National Prevention Council releases annual report on health in U.S.

Washington – The National Prevention Council, which is chaired by the U.S. Surgeon General, has issued its annual status report detailing its progress in meeting health goals and addressing health challenges.

Published July 1, the report highlights examples of how the 20 federal departments and agencies in the council incorporate health into their programs and policies and tackle issues such as healthy child development.

To better protect pedestrians, the Department of Transportation developed its Safe Routes to School program to help create safer walking environments for children. The installation of pedestrian hybrid beacons has reduced motor vehicle crashes involving pedestrians by up to 69 percent, the report states.

Distracted driving is another topic covered in the report. DOT has made distracted driving a priority over the past five years and has funded research on vehicle-to-vehicle communications, which is intended to help prevent crashes.

In regard to worker safety, the report notes that OSHA awarded $10 million to organizations and small businesses to train vulnerable, low-wage workers on how to identify and protect themselves against hazards in 2013. According to OSHA, more than 1.8 million workers have been trained through the grant programs.