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Donald E. Cummings Memorial Award Lecture: Redefining Occupational Health for the New Economy (AIHce EXP 2019 OnDemand)

Course Description:
Recorded at AIHce EXP 2019

Industrial hygiene developed during an age of heavy resource extraction and manufacturing and further defined through the establishment of the OSHA law and regulations. The science and practice of occupational hygiene served us well during this period when employment was largely structured with full time, fixed location, permanent jobs with relatively high rates of unionization, benefits and wages, known as the 'Standard Employment Relationship.' However, employment relationships have been rapidly changing over the past few decades, with increasing use of temporary and contracted work, with concomitant wage stagnation, loss of benefits, and the ability of workers to influence job conditions. In addition, changing use of technologies, and demographics of the workforce have altered the landscape for the practice of occupational health. To address the health threats to working populations in this new context, the profession must also evolve its approach. Here I propose I new paradigm for prevention of work-related health risks, incorporating relational aspects of work, known as 'employment quality' along with traditional occupational exposures, and an increased attention to psychosocial aspects of the work environment, and social context of the workforce, to promote the health of working populations.

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Noah Seixas, University of Washington