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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: J. Thomas Pierce, MBBS PhD(Navy Environmental Health Center)
Description: This book develops concepts helpful for explaining the underlying causes of occupational illness and injury and devises a plan for cost-effective programs that could prevent injury and keep workers safe. It is a short, readable book that will engage undergraduate students and others who wish to strive for evidence-based health promotion.
Purpose: The authors are boots-on-the-ground consultants and professors who have set out to assemble a team of professionals who can write clearly and with authority. Given the twentieth century's accomplishments in terms of workplace safety and toxics recognition, this new century will benefit from readers who practice using the principles outlined in this book.
Audience: Virtually any member of the public health team could make use of this book.
Features: Organized into four parts, the book highlights public health prevention foci, occupational safety and health, public health issues in occupational safety and health, and leadership issues in prevention. Part one provides a background of historical development and relevant epidemiology. Part two recounts more history relevant to safety, injuries as well as the subtle distinctions between compliance and prevention. Part three is expansive: nine chapters span toxicology and the impaired employee to communicable diseases and vision loss. Part four revisits the economic impacts of prevention along with steps to possibly develop a culture of prevention.
Assessment: Examining the ergonomics chapter gives readers a sense of how the authors view their field: "Ergonomics is neither new nor difficult to understand. In simple terms, if work hurts, it is wrong." This kind of forthright approach is apparent throughout the book's 300-plus pages. A former Pennsylvania health chief, Robert Zimmerman, believes the book amounts to "a great tool to identify opportunities and strategies" within the public health arena. Whether on the reading table or in the classroom, I believe readers will second Dr. Zimmerman.