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Making Alaska a Safer Place to Work

Categories: Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing

 

During 1980-1989, Alaska had the highest work-related fatality rate of any state in the nation, with a rate of 34.8 deaths per 100,000 workers per year compared to the average U.S. rate of 7 deaths per 100,000 workers per year. At the invitation of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services and the Alaska Area Native Health Service of the Indian Health Service, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Division of Safety Research in Morgantown, West Virginia established the Alaska Field Station (AFS) in Anchorage, Alaska on August 15, 1991.

Today, we celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the establishment of the NIOSH Alaska Field Station (AFS). From its inception, the mission of AFS was to combat the urgent problem of work-related fatalities in Alaska. AFS served as a “catalyst for change” by providing a scientific assessment of occupational safety hazards, such as identifying the state’s highest risk industries, the workers most at risk of fatality and the highest priority problems.

Protecting Young Workers in Retail Jobs

Categories: Wholesale and Retail Trade, Young Workers

young worker

June, which is National Safety Month, is an appropriate time to focus on young workers, as they head out of school and into the workforce. Many of them will find jobs in the retail industry, a leading employer of young workers in the United States.

In 2014, there were approximately 18.1 million workers younger than age 24 in the U.S. These workers represented 13% of the U.S. workforce. Young workers have high workplace injury rates, explained in part by the high frequency of hazards in their typical workplaces. In retail work settings, for instance, slippery floors and use of knives and energized equipment are common hazards. Inexperience and lack of safety training also increase injury risks for young workers. The youngest— those in middle and high schools—may have physical and psychosocial limitations that lead to higher injury rates.

Help Set the Research Priorities for Occupational Respiratory Diseases

Categories: National Occupational Research Agenda, Respiratory Health

 

Work-related respiratory diseases include both those that are uniquely caused by work, such as coal workers pneumoconiosis, and those that are caused by both work and non-work factors. Asthma is an example of this second type of condition.  Work-related asthma is the most common respiratory disease treated in occupational health clinics in the United States.  An estimated 15% of asthma among adults is attributable to work, and 23% of working asthmatics experience exacerbation at work.  Extrapolated to all working asthmatics, this could affect 2.25 million Americans between the ages of 15 and 65. The medical costs for work-related asthma were estimated to be $2.29 billion in 2007.1 Total economic impact, including medical and non-medical costs, would be even greater.  Other types of respiratory diseases potentially impacted by workplace exposures include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (or COPD), hypersensitivity pneumonitis, silicosis, lung cancer, and bronchiolitis obliterans.

The National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) is a partnership program to stimulate innovative research and improved workplace practices. Unveiled in 1996, NORA has become a research framework for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the nation. Diverse parties collaborate to identify the most critical issues in workplace safety and health. Participation in NORA is broad, including stakeholders from universities, large and small businesses, professional societies, government agencies, and worker organizations.

National Safety Month

Categories: Drugs, Emergency Response/Public Sector, Motor Vehicle Safety, Observances, Total Worker Health

NSM-Logo-2016

It’s National Safety Month. Each June, the National Safety Council and its partners raise awareness on preventing the leading causes of injury and death at work, on the roads and in our homes and communities.  This year’s theme is SafeForLife. Each week of June has a different focus area. In this joint blog from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the National Safety Council, we will highlight research and prevention activities in the four focus areas. Help us spread the word about National Safety Month.  Downloadable materials highlighting each of the four safety topics are available on the NSC website. Share them widely to help others identify risks and stay safe – for a lifetime.

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