Bob Laszewski of Health Care Policy and Marketplace Review has posted the first Health Wonk Review of 2008, and it's a good one because people had to save up their best posts over the last month since we had a short hiatus. Many entries focus on analysis of the presidential candidates' positions on health care, which will be one of the hot-button issues for the coming election.
A deadly year for public servants - Celeste Monforton of The Pump Handle tells us that 2007 was a deadly year for law enforcement officers, with a 28 percent increase in on-the-job fatalities compared to 2006. Shooting deaths were up 33% and traffic fatalities up 10%. And Occupational Hazards reports that 115 on-duty firefighters died in 2007. Fire Administrator Greg Cade labels 2007 it “one of the most tragic years for firefighters in recent memory.”
High cost of chronic disease - An Unhealthy America - the economic burden of chronic disease - is a good reference site to bookmark. Find specific prevalence and costs by disease or by state.
From the courts - Peter Rousmaniere at Working Immigrants posts about a recent South Carolina Supreme Court ruling upholding the right for illegal immigrants to receive workers comp benefits. Courts continue to protect workers who are injured on the job, regardless of legal status. Justice James E. Moore stated that “...disallowing benefits would mean unscrupulous employers could hire undocumented workers without the burden of insuring them, a consequence that would encourage rather than discourage the hiring of illegal workers." In making its decision, the court cited prior decisions by North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, and Minnesota.
Laptop safety - By their very design, laptops force users into awkward positions so prolonged use can result in muscular fatigue in various body parts and may lead to repetitive stress injuries. Laptop Ergonomics discusses the particular safety hazards related to using laptops and offers recommendations to help help reduce the risk of developing injuries. Hat tip to Ergonomics in the News for the pointer.
Weighty matters - Study links obesity to absenteeism - Occupational Hazards reports on a recent study that links increased rates of absenteeism to morbid obesity, putting the cost at $4.3 billion per year in the United States.