Labor Day 2017: A Statement by NIOSH Director, John Howard, MD

Posted on by John Howard, MD

The American Dream promises that, through hard work and dedication, we can each achieve success. In the occupational safety and health community, we support this dream by dedicating ourselves to ensuring that work is safer, healthier, and more productive for workers, employers, and the Nation.

How we work continues to change, from the tools we use to do our jobs to the jobs themselves. The gig economy, new technology, and the evolution of both new and established industries, is altering the workplace and our roles within it.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), working with our partners in the public and private sector, continues to conduct research and develop new tools and recommendations that apply knowledge gained in the laboratory to the worksite.

NIOSH’s efforts include developing tools that help keep our nation’s first responders safe and healthy as they serve our communities in times of need. Through the Emergency Responder Health Monitoring and Surveillance (ERHMS) program, a health monitoring and surveillance framework for emergency responders, we can provide recommendations and tools to protect responders during all phases of a response, including: pre-deployment, deployment, and post-deployment. This year, NIOSH developed a software platform called ERHMS Info Manager™ to help responders implement the ERHMS framework and easily collect, analyze, and report health data to streamline the task of response worker health monitoring and surveillance.

The proliferation of technology has opened up new ways to share scientific information with workers and employers. Through the development of mobile apps, NIOSH has created tools that bring information from our researchers right to workers and employers, in a way that takes the science and translates it to action in the workplace. Now in the palm of their hand, workers and employers can find information on heat stress(, ladder safety(, noise exposures(, safe lifting(, and more.

As we continue to embrace this new world of work, we remain focused on ensuring the safety of those who have served as the backbone of our nation, America’s working men and women.

This Labor Day, we encourage you to take a moment and celebrate the contributions of workers to America’s strength and prosperity and consider how you may join with us in our initiatives to prevent work-related injury, illness, and death.


Posted on by John Howard, MD

6 comments on “Labor Day 2017: A Statement by NIOSH Director, John Howard, MD”

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    Thank you Dr. Howard for your statement and commitment to Prevention and Safety for all people of our country. I am a member of the Occupational Health team and I cannot emphasize enough the importance of this governmental agency to protect and insure the safety of workers everywhere and especially in the coming days and months in the hurricane disaster areas.
    Thank all of you at the agency for your contribution to our workforce.

    Thank You Dr. Howard for your words.
    The workforce has to know that the commitment to a healthier and safer work environment is still a priority.
    I remind everyone that they have a responsibility in this too.
    It doesn’t work if they all don’t participate.
    Thank you again

    The ERHMS sounds like it will have a profound impact. Great article, great point – even if I’ve missed the holiday!

    Thank you for your comment. ERHMS is an excellent tool for protecting emergency responders. NIOSH recently released ERHMS Info Manager™, a free software platform to track and monitor emergency response and recovery worker activities during all phases of emergency response. More info can be found at or on the recent blog post.

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Page last reviewed: September 5, 2017
Page last updated: September 5, 2017