5 Essential Elements of a Total Worker Health Program

16 Nov 2015 Healthcare

Each year in the United States, about 4,500 workers die from work-related injuries, and more than 50,000 die from work-related illnesses. More than 3 million suffer nonfatal occupational injuries or illnesses; 2.8 million are treated in the emergency department; and 140,000 are hospitalized. The price tag to employers reaches $250 billion each year. Although employers have made progress in recent decades by reducing occupational injuries and illnesses and controlling their costs, there’s clearly more to do. And, getting it done may require a novel approach.

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CDC Warns of Severe Flu Cases in Young Adults

Flu season has started, and although so far it has not been as bad as last year’s, there have been reports of some young and middle-age adults developing severe cases of influenza, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
On Feb. 1, the CDC announced that flu cases are increasing across the country. And although the nation as a whole isn’t experiencing as much flu as this time last year, “some localized areas of the United States are already experiencing high activity, [and] further increases are expected in the coming weeks,” the CDC said in a health alert to physicians.
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Seasonal Flu – Employer Guidance to Reducing Exposure

Pandemic flu remains a concern for all employers. A pandemic can occur at any time and can be mild, moderate, or severe. The pandemic in 2009 was considered by CDC to be mild but it still created challenges for employers and showed that many workplaces were not prepared. The precautions identified in this guidance give a baseline for infection control during a seasonal flu outbreak, but they may not be enough to protect workers during a pandemic.

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Substance Use and Substance Use Disorder by Industry

Substance use negatively affects U.S. industry through lost productivity, workplace accidents and injuries, employee absenteeism, low morale, and increased illness. U.S. companies lose billions of dollars a year because of employees’ alcohol and drug use and related problems.1 Research shows that the rate of substance use varies by occupation and industry.2 The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) gathers information about substance use and dependence or abuse. NSDUH defines illicit drugs as marijuana/hashish, cocaine (including crack), inhalants, hallucinogens, heroin, or prescription-type drugs used nonmedically.3 Heavy alcohol use is defined as drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion (i.e., at the same time or within a couple of hours of each other) on 5 or more days in the past 30 days. NSDUH also includes a series of questions to assess symptoms of dependence on or abuse of alcohol or illicit drugs during the past year. These questions are used to classify persons as dependent on or abusing substances based on criteria in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV).4 In this report, dependence on or abuse of alcohol or illicit drugs is referred to as a “substance use disorder.” (Read more: source: samsha.gov)

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