Creating a Future for Occupational Health

Objectives: Economic, social, technical, and political drivers are fundamentally changing the nature of work and work environments, with profound implications for the field of occupational health. Nevertheless, researchers and practitioners entering the field are largely being trained to assess and control exposures using approaches developed under old models of work and risks.
Methods: A speaker series and symposium were organized to broadly explore current challenges and future directions for the occupational health field. Broad themes identified throughout these discussions are characterized and discussed to highlight important future directions of occupational health.
Findings: Despite the relatively diverse group of presenters and topics addressed, some important cross-cutting themes emerged. Changes in work organization and the resulting insecurity and precarious employment arrangements change the nature of risk to a large fraction of the workforce. Workforce demographics are changing, and economic disparities among working groups are growing. Globalization exacerbates the ‘race to the bottom’ for cheap labor, poor regulatory oversight, and limited labor rights. Largely, as a result of these phenomena, the historical distinction between work and non-work exposures has become largely artificial and less useful in understanding risks and developing effective public health intervention models. Additional changes related to climate change, governmental and regulatory limitations, and inadequate surveillance systems challenge and frustrate occupational health progress, while new biomedical and information technologies expand the opportunities for understanding and intervening to improve worker health.
Conclusion: The ideas and evidences discussed during this project suggest that occupational health training, professional practice, and research evolve towards a more holistic, public health-oriented model of worker health. This will require engagement with a wide network of stakeholders. Research and training portfolios need to be broadened to better align with the current realities of work and health and to prepare practitioners for the changing array of occupational health challenges.

Source: Peckham, Trevor K., Baker, Marissa, G., Camp, Janice E., Kaufman, Joel D., & Seixas, Noah S. (2017). Annals of Work Exposures and Health, 61(1), 3-15.
https://doi.org/10.1093/annweh/wxw011

Envoyé: 2017-02-06 15:22 par Maryse Gagnon | avec aucun commentaire
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