Blog Posts

Queering Environmental Justice: A Glance into Intersectional Perspectives

October 19, 2022

Early environmental justice advocacy started with a focus on the impacts of where toxic pollutants and toxic facilities were located in relation to communities of color.

Ergonomics Cross-Training: Fundamentals for the Industrial Hygienist

February 3, 2020

The field of industrial hygiene is changing, with many occupational health and safety professionals required to perform duties outside the scope of their primary training.

Ergonomics in particular is frequently delegated to industrial hygienists. While most industrial hygiene university programs include some ergonomics education, the basics aren’t always enough to make the desired impact. Advancing knowledge and education...

Why Athletic Trainers are an Ergonomic Fit

June 2, 2021

Certified Athletic Trainers are increasingly being recruited to work as ergonomic practitioners in industrial settings. In this role, a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) can help prevent musculoskeletal injuries in settings like warehouses, labs, manufacturing plants, and office buildings. ATCs can be valuable members of an occupational and environmental health and safety (OEHS) team, performing workstation evaluations; training workers on safe posture, techniques, and tools; and managing ergonomic programs aimed at reducing injuries and optimizing productivity....

Telework: New Technologies, New Ways of Working

July 6, 2021

A combination of pandemic related work-from-home practices and advances in information technology is shifting the traditional work location for many employees from the office to remote work locations. Full-time telework, where employees can work from anywhere and at any time, is now offered by 37% of organizations (1).

Common advantages of teleworking include:

Reduction of corporate office space needs

Attending to government regulations such as clear air standards

Enhancing employee retention

Improving employee recruitment...

May edition of the UC Safety Spotlight

February 8, 2022

The May edition of the Safety Spotlight has been posted. The focus this month is on Fleet, Walk and Bike Safety. You can access the current newsletter here (as well as older editions).

Download the current issue: May-2018-safety-spotlight-campus

Barbara Burgel Appointed to CA Occupational Safety and Health Board

May 1, 2018

Congratulations to Barbara Burgel, recently appointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. to the California Occupational Safety Health Standards Board!

Barbara Burgel has been an independent occupational health consultant since 2017. She has been professor emeritus at the University of California, San Francisco since 2017, where she served as a professor from 1981 to 2017 and as a nurse practitioner from 1979 to 2017, including at the Occupational Medicine Clinic, Community Occupational Health Project and at the Progress Foundation. Burgel has been an external auditor...

7 Crucial Steps to Protect Yourself from Computer Injuries

August 6, 2018

If you notice aches and pains while using the computer, you’re not alone. Musculoskeletal problems can happen to anyone who uses a computer for a long period of time, and can range from minor muscle aches that disappear after a few hours, to persistent tendon problems that can last for years. Don’t let a minor ache progress to a disabling condition, and follow these 7 crucial steps to protect yourself from computer injuries:

Pay attention to tension, discomfort, or pain, and take immediate action to relieve it. The most common body areas to watch are the...

New Data on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

December 17, 2018

From 2007 – 2014, more than 139,000 California workers suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). The highest rates of CTS were found in industries that manufacture apparel, process food, and perform administrative work, where workers are often required to perform repetitive tasks and/or maintain awkward postures. Women were found to have a CTS rate more than 3x that among men, with persons aged 45-54 most impacted.

You can learn more about CTS in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s October 5th issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)....

5 Key Methods to a Safer Workplace: Why Collaboration is Key in Ergonomics

June 4, 2019

Involving workers in the decision-making process is a vital step to improve productivity and workplace safety. Worker insight can help identify problem areas and effective solutions, and also improve buy-in to implement changes in practice.

The best employers know how to utilize their employees' knowledge to improve the organizational environment and promote human-centered work. This can be accomplished through creating systems for collaboration (Burgess-Limerick et al, 2018). Participatory ergonomics (PE) is a branch of ergonomics drawing on varied mechanisms...

Is your occupation at a higher risk for hearing loss? New data from NIOSH.

September 26, 2019

Hearing loss is one of the most common chronic physical conditions in the United States, ranked third behind hypertension and arthritis. 12% of the US working population experience hearing difficulty, and 58% of these cases are attributable to occupational noise exposure as reported by the National Center for Health Statistics.

This new study, Prevalence of Hearing Loss Among Noise-Exposed Workers within the Mining and Oil and Gas...