnesses is more difficult to address in the workplace environment. Occupational illnesses are often exacerbated by exposures off the job.

As with any problem, goals must set forth in order to address long-term prevention. In the arena of prevention, the objectives for Healthy People 2020 are as follows:

  • • Reduce the rate of injury and illness cases involving days away from work due to overexertion or repetitive motion.
  • • Reduce pneumoconiosis.
  • • Reduce the proportion of workers with elevated blood lead concentration from occupational exposure.
  • • Reduce occupation skin diseases or disorders among full-time workers.
  • • Reduce new cases of work-related noise-induced hearing loss.
  • • Increase the proportion of employees who have access to workplace programs that prevent or reduce employee stress.
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