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December 21, 2016

OSHA Sustainability Paper Notes Opportunity to Integrate Sustainability and Nanotechnology Research

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released on December 20, 2016, a white paper entitled Sustainability in the Workplace:  A New Approach for Advancing Worker Safety and Health.  The paper highlights the importance of including worker safety and health in the growing movement toward sustainability and corporate responsibility.  According to the paper, research on sustainability does not include occupational safety and health.  The paper notes that sustainability research opportunities include nanotechnology:

Horizon Scanning:  Emerging issues impacting workers (e.g., aging workforce, worker well-being, nanotechnology, green chemistry) are a potential path for integrated sustainability research.  For example, climate change is one of the most talked about areas of sustainability and workers have been and will continue to be disproportionately impacted.  It will be critical to recognize exposures, anticipate hazards and responses, and possible adaptation mechanisms for these responses (chemicals, pathogens, conflict, heat, etc.).