The Industrial Revolution brought with it many new wonders and many new problems, chief among them, numerous industrial accidents that occurred in factories, mills, mines, plants and other workplaces in the 20th century. The workers’ compensation industry was created to meet the challenges of workplace accidents and provide remedy to injured workers.
Now a new industrial revolution, a revolution in nanotechnology, will usher in new problems and new issues for the workers’ compensation industry in the 21st century and beyond, according to an article in the online magazine of the website, MedicalSea.org.
The article, Health risks associated with manufacturing and using nanomaterials discusses what research the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), a part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is doing in the area of nanotechnology and its impact on the health and safety of workers in this new and growing industry.
NIOSH has identified ten critical topics to address knowledge gaps, develops strategies, and provides recommendations.
The topics are:
Toxicity and Internal Dose
Epidemiology & Surveillance
Engineering Controls and PPE
Fire and Explosion Safety
Recommendations & Guidance
Communication & Information
They have also created a field research team to assess workplace processes, materials, and control technologies associated with nanotechnology, so that research laboratories, producers and manufacturers working with engineered nanomaterials will have the opportunity to participate in a cost-free, on-site assessment.
For the workers’ compensation industry, this research will be crucial to understanding how to handle future workplace accidents and better manage the risks involved with the manufacture and use of these new materials.
For the medical tourism industry, it offers a chance to get away from being strictly concerned with the looks of well-heeled tourists and getting involved with a facet of medical care that has yet to be created: the treatment of injuries from and exposure to potentially dangerous technology like nanotechnology. It can become a cutting edge area of health care that can propel many nations into the forefront of advanced medicine.