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WRITER: Amy Couteé
CONTACT: DAVE PEDERSEN
283 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-8032; fax (319) 335-8034
e-mail: david-pedersen@uiowa.edu

Release: Immediate

Clinical and legal aspects of occupational health to be discussed at UI

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Some of the most notorious industrial accidents from the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown to the grounding of the Exxon Valdez oil tanker share a common thread. Each occurred in the middle of the night, when human alertness is at its lowest point.

Night work involves unique risks that can affect the health and welfare of the worker and the public. With more than 15 million U.S. workers employed on the night shift, sleepy workers are an issue for a variety of companies including trucking firms, security agencies, food services and manufacturing industries.

How employers can help keep shift workers from suffering from this lack of alertness and possibly prevent such devastating accidents will be one of the issues addressed at the conference, "Current Topics in Occupational Health," May 12 at the Iowa Memorial Union. The conference will cover the issue of sleep disorders among workers and other health issues pertaining to the workplace.

The public is invited to hear specialists from the University of Iowa present workplace issues to a multi-disciplinary audience of physicians, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, industrial hygienists, health and safety professionals and health administrators. Participants will learn more about sleep disorders, the Americans with Disabilities Act, prevention of infectious diseases, independent medical evaluations and treatment of shoulder injuries.

"These important issues confront health care professionals in occupational settings every day," says conference coordinator Laurie Walkner. "This conference is an excellent opportunity to discuss these issues and gather input from professionals in the field."

Pre-registration is required. The $160 fee includes program materials, luncheon, refreshments and continuing education credit. The conference is sponsored by WORKSAFE, a UI occupational health program, as well as the UI College of Medicine and the College of Nursing.

For more information regarding the conference and to register, contact the UI Center for Conferences and Institutes at (319) 335-3231 or (800) 551-9029.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program please contact the UI Office of Continuing Medical Education at (319) 335-8598.

5/5/98