Over the last 50 years, the United States labor economy has changed from a manufacturing to service and technology focus. Other than the obvious changes, such as fewer mine tragedies and more carpal tunnel syndrome, what other trends in employment safety do you predict, and what is your evidence for that prediction? How should companies respond? How would you respond? Why?

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Kelley:

One of the major side effects of the lack of physical labor and more office work, will be obiesty. We have already been on that track for a number of years, but I feel that it will be an increasing problem. For companies, it will mean higher cost for medical insurance and lost days of production. The surgeon general has declared that obiesty has becom a national issue.

Larger companies can establish lunchrooms with healthy food options. Having a gym within the work environment and encouraging employees to participate using reward programs can be effective. As a small company I can offer group lunch time activities such as walking. I could work with a gym for employee discounts. Creating incentive programs among employees may also be an option.

Our work force is changing. If we want to keep healthy happy employees, we have to think out side the box and develope small programs that make people want to work with us. The major side effect is becoming a part of a healthier nation.