Pregnant and breastfeeding women get a lot of advice from just about everyone on just about everything– what to eat, medications to avoid, how much exercise they should do. When it comes to their jobs, though, the advice seems to dry up. That’s because occupational exposure limits are based on studies of healthy, non-pregnant workers and many early studies of occupational hazards were limited to men. These recommended exposure limits might not be sufficient to protect a developing fetus. We are trying to find out whether things people were exposed to at work like chemicals, noise, shift work, radiation, or germs affect their pregnancy outcomes and health of their children. One of the outcomes we study is birth defects.
Safer Healthier Workers
Selected Category: Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing
January 14th, 2015 7:53 am ET - Carissa M. Rocheleau, PhD
December 16th, 2014 8:18 am ET - Christy Forrester, MS and Theodore D. Teske, MA
Think about wearing a life jacket to work. What comes to mind? Do you think cool, comfortable, and easy-to-work in? Or, are you more inclined to think of life jackets as cumbersome, uncomfortable, and interfering? If you are leaning toward the latter, you’re right on track with what NIOSH heard from commercial fishermen back in 2008.
It is an indisputable fact: personal flotation devices (PFDs), or life jackets, save lives.1-3 However, in the commercial fishing industry where almost 90% of fatalities are caused by drowning after a fall overboard or vessel disaster, many fishermen do not routinely wear PFDs while working on deck. 4
December 4th, 2014 11:19 am ET - Michael Flynn, MA
The United States workforce, like the population in general, is becoming more ethnically diverse. “We are and always will be a nation of immigrants,” President Obama stated recently in announcing his initiative on immigration reform. The Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends Project estimates that immigrants will make up roughly 23% of adults of working age in 2050, up from 15% in 2005 (Passel & Cohn, 2008). It is also predicted that immigrants and their children will make up 83% of the growth in the working age population of the U.S. during this same time period (Congressional Budget Office, 2005). Immigration from Latin America to the U.S. has grown dramatically over the past 2 decades and will figure prominently in these numbers. Currently, about 18 million Latino immigrants live in the U.S. (Batalova & Terrazas, 2010).
Latino workers suffer significantly higher rates of workplace fatalities (5.0 per 100,000 workers) than all workers combined (4.0), non-Latino white workers (4.0) or non-Latino black workers (3.7) (Cierpich, Styles, Harrison, et al., 2008). Considered alone, Latino immigrants to the U.S. have a workplace fatality rate of 5.9 per 100,000 which is almost 50% higher than the rate for all workers (4.0). In 2013, two-thirds of work-related deaths among Latinos were among foreign-born individuals, up from slightly more than half in 1992. These data suggest that fatalities among immigrant workers may be the driving force behind the elevated rates of workplace injuries and illnesses among Latinos in the U.S.
Categories: Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing
September 24th, 2014 7:23 am ET - Brad Husberg, BSN, MSPH and Pietra Check, MPH
September 21-27, 2014, is National Farm Safety and Health Week. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) marks this year’s theme, Safety Counts: Protecting What Matters, by announcing the new Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing directory page.
The new page provides a one-stop entry to all of NIOSH’s agriculture, forestry and fishing resources, making it easier than ever to access data, information, and publications for research and action. The directory page is coordinated by the Office of Agriculture Safety and Health (OASH) in the NIOSH Director’s Office. OASH provides leadership to prevent work-related injuries and illnesses among the nation’s agriculture, forestry and fishing workers. OASH sets strategic directions for, supports, and monitors and reports progress on safety and health research and public health practice activities, both intramural and extramural. OASH also bridges internal and external activities by facilitating research integration, partnership development, and research to practice.
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