National Women's Health Week - 58tinton.win

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Friday, May 18, 2018

National Women's Health Week

Once of my former students texted me this morning with a screenshot of a new webpage on the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) site:

Summary of the Industrious Hygienist's article in Professional Safety.

The webpage is entitled "How to Address Reproductive Health in the Workplace" and is a summary of one of my co-authored research articles. 

I'm excited to see the article I co-authored with J. Krzystowczyk in ASSE's Professional Safety magazine is continuing a conversation about protecting susceptible workers in the workplace. I learned that the additional attention is due to this week being National Women's Health Week (#NWHW). 

The definition of "susceptible worker" we developed for the research article is based off the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (2016) TSCA updates. 

TSCA provides a definition of �potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulation� as a subpopulation with a greater risk than the general population for adverse health effects relating to chemical exposure. A potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulation can include infants, children, pregnant women, workers, and the elderly.

Our working definition for "susceptible worker" in the article includes a worker who is:
  • Is pregnant or breastfeeding 
  • Plans to become pregnant 
  • Has a health condition that makes them more susceptible to workplace exposures 
  • Has a compromised immune system
  • Can also include a worker whose partner is pregnant or breastfeeding or plans to become pregnant 

The proposed Susceptible Worker Assessment Program (SWAP) we developed is intended to provide inclusive, gender-equal, and age-equal protection to all workers. 

My co-author and I are working on refining the program and making it user-friendly to the everyday occupational health and safety (OHS) professional in the U.S. We found some similar research from Frey, Schuster, Oberlinner, Queier-Wahrendorf, and Yong that supports the basic idea of this program. 

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