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EEOC warns employers about combining personal and occupational health records

A U.S. employer that retains an employee’s personal and occupational health information in a single electronic record runs the risk of violating federal disabilities bias laws and federal genetic discrimination law, or both, according to an opinion letter issued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The opinion letter, states “Therefore, maintaining personal health information and occupational health information in a single EMR, particularly one that allows someone with access to the EMR to view any information contained therein, presents a real possibility that the ADA, GINA or both will be violated.”

New York State's Workers' Comp loss-cost rate to rise an average 9.1%

New York State Insurance Superintendent James J. Wrynn has approved an average 9.1% increase in the Workers’ Compensation loss-cost rate. The rate increase, which was approved last week, is effective on Oct. 1. In his order calling for the increase, the superintendent cited several factors including increased benefits and medical fees.

NORA outlines risks among hotel housekeeping staff

NIOSH's National Occupational Research Agenda recently issued a fact sheet on safety and health concerns among hotel cleaners.

CDC: Workplace lead exposures decline

The prevalence of elevated blood-lead levels (BLL) declined to 6.3 per 100,000 employed adults in 2009 from 14.0 in 1994, according to an analysis published in the July 1 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Although BLLs declined overall, elevated BLLs were most common among workers in manufacturing, construction and mining. Work exposures account for approximately 95% of all elevated BLLs in adults, the report said.