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Center for Health, Work & Environment

2017 Halo Award Winner
Health Links™ Recognizes the Healthiest Places to Work in Colorado

August 2017 — Five businesses from across Colorado were recognized for their excellence in workplace health and safety at Health Links’ annual Celebrating Colorado’s Healthiest Places to Work event. Close to 200 leaders and representatives from businesses, nonprofits, and local governments attended the event to celebrate some of Colorado’s healthiest businesses and discuss this year’s event theme — family- friendly, one important aspect of a healthy work culture.

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Tenney and Santy
Denver Leaders Talk Work, Family, and Blending the Two

August 2017 — Increasingly, businesses are encouraging work-life integration, supporting employees to achieve their professional and personal goals. Lili Tenney, director of our Health Links program, joined Virginia Santy, editor in chief of The Broadview, and Gloria Schoch, community affairs manager for Miller Coors, to talk about the importance of healthy work environments and how they manage expectations at work and at home, often by blending the two areas of their lives. Photo credit: Billie Jo Santy, The Broadview.

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Our Center Co-Hosts the First Safety Training Designed for Marijuana Workers

June 2017 — Our center co-hosted the first safety training designed specifically for marijuana cultivation workers on June 28 with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). The training focused on translating recommendations from the CDPHE’s “Guide to Worker Safety and Health in the Marijuana Industry,” the first guide of its kind, into practice. 

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Construction Workers
Our Director and Leading Beryllium Expert Dr. Lee Newman Weighs in on Proposed Changes to a Worker Protection Rule

June 2017 — A delayed OSHA rule to protect workers from beryllium, a lightweight metal that can cause an incurable lung disease, may undergo changes that would exclude certain industries from key provisions of the new standard, such as offering medical screenings to workers who have been exposed. Our director, Dr. Lee Newman, has studied beryllium for over 30 years and his research is clear — workers need protections from this toxic metal. 

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Molly Tran
New Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency Director Joins Our Team

June 2017 — Dr. Molly Tran joins us as the new director of the Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency Program and faculty member of our center and the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health. Dr. Tran sees new opportunities for the residency program to grow and implement more of a Total Worker Health® approach, a framework that aims to prevent workplace injuries and improve the overall health and well-being of workers.

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A Day's Work
“A Day’s Work” Film Examines the Risks Temp Workers Face

May 2017 — An hour and a half into his first day on the first job of his life, 21-year-old Lawrence Daquan “Day” Davis was killed. The story of his untimely death is the focus of “A Day’s Work,” an award-winning film that we screened on May 3 at the Tivoli Turnhalle. Increasingly, employers are outsourcing work to temporary workers, freelancers, and other contractors. Sadly, this means more workers are at greater risk of being injured, or even killed, on the job.

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Training Rural Doctors to Combat the Opioid Epidemic

March 2017 — Rural communities in Colorado have been hit hard by the opioid epidemic. With limited time and resources, doctors in these communities often need additional support. To address this need, our center developed an online course that teaches healthcare providers how to help their patients manage pain in a healthy, nonaddictive way. Lili Tenney, our deputy director and co-chair of the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention’s provider education work group, shares her insight.

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Health Affairs
Study Finds Work-Related Injuries, Chronic Conditions, and Demanding Jobs Lower Productivity

February 2017 — A study published in Health Affairs by the Integrated Benefits Institute, our center, and Segue Consulting found employees with work-related injuries, chronic health conditions, and demanding jobs were significantly less productive, with roughly three times higher lost productivity costs compared to workers without those three indicators. 

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Cannabis Plant
First Study on Worker Health and Safety in the Cannabis Industry Shows Wide Variation in Training

February 2017 — In the first study to examine worker health and safety in the cannabis industry, lead researchers Kevin Walters, a Mountain & Plains Education and Research Center (MAP ERC) trainee, and Dr. Gwenith Fisher, the director of the MAP ERC occupational health psychology program, surveyed over 200 workers in the Colorado cannabis industry to understand worker demographics, awareness and presence of workplace health and safety issues, and the quality and quantity workplace health and safety training employees receive.

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Our Research Informs New Federal Standard to Protect Workers from Beryllium

January 2017 — Dr. Lee Newman, the director of our center and one of the world's leading experts on beryllium, explains the significance of a new federal standard issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to protect workers from beryllium in a Chicago Tribune article. Beryllium, a lightweight metal used to manufacture modern wonders such as computers and satellites, can cause an incurable lung disease and other health issues in those exposed to its dust. OSHA relied on more than 100 papers authored by Dr. Newman and his colleagues to develop the new standard, reducing exposure levels by 10 times.

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