Occupational Health

Workers are regularly exposed to increased risks through their jobs. UCLA COEH works to assess those risks and protect the state’s workers.  Researchers in COEH assess the impact of occupational physical activity on heart disease and mortality, work exposures and reproductive health, work/family life, occupational chemical exposure and the value of personal protective equipment, air toxics method development, and the causes and impact of musculoskeletal injuries and ergonomics factors in occupational injury. 

The research and scholarship of COEH members, previous and current, like that of Professor William Hinds in aerosols and respirators, that of Professor John Froines in environmental toxicology, aerosols, and risk assessment, and that of Professor Shane Que Hee in sampling and analysis of xenobiotics, glove and respirator protectiveness, and direct reading devices were ground-breaking and are world famous.  Professor Hinds retired in 2009 and Professor Froines in 2011, and are now Emeritus Professors at UCLA.

Shane Que Hee researches how protective gloves are, the development of new sampling and analysis methods for toxics like aldehydes and ketones, biological monitoring of biomarkers in urine, breath and blood, analytical methods for toxics like pesticides, metals, polyhalogenated chemicals, and also developing direct reading devices, and risk assessment methods especially for chemicals absorbed through the skin.

Niklas Krause does research in assessing the back pain of janitors and intervening to improve their lot. He is also interested in the occupational epidemiology of workers at risk for cardiovascular disease. His primary research area is occupational epidemiology.

Wendie Robbins has research projects evaluating exposures to hair salon workers, effects of overtime on the health of shipyard workers, health effects of shared commutes to work and work and male reproductive health.  She is Director of the Occupational Nursing Program. Her major research areas include male reproductive effects, toxicology and occupational epidemiology.

 

Member and Associate Projects

Linda Delp, UCLA Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program (LOSH)
Outreach to Refineries workforce
LOSH launched “Safe Workers Safe Communities” in July 2015, a new initiative to improve health and safety for refinery workers and residents living adjacent to refineries, ports, and chemical facilities in Southern California. The goal was to target training to refinery workers and residents near large refinery facilities in the communities of Wilmington and Carson.  In partnership with the United Steelworkers (USW) and Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), LOSH created a pilot curriculum to empower refinery workers, community members, and leaders from environmental justice organizations to work together towards creating a healthier and safer refinery climate.

 

In April 2017, LOSH released the report "WORKERS’ COMPENSATION ELIGIBILITY AMONG RESIDENTIAL DAY LABORERS" which summarizes research conducted by UCLA-LOSH and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) on the experiences of day laborers who are injured while working in residential settings in California. Interviews with 64 day laborers show that 1) workers face a wide range of hazards at residential worksites, 2) the injuries they experience can be serious in nature, and 3) these injuries often result in substantial costs to workers and their families. Many of these workers may be eligible for workers’ compensation when injuries occur, but few injured workers benefit from these resources. 

The report includes a discussion of the common barriers day laborers face in accessing workers’ compensation resources, and it consider the impact of proposed legislation in California to streamline workers’ compensation eligibility requirements for this workforce. This work was partially supported by UCLA-COEH. 

Que Hee, S. (PI)                                                                                 
2009- 2013
Whole Glove Permeation/Penetration of Organic Liquids with a Dextrous Robot Hand
This investigated the connection between the permeation parameters from the modified closed loop permeation system with those from the alternative dextrous robot hand whole glove model.