The Relation of Workers’ Compensation Enactments to the Growth of Occupational Medicine and Industrial Hygiene

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The enactment of workers’ compensation laws impacted the budding field of occupational medicine and also spawned the field of industrial hygiene.  An account of this phenomenon is found in Dr. Christopher Sellers’ book Hazards of the Job: From Industrial Disease to Environmental Health Science (UNC Press 1997).  Sellers, a history professor at SUNY-Stony Brook, explains how the dangerous work conditions attendant to the industrial revolution gave rise to an interest, in many quarters, in how worker health could be better protected. Read the full essay at the link above for an account of this remarkable history.