Occupation Health

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					Occupational Health

Module 1 – History of
Occupational Health
 What is occupational health?
 Historical figures in occupational health
What is it?
   Occupational health is:
     Part of public health
     Assuring people are safe at work
     Preserving and protecting human resources
     Multidisciplinary approach to recognition,
      diagnosis, treatment and prevention and
      control of work-related diseases, injuries and
      other conditions
What is it?
 The bottom line – making sure people go
  home from work will all their fingers and
  toes, and that they have not been exposed
  to anything that will adversely affect their
 Your job should NOT make you sick!
Historical Figures in
Occupational Health
Dangerous Professions as Punishment

 "In that direction," the Cat said, waving its right paw round, "lives a
 Hatter: and in that direction," waving the other paw, "lives a March
 Hare. Visit either you like: they're both mad."
  "But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
  "Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "we're all mad here. I'm mad.
 You're mad."
                                      Alice's Adventures in Wonderland,
                                                            Lewis Carroll.
   Code of Hammurabi
     2000   B.C. ancient Babylonians
     Contains clauses for dealing with injuries, and
      monetary damages for those who injured others
     “If a man has caused the loss of a gentleman’s eye,
      his own eye shall be caused to be lost.”
          LaDou, J. (1986). Introduction to Occupational safety and
           Health. Chicago: National Safety Council, p.28.
Hippocrates (470 to 410 B.C.)
   Greek physician
   Father of Medicine
    (Hippocratic oath)
   Believed in rest, good
    diet, exercise and
   Observed lead
    poisoning among
Pliny the Elder (23 – 79 A.D.)
   Roman senator, writer
    and scientist
   Dangers related to
    zinc and sulfur
   First to recommend
    respiratory protection
     Miners should cover
      their mouths with an
      animal bladder
Georgius Agricola (1494-1555)
   Wrote De Re Metallica – mining,
    smelting and refining
     Need  for ventilation and fresh air in
     Environmental contamination
     Management techniques (shift
     Ergonomics, mechanical lift
     Butter is antidote for lead toxicity
     Goat’s bladder is used as
      respiratory protection
Georgius Agricola
   Described the following symptoms of
    arsenic and cadmium “…there is found in
    the mines black pompholyx, which eats
    wounds and ulcers to the bone; this also
    corrodes iron…these is a certain kind of
    cadmia which eats away at the feet of
    workmen when they have become wet,
    and similarly their hands, and injures their
    lungs and eyes.”
Paracelsus (1493-1591)
   "All substances are
    poisons; there is none
    which is not a poison.
    The right dose
    differentiates a poison
    and a remedy."
Von der Besucht, Paracelsus, 1567
   Father of Toxicology
   Established concepts of
    acute and chronic toxicity
Bernardino Ramazzini (1633-1714)

   Wrote Diseases of Workers
   Urged physicians to ask “Of
    what trade are you?” as part
    of medical evaluation
     Related occupational
      diseases to handling of
      harmful materials or unnatural
      movements of the body
     Father of Occupational
Percival Pott (1713-1788)
   Identified relationship
    between an
    occupation (chimney
    sweep), a toxin (poly-
    hydrocarbons) and
    malignancy (testicular
Chimney Sweeps
Alice Hamilton
   Champion of social responsibility
   Investigated the cause and effect of
    worker illness
   Interviewed workers in their homes
    and at their dangerous jobs
   Reviewed the evaluation and control
    of industrial hazards such as lead and
   Founder of Industrial Hygiene
   Wrote Exploring the Dangerous
   First woman named to Harvard
    Medical School staff