Alice Hamilton and The Illinois Survey 1910-1911: Shifting paradigms in documenting workplace disease
Hamilton described the work as a “pioneering, exploration of an unknown field.” The commission overseeing the Illinois Survey was charged with defining and finding poisonous occupations and gaining access to workplaces to conduct exposure assessments. Hamilton’s knowledge of languages, and skills in community organizing and persuasion enabled her to access almost every workplace she approached, additionally, she never left a facility without reporting her findings and recommendations to the manager and getting some assurance that conditions would change. Her research skills resulted in the first comprehensive report in the U.S. on “the causes and conditions relating to diseases of occupations”. During this period the social dimension for occupation was added to the cognitive dimensions of illness.
Learning Areas:Occupational health and safety
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Discuss how historical approaches to assessing and documenting workplace exposures and health influenced contemporary approaches.
Keyword(s): Community Health Workers and Promoters, Occupational Health and Safety
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: My primary research interests are in training intervention effectiveness for underserved populations and the organizations that employ or represent at risk workers with a focus on translational research; community based participatory and action research; the lived experience as curriculum; and the history of occupational health.This work furthers the research conducted and presented on history of occupational health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.