NIOSH Science Blog Posts

Reducing Occupational Chronic Disease: CRC Cross Sector Program

Over the course of NIOSH’s 50-year history, occupational chronic diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and adverse reproductive outcomes have always been a significant public health burden and source of economic costs. Since its inception in 2004, the Cancer, Reproductive, Cardiovascular, and Other Chronic Disease Prevention Program (CRC), within the NIOSH Program Portfolio, has provided leadership Read More >

Posted on by Todd A. Stueckle, Ph.D., M.A.; Nicole S. Olgun, Ph.D.; Raquel Velazquez-Kronen, Ph.D.; and Elizabeth Whelan, Ph.D.1 Comment

Getting the Word Out: NIOSH Publications and Products

It’s an understatement to say that how the world communicates has changed over the course of this century, and certainly in the last 50 years. Over NIOSH’s 50-year history how the Institute communicates its research, and to whom, has also evolved. As a leading scientific agency, our research will always be published in peer-reviewed journals Read More >

Posted on by Julie Tisdale-Pardi, MALeave a comment

Work and Well-being: The Changing Face of Occupational Safety and Health

  There is strong evidence that work, health and well-being are closely and powerfully linked and need to be addressed together. (Dame Carol Black) [1] The conjunctive phrase “…and well-being” is often used in the occupational safety and health (OSH) literature in the context of health and well-being. However, historically, well-being has not been defined, Read More >

Posted on by Paul A. Schulte, Ph.D., and Steve L. Sauter, Ph.D.3 Comments

An Ancient Hazard in a 21st Century Workplace: The Power of Partnerships and Collaboration Investigating Respirable Crystalline Silica in Hydraulic Fracturing

  In 2013, NIOSH researchers published exposure assessment results for respirable crystalline silica in oil and gas extraction (OGE) workers performing hydraulic fracturing. The results were noteworthy; a previously unidentified but serious occupational exposure hazard was discovered, and risks were significant‒in some cases, personal breathing zone exposures exceeded 10 times the occupational exposure limits. This Read More >

Posted on by Eric J. Esswein, MSPH, CIH, FAIHA; CAPT Bradley King, PhD, MPH, CIH; and CAPT Ryan Hill, MPH2 Comments

The Role of Artificial Intelligence in the Future of Work

As discussed in a previous NIOSH Science Blog, artificial intelligence (AI) is in the process of transforming almost all aspects of society. Whether using an application to determine the best route to drive, receiving recommendations from Netflix on what to watch, or using face detection to logon to a personal smartphone, the use of AI Read More >

Posted on by Jay Vietas, PhD, CIH, CSP2 Comments

The Who, What, How and When of Implementing Fatigue Monitoring and Detection Technologies

  Worker fatigue can result from a variety of sources, such as insufficient sleep, long work hours, physical exertion and stress. Fatigue can slow down reaction times, reduce attention or concentration, limit short-term memory, and impair judgment, affecting the health and safety of workers and their co-workers1,2. Worker fatigue has contributed to catastrophic industrial events Read More >

Posted on by Kyla Retzer, MPH, Imelda Wong, PhD, and Emanuele Cauda, PhD6 Comments

Recognizing Exemplary Science and Service

  Exemplary science is the foundation for all National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) research and prevention activities. Each year, NIOSH recognizes outstanding science and service from our employees. This year’s Science and Service Awards took place on April 29, 2021. The nominees, awardees, and honorable mentions can be found here. Please visit Read More >

Posted on by Julie Tisdale-Pardi, MALeave a comment

Protecting Firefighters

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has a long history of working to protect firefighters. Firefighting is an inherently dangerous and vitally important occupation. The United States Fire Administration reported that 1,955 firefighters died in the line of duty from 1998-2019. In addition to injuries and deaths occurring on the fireground, firefighters Read More >

Posted on by Jeff Funke, MS, CSP; Judith Eisenberg, MD, MS; Kenny Fent, PhD, CIH; Matt Bowyer; and Steve Miles1 Comment

NIOSH Program Portfolio: Promoting research collaboration for 16 years and counting

Throughout its 50-year history, NIOSH has been faced with a vast array of occupational safety and health issues across workplaces and a finite amount of resources to address them. In 2004, NIOSH developed the Program Portfolio as a way to select research priorities, communicate research findings, and evaluate the effectiveness of our research. The Program Read More >

Posted on by Emily J.K. Novicki, MA, MPHLeave a comment

Celebrating 25 Years of the National Occupational Research Agenda

The National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) is a partnership program to stimulate innovative research and improved workplace practices and has become a research framework for NIOSH and the nation. Created in 1996 with input from more than 500 individuals and organizations, partnership has been key to the development and success of NORA. While NIOSH is the Read More >

Posted on by Emily J.K. Novicki, MA, MPHLeave a comment

Take Action Now to Prevent Heat-Related Illness at Work

Before we enter summer, we should plan ahead for work-related heat exposure and the potential for heat-related illness among workers. Exposure to heat combined with physical activity and other factors in the environment can increase the body’s temperature and cause heat stress. The body responds to heat stress by trying to stabilize body temperature, a Read More >

Posted on by Douglas Trout, MD, MHS; Brenda Jacklitsch, PhD, MS; Scott Earnest, PhD, PE, CSP; CDR Elizabeth Garza, MPH, CPH; and J’ette Novakovich, PhD, MS, MA3 Comments

Lifejackets for Lobstermen

  Falls overboard are the most frequent cause of death on the job for lobstermen in the U.S. The on-the-job death rate for fishermen nationwide is 31 times higher than any other industry. It is well-documented that wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) can help prevent these tragedies, but unfortunately most fishermen do not routinely Read More >

Posted on by Julie Sorensen, Rebecca Weil, Jessica Echard, Amanda Roome, and Erin Lally2 Comments

Workers Memorial Day 2021: Recognizing NIOSH’s First 50 Years

  Workers Memorial Day is recognized every year on April 28. It is a day established to honor workers injured or killed on the job, while reaffirming our commitment to safe and healthy workplaces for all. This date is also the anniversary of the date the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) of 1970 Read More >

Posted on by John Howard, MD10 Comments

Recent News about Night Shift Work and Cancer: What Does it Mean for Workers?

The National Toxicology Program (NTP) recently released a report about how persistent night shift work is related to cancer risk (1). This report follows a similar evaluation released in July, 2019 by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) (2), an update of their 2007 report (3). Both agencies reviewed existing studies of night Read More >

Posted on by Christina C. Lawson, PhD; Elizabeth A. Whelan, PhD; Tania Carreón-Valencia, PhD, MS; and Claire C. Caruso PhD, RN, FAAN2 Comments

Overview of The ASTM F3502-21 Barrier Face Covering Standard

  Unlike respirators and surgical masks, the masks worn to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 don’t have to meet federal standards to confirm their performance. That lack of standardized testing and labeling has left mask users with no way to compare face covering products to make informed decisions when choosing a face covering. While Read More >

Posted on by Jonathan Szalajda, MS; Jeffrey O. Stull, MS; and Lisa M. Brosseau, ScD, CIH10 Comments

NIOSH 50th Anniversary Honored by National Toxicology Program

This text was first published as an article in the April 2021 NIEHS newsletter Environmental Factor. Common goals and collaborative research signify the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s participation in the NTP. Marking a major milestone, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) acclaims its common goals and collaborative research with the National Institute for Read More >

Posted on by Carol Kelly2 Comments

Improving Our Understanding of Nonfatal Occupational Injuries

  Counting and describing nonfatal occupational injuries are vital to understanding and prevention. However, this is very difficult to accomplish on a national level. There are large numbers of injuries that are captured, in part, by different sources, and some are not captured at all. There is no single, comprehensive national source of occupational injury Read More >

Posted on by Audrey Reichard, MPH; and Suzanne Marsh, MPA2 Comments

Preventing Struck-by Injuries in Construction: Lift Zone Safety

The second annual National Stand-Down to Prevent Struck-by Incidents hosted by the NORA Construction Sector Council will take place April 26th, 2021, during National Work Zone Awareness Week (1). During this event, construction employers and employees will learn about best practices and methods to prevent struck-by incidents. Emphasis has been placed on the prevention of Read More >

Posted on by Kyle Hancock; Scott Earnest, PhD, PE, CSP; Douglas Trout, MD, MHS; and CDR Elizabeth Garza, MPH, CPH2 Comments

Taking it to the Streets… and the Mines

Two unique NIOSH programs bring vital safety and health screening directly to miners. Mobile Hearing Tests Miners are at increased risk for noise-induced hearing loss from the use of high-powered motorized equipment, air-powered tools, and work involving striking, drilling and digging. To protect workers’ hearing, employers must have a hearing conservation program in place which Read More >

Posted on by Amanda Azman, Au.D; Cara N. Halldin, PhD, MPH; Christopher Parker; and Julie Tisdale-Pardi, MA1 Comment

Suicides Among First Responders: A Call to Action

  The recent Surgeon General’s “Call to Action to Implement the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention” highlighted suicides as a significant public health problem. In 2019, there were 47,500 suicide fatalities in the U.S. and an estimated 1.4 million suicide attempts[1]. The causes of suicide are complex, with many personal, socio-demographic, medical, and economic factors Read More >

Posted on by Hope M. Tiesman, PhD; Katherine L. Elkins, MPH; Melissa Brown, DrPH; Suzanne Marsh, MPA; and Leslie M. Carson, MPH, MSW16 Comments