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Evolution of Modern Health & Safety Concepts Tracing the historical development of heath & safety concerns and programs Robert Emery, DrPH, CHP, CIH, CSP,

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Presentation on theme: "Evolution of Modern Health & Safety Concepts Tracing the historical development of heath & safety concerns and programs Robert Emery, DrPH, CHP, CIH, CSP,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Evolution of Modern Health & Safety Concepts Tracing the historical development of heath & safety concerns and programs Robert Emery, DrPH, CHP, CIH, CSP, RBP, CHMM, CPP, ARM Vice President for Safety, Health, Environment & Risk Management The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Associate Professor of Occupational Health The University of Texas School of Public Health

2 Earliest Civilization Family groups expanded to tribes Represented common interests, kinship A practical principle developed: –the greatest ultimate good for the greatest number –thus, a person was not as important as the tribe, unless of course, it was the chief

3 As Tribes Evolved Successes of one tribe meant the downfall of another Safety concerns centered around the tribe, and for select individuals Only when a proliferation of injuries or illnesses afflicted large or noticeable numbers of individuals did the tribe act

4 As Tribes Evolved The first actions were probably against disease (great plagues) Accidents were, for the most part, considered personal matters

5 First Control of “Accidents” Punishing countermeasures, not direct prevention Hammurabi (2100 BC) ordered a compilation of a body of laws for Babylon Known as the Code of Hammurabi, the rules were carved in cuneiform, now located in Paris

6 Code of Hammurabi Examples If shipping by sea and freight lost, must reimburse owner If ship sank but was re-floated, half price reimbursement If caused by a collision, decision of blame was based on who was anchored first

7 Code of Hammurabi Examples If a slave were injured (by other than the master) must pay master If an ox gores a man, the act is only compensible if the ox was known to be mean

8 Primary Motivation of Babylonians Redress for damages If prevention was intended, it was only an outcome of the punishing indemnification schedules

9 Focusing on Occupational Hazards In ancient times, most of the manual labor was performed by slaves Slaves were considered to be valuable capital assets Pliney the Elder (AD 23-79) wrote of the diseases of slaves

10 Focusing on Occupational Hazards Bernardo Ramazzini (1600’s) described diseases associated with various occupations English Labor Regulations –excesses of apprentice system (children and subsequently women) –limits for mining operations (no children, women) –factory regulations for machine guarding

11 Interesting Question Why didn’t employers take control of situation to avoid the imposition of regulations?

12 Follow-up Question How many successful prosecutions do you think occurred?

13 The Indemnification/Enforcement Approach Advent of Worker’s Compensation Master-servant relationship was historically close Master concept has since grown into, perhaps, a corporation Injured workes sought protection, indemnification, redress

14 Worker’s Compensation Three ironclad defenses: –contributory negligence –assumption of risk –fellow servant rule Also, what employee would want to sue their employer? And what fellow employees might serve as witnesses?

15 Worker’s Compensation No fault insurance system developed The only proof needed was that the injury occurred on the job In general, medical bills covered, and a portion of salary provided Events categorized as temporary or permanent, partial or total.

16 Worker’s Compensation Casualty insurance carriers motivated to keep accidents to a minimum Insurance companies initated safety inspection services what about this shift of attention and perhaps liability) from employer to insurance company?

17 Experience Rating System Problem overcome by use of experience rating system, which affected rates (what about disincentive to report?) Need for uniformity in reporting arose In 1937, the ANSI Z16.1 method for compiling work injury data, was developed

18 Other Notable Events Public safety concerns and product liability laws Advent of OSHA, 1970 Environmental concerns Evolution of specialties – industrial hygiene, health physics, biosafety Other regulations, guidelines, standards of care

19 Age of Selected Safety-Related Organizations (and parallel certifications) (CBSP)

20 Review The concept of safety evolved from a population-based, or tribal, approach The first safety controls were punishing countermeasures Indemnification approach evolved into worker’s compensation system The master-servant relationship has changed dramatically

21 Reference Grimaldi, JV; Simonds, RH; Safety Management, Fifth Edition. American Society of Safety Enigneers, 1993.

22 In Class Exercise What does the health and safety function within an organization do today? –What is its mission? –Who are the stakeholders? –What are the hazards/risks? –How are they controlled or managed? –How are they evaluated, and by whom?


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