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What's New from the Occupational Health Branch

    Preventing Valley Fever in outdoor workers

    People who work outdoors in California’s Central Valley and other locations, especially workers who dig or disturb soil, are at risk for Valley Fever, a serious illness that can cause disability or even death. Valley Fever (also called coccidioidomycosis) is caused by inhaling fungal spores found in the soil in certain parts of the Southwest U.S., including the Central Valley. Employers in affected areas can take steps to protect workers from breathing in these fungal spores. These steps include controlling dust, providing worker training, and suspending outdoor work during heavy winds.The new CDPH poster for employers of outdoor workers, now available in Spanish, is a great addition to its resources for preventing work-related Valley Fever.

    Valley Fever poster for outdoor workers (PDF) ...  Spanish

    Preventing Work-related Valley Fever – web page

    Updated CME course on occupational lead poisoning

    OHB’s Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Program is pleased to announce its updated course for health care providers, “Overview of Adult Occupational Lead Poisoning in California,” available for free on the internet. This course, designed for primary care providers, presents information on the epidemiology, toxicology, and sources of exposure of lead; the health effects in and clinical management of lead exposed adults; the Cal/OSHA occupational lead standards; and the state public health role in the prevention of occupational lead poisoning in California. Note: Professionals who have taken the previous Occupational Lead Poisoning course are eligible to take this updated course for additional CE credits.

    Overview of Adult Occupational Lead Poisoning in California - free CME on adult lead poisoning (2016)

    For more information on our work in this area, see Medical management of lead-exposed workers

    Free continuing education courses - courses on other occupational and environmental health topics

    Preventing wood chipper deaths 

    The hazards of working with wood chippers are well known, but workers continue to die using this machinery, including a 19-year-old on his first day at work. A National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) science blog co-written by Robert Harrison, MD, a CDPH occupational health doctor, identifies practical methods for preventing fatalities.

    CDC Science Blog

    Additional materials to prevent injuries from wood chippers

    Preventing worker drownings

    Lake maintenance workers face unique risks when working over or near bodies of water. A new digital story (short video) from the California Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program explains the events that led to the drowning death of a worker named José. Photographs and details from the fatality investigation are supplemented with scenes re-created by lake maintenance professionals. The video highlights best practices including the importance of wearing personal flotation devices and training workers in water safety.

    Preventing worker drownings – video in English

    Cómo prevenir muertes de trabajadores por ahogamiento – video in Spanish

    Additional drowning prevention materials – new web page

    FACE program digital stories – updated web page 

    Occupational Health Branch home page 

    Last modified on: 9/9/2016 2:27 PM