Improving Worker Health & Safety


August 2013
CWHE Annual Shinrin-yoku (aka "forest bathing") at French Pass
19th Annual Fall Technical Conference

Register now and take advantage of early bird rates!   


When: September 17 - 18, 2013

Where: Arvada Center for Performing Arts


For more details  and registration please check out the website here

AOHP National Conference
Orlando, Florida
"Refresh, renew and revive yourself" at the 2013 Association of Occupational Health Professionals National Conference 
When: September 11 - 14, 2013
Where: Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista Hotel 
To find out more about the conference and to register click here  

National Worker Health & Safety Conference


Save the date !

 When: December 11 & 12, 2013 

Where: Baltimore, MD



Click here for more information


The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries is looking for a new team member 


The Department is looking for a new project manager for their Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program. This surveillance program focuses on preventing work-related fatalities.  


Click here to see a detailed job description and to apply.

Are you a graduate of a MAP ERC Training Program?


We love to keep in touch with all of our current and former trainees. If you are an alumn of one of the MAP ERC training programs, please take a moment to complete our alumni survey. If you haven't received the survey, please contact Carol Brown at


We want to know how we can continue to help you in your career, so fill out the survey today!

Lee Newman

If Obesity is a "Disease," what does that mean for the workplace?


Earlier this year, the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates passed a resolution recognizing obesity as a "disease state," an announcement that has prompted a great deal of chat in media and blogosphere. Today I'm going to speculate a little on what that disease designation might mean for the workplace.


What do we already know?


Work-related health effects associated with obesity. There are many work-related health effects that are associated with obesity, including cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal disorders, liver disease, asthma, vibration injuries, and others. As such, obesity can be a significant contributing risk factor for work-related injury and illness, worker's compensation claims and cost of claims, delayed recovery, absenteeism, ability to return to work, and need for accommodation to perform job duties.


How work can cause or aggravate obesity. In addition, obesity has been associated with occupational hazards, including sedentary work, jobs with low "control," shift work, job stress, and  certain chemicals (e.g. pesticides). As such, we have to think seriously about how the workplace is a significant contributor to obesity in workers and in the societal epidemic.


Click here to continue reading about the need to address obesity in the workplace.

In the Spotlight
Lindsay Schweitzer

Each month we like to shine the spotlight on a trainee or student who is doing great things within the Center and the MAP ERC. This month, we'd like to highlight our undergraduate summer intern, Lindsay Schweitzer.


A little about Lindsay  


I am a senior and a Public Health major at the University of Colorado Denver. I love Public Health and am particularly interested in worker health and safety which is how I connected with the Health Links group I am currently working with! This summer I have been helping them connect with local vendors throughout Colorado who provide health and safety resources to small businesses. Learning how to promote an education program in a business way has been very interesting and I have learned a lot. With fall on the way, I'm looking forward to a great semester and being one step closer to my graduation. When I'm not at work or school I love to read, bake, and spend time tutoring each week with an organization called the Bridge Project, which provides tutoring and after school activities to children in Denver public housing neighborhoods. 


CWHE: What does Public Health look like to you?

LS: To me, Public Health looks like individuals, families, and businesses making changes that will ultimately lead to healthier lives and healthier communities.


CWHE:  What is your favorite wellness activity? 

LS: There is a beautiful park just near my house, and I love to take my dog there for early morning jogs


CWHE:  What is the best thing you did this summer? Well, besides working with us ;-)  

LS: I took a vacation to San Diego where I enjoyed the ocean and amazing Mexican food for a week! 
Thanks Lindsay! It has been a pleasure having you around the office and we look forward to seeing where the future takes you!


Looks Who's Getting Recognized!


We want to give a special shout out to Ethan Moses and Kevin Walters for receiving the 2013-2014 Julie Schmid Research Scholarship. Congrats gentleman! Keep up the great work!


Research & Practice
Ken Scott

Governor's Proclamation Recognizes "Workplace Health and Safety Promotion Month"


Oh my. How far we have come. Since its inception, the Mountain & Plains ERC has placed a high priority on tracking occupational injuries and illnesses in the mountain & plains region. This month, at the state Capitol building, the Lieutenant Governor of Colorado read aloud a Proclamation to the news media and occupational safety and health community, signed by the Governor, in support of occupational health and safety as a consequence of this ongoing work.


A little bit of history for you: In 2008, Holly Sackett, Dr. Karen B. Mulloy and Dr. Lee Newman, along with Dr. Yvonne Boudreau from NIOSH compiled Colorado's first Occupational Health Indicator Report in accordance with the structure outlined by the Council for State and Territorial Epidemiologists. OHI Reports provide a baseline assessment of the health and safety conditions in a given state. The initial OHI report was updated in 2009 by Corey Campbell (a CDC Public Health Prevention Service Fellow at the time, now Corey Butler with NIOSH), Kaylan Stinson (with the MAP ERC), Dr. Mulloy, Dr. Yvonne Boudreau and Dr. Newman.


The two baseline Occupational Health Indicator Reports formed a foundation of experience tracking occupational injuries and illness, which led to a fundamental surveillance grant award from NIOSH to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Once the award was granted, Corey Butler (NIOSH), Meredith Towle (CDPHE) and Amy Warner (CDPHE) organized a group of stakeholders to develop what is now a successful surveillance system at the state health department. That group of stakeholders kept meeting, adopted the name WorkSafe Colorado and over the past several months worked with the Governor's office to host the recent Proclamation event.


You can read the proclamation on the WorkSafe Colorado website. We are proud to have worked with the broad group of stakeholders from industry, worker groups and government agencies in what we consider to be a milestone for occupational health and safety in Colorado.


Would you pay more for safety?
Kaylan Stinson

When developers decide to "go green", the building often attracts consumers for whom environmental sustainability is important and for which they are willing to pay a little more.  But, environmental sustainability doesn't always translate well for workers.  Green buildings typically have more complex design elements that can be more dangerous than traditional, non-green designs. So, does the same concept apply to consumers if developers can ensure fair and safe working conditions for their employees?


A recent market analysis, released by the Workers Defense Project, in collaboration the University of Texas' Center for Sustainable Development, examined consumer reactions to workforce practices and elements of a new certification program, called the Premier Community Builders program.   The goal of the Texas based Premier Community Builders program is to partner with developers to ensure quality construction jobs with fair and safe working conditions.   The market analysis collected data from 125 mixed-use residents and 161 hotel guests and reported that 69% of residents and 67% of tourists would pay more to live and work in buildings where workers are paid a living wage, are safe, and have the training they need. 


Be sure to check out the full report, on the Workers Defense Project website:  and share your thoughts with us on our Facebook page. 


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