ENCOUNTERING UNSAFE AND HAZARDOUS WORKPLACES
Recommendations for Improving the Workplace
Preventive interventions in the workplace include substitution of toxic materials with nontoxic or less toxic materials, lowering of exposures with engineering controls such as ventilation, or brief reduction of exposures using personal protective equipment such as respirators (2).
It is clear that primary prevention interventions are needed in the workplace, such as substitution of problem chemicals, process changes to address the sources of chemical and physical hazards, and other engineering interventions. In addition, secondary prevention interventions must be conducted, including a rapid and substantial increase in clinical, preventive, and educational occupational health services accessible to Latino workers. Because most occupational diseases remain undiagnosed and unreported by the current medical care system, improving the recognition, diagnosis, and reporting of occupational medicine providers is critical (5).
An example of an unsafe and hazardous workplace, would be "sweastshops." They are formally defined as 'business that regularly violate both safety or health and wage or child labor laws." Sweatshops are hazardous workplaces by definition.The occupational hazards encountered in sweatshop work in the garment industry include ergonomic hazards (for instance, repetitive motions, awkward working postures, vibrating tools such as fabric cutters, or falls from ladders), airborne hazards (for instance, high concentration of dust, poorly ventilated dry-cleaning solvents, or fumes from glues and fabric treatments), temperature extremes, and skin contact with irritant and allergenic substances (5).
||||This site was created by Tricia Tah in fulfillment of requirements for the course taught by Dr. Szkupinski Quiroga at Arizona State University, Spring 2007.|