Firefighter EMT Jaret Vosburgh sprays disinfectant on a stretcher used by the paramedic unit of Fire District 1, Station 11, during routine cleaning. A DEOHS study of MRSA exposure led to changes in protocol.

Prevention is Our Priority

Since the late 1940s, the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences has provided industrial hygiene services to the state. In 1963, the Legislature appropriated funding to the department from workers' compensation funds for "the prevention of industrial and occupational disease among workmen, the promotion and protection of safer working environments, and dissemination of the knowledge and information acquired..."

This investment makes a big difference. In this issue of Environmental Health News, we illustrate the department's commitment to training, research, and service activities that prevent industrial and occupational disease among workers and promote safer working environments. We work with local and state agencies as well as with individual businesses to evaluate health and safety issues in the workplace and offer strategies to reduce occupational hazards. We disseminate findings from our research to raise awareness and help influence policies that will better protect workers and the public.

Highly trained practitioners in the field are key to prevention. We prepare students for careers by training them to identify and reduce hazards in industry as well as in the environment. Preventing environmental and occupational illnesses is foundational to our mission. Prevention is our priority.