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ENMT322 Occupational Health and Safety
Week 7 Discussion
DQ1 No. 1 Killer of Firefighters
The International Association of Firefighters says cancer is now the leading cause of death among firefighters.  A CDC/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health study tracked nearly 30,000 firefighters across the country in 2010 and found higher rates of cancer than the general population.  This is a relatively new development and one that hasn’t been addressed much in industry literature.
As OSH professionals, what steps should we be taking to protect our firefighters?  Are we providing the right protective gear?  Are we providing the right amount of HAZCOM training?  What is the latest research telling us?  Has OSHA issued any citations for violations?
DQ2 Risks of being a Firefighter
Firefighters work long hours within unstructured schedules, making it a challenge to create a viable work-life balance. Conventional family life may be skewed, which can lead to familial discontent and disconnection. The need to work long hours is an especially critical factor in firefighters who are regionally deployed to combat wildfires or to assist in large natural disaster zones. The long hours further contribute to the overall stress of the position.  While firefighters are trained and educated about the potential physical and mental stress the job can take, not all realize the full impact until they are on the job, and some not until years after the fact.
What are some work-life balance initiatives and why should workplaces consider these programs?  What steps would you take to set up a program in your workplace?

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