Evaluation of Health Impact Assessments Related to Labor and Employment
Sohng, Hee Yon
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OBJECTIVES: To identify characteristics of employment-related health impact assessments (HIA) and the range of health issues these HIAs addressed. METHODS: We identified 564 HIAs published in English-speaking countries between 2004 and 2014. Twenty-seven HIAs were employment-related and met our inclusion criteria. We abstracted data from the published reports. RESULTS: Over half (n=14) of employment-related HIAs were conducted in the U.S., 26% (n=7) were conducted in the UK, 15% (n=4) in Europe (excluding UK), and one HIA was conducted in New Zealand and one HIA in Palau (U.S. territory). The majority (n=18, 67%) of HIAs were conducted on a proposed policy. Six HIAs were performed by Human Impact Partners on a policy for paid sick leave, and five HIAs were performed by the European Commission on an employment policy to promote flexible labor markets. Other proposals included job retraining (n=8) and domestic worker bill of rights (n=2). Most HIAs were funded by government sources (n=17, n=63%) such as health departments (local and national) or federal agencies. These HIAs most commonly considered health outcomes such as chronic disease (n=14) and mental health (n=14), but also injury and illness (n=8), health care resource utilization (n=8), and the spread of communicable disease (n=7). CONCLUSION: Most employment-related HIA activity has taken place in the US over the last five years (13 of 15) and primarily addresses large-scale policy measures. These types of proposals can promote HIA use by sharing of resources (expertise, data, research methods) among HIA practitioners. And lastly, HIAs provide an opportunity for cross-sector collaboration between the public health, planning, and labor communities.
- Environmental health