Category: COVID-19

Skin Irritation from Prolonged Use of Tight-Fitting Respirators

Filtering Facepiece Respirators (FFRs) are typically used by workers, including first responders and healthcare professionals, for short, infrequent periods of time to protect against potential airborne transmissible diseases. However, during widespread respiratory infectious disease outbreaks, there may be a need to implement respirator extended use practices due to an inadequate supply of FFRs. Skin irritation Read More >

Posted on by Adam Hornbeck, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, FNP-C; Jaclyn Krah Cichowicz, MA; Selcen Kilinc-Balci, PhD, MBA; Dana Rottach, PhD; Jonisha Pollard, MS, CPE; and Harold L. Boyles, RN, MSHCA1 Comment

How Collecting and Analyzing COVID-19 Case Job Information Can Make a Difference in Public Health

  Collecting, coding, analyzing and reporting industry and occupation data from COVID-19 cases is necessary to inform strategies to reduce the impact of the pandemic on workers. As described in the previous blog post, “Collecting occupation and industry data in public health surveillance systems for COVID-19,” it’s important to collect job information for all workers Read More >

Posted on by Sara E. Luckhaupt, MD, MPH; Matthew R. Groenewold, PhD; Amy Mobley, MEn; Stacey Marovich, MHI, MS; and Marie Haring Sweeney, PhDLeave a comment

The Role of Organizational Support and Healthy Work Design

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of Americans’ lives and has had a significant effect on the well-being of workers (APA, 2020; Kaiser, 2020; Nigam et al., 2020). As the nation aims to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19 cases and protect public health, employers are working to keep their businesses Read More >

Posted on by Emily J. Haas, PhD; Jeannie Nigam, MS; Jessica MK Streit, PhD, CHES®; Sudha Pandalai, MD, PhD; L. Casey Chosewood, MD, MPH; and Mary B. O’Connor, MS3 Comments

Improve Sleep: Tips to Improve Your Sleep When Times Are Tough

  Just like food or water, sleep is a biological necessity for life and health. Research shows that the hours we spend sleeping are incredibly important and far from passive. During sleep, your body is busy fighting off viruses and other pathogens, operating a waste removal system to clean the brain, looking for cancer cells Read More >

Posted on by Claire C Caruso PhD, RN, FAAN, and L. Casey Chosewood, MD, MPH17 Comments

Economic Security during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Healthy Work Design and Well-being Perspective

The COVID-19 pandemic is adversely affecting worker well-being in many ways, including through decreased economic security. Economic aspects of overall health and well-being, along with physical, psychological, and social aspects, are a fundamental focus of the NIOSH Healthy Work Design and Well-being Program (HWD). The mission of HWD is to protect and advance worker safety, Read More >

Posted on by Rene Pana-Cryan, PhD; Tapas Ray, PhD; Tim Bushnell, PhD, MPA; and Brian Quay, MS4 Comments

Making Industry and Occupation Information Useful for Public Health: A guide to coding industry and occupation text fields

  **This blog was updated on 3/19/2021 to reflect changes to NIOCCS.** This is the second blog in the series “COVID-19 Surveillance among Workers: What we know and what are we doing to learn more”. To learn more about occupation and industry data collection for acute infectious diseases, see the first blog Collecting occupation and Read More >

Posted on by Stacey Marovich, MHI, MS; Amy Mobley, MEn; and Matthew R. Groenewold, PhD3 Comments

Considerations for Covering N95s to Extend Use

Introduction During times of increased demand for N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs), hospitals or other medical facilities may want to protect these devices from surface contamination in order to prolong their use. When protection against surface contamination is needed, CDC recommends wearing a cleanable face shield over an N95 FFR[1]. Wearing a surgical mask or Read More >

Posted on by Jeffrey Powell, MS; Jonisha Pollard, MS, CPE; Dana Rottach, PhD; and Edward Sinkule, PhD, MPH, FACSM

COVID-19 Stress Among Your Workers? Healthy Work Design and Well-Being Solutions Are Critical

Experiencing an infectious disease outbreak can cause fear, anxiety, and stress.1-5 Along with overwhelming uncertainty and new behavioral ‘norms’ (e.g., cloth face covering or mask wearing, physical distancing), the COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we meet our daily needs, how we socially interact, and whether, how, and where we work.1,3 Millions of workers have lost Read More >

Posted on by Jeannie A. S. Nigam, MS, Jessica M. K. Streit, PhD, MS, Tapas K. Ray, PhD, Naomi Swanson, PhD4 Comments

Collecting Occupation and Industry Data in Public Health Surveillance Systems for COVID-19

This is the first blog in the series “COVID-19 Surveillance among Workers: What we know and what are we doing to learn more”. What we know Though the COVID-19 pandemic continues, critical infrastructure industries are operating and other types of businesses are beginning to reopen. Recent studies have reported outbreaks of COVID-19 in several types Read More >

Posted on by Sara Luckhaupt, MD; Sherry Burrer, DVM; Marie de Perio, MD; and Marie Haring Sweeney, PhD4 Comments

The Physiological Burden of Prolonged PPE Use on Healthcare Workers during Long Shifts

Please note that this blog is specifically about respirators used by healthcare workers during long shifts and not facemasks worn as barrier control to stop the spread of COVID.   Healthcare workers (HCW) and first responders often work long, physically and mentally exhausting shifts as they provide care for patients, especially during a public health emergency. Read More >

Posted on by Jon Williams, PhD; Jaclyn Krah Cichowicz, MA; Adam Hornbeck, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, FNP-C; Jonisha Pollard, MS, CPE; and Jeffrey Snyder, MSN, CRNP34 Comments

Understanding the Use of Imported Non-NIOSH-Approved Respirators

When a respirator has been approved by NIOSH, the user can be confident that the device will provide the expected level of protection, as long as it fits properly and is worn correctly. But when serious outbreak conditions cause a shortage of the NIOSH-approved filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs), other reliable options must be found. When Read More >

Posted on by Maryann M. D’Alessandro, PhD; John Powers, BS; and Jaclyn Krah Cichowicz, MA

Uso adecuado del respirador N95 para estar preparado para la protección respiratoria

Cuando ocurren brotes de enfermedades infecciosas, dependemos de los profesionales de atención médica para que cuiden a los afectados, lo cual los pone en mayor riesgo de exposición al patógeno causante de la enfermedad. Mientras que los controles técnicos y administrativos deberían ser lo primero que se considere para proteger a estos trabajadores de la Read More >

Posted on by Maryann M. D’Alessandro, PhD, y Jaclyn Krah Cichowicz, MA

NIOSH Ventilated Headboard Provides Solution to Patient Isolation During an Epidemic

To protect healthcare workers, other patients, and visitors from exposure to airborne infectious diseases, patients in hospital settings sometimes need to be placed in airborne infection isolation rooms (AIIRs). AIIRs contain specific engineered features to isolate and more-quickly remove potentially infectious patient aerosols so that they do not infect others. Isolation rooms are expensive, costing Read More >

Posted on by Kenneth R. Mead Ph.D., PE18 Comments

Respiratory Protection During Outbreaks: Respirators versus Surgical Masks

Consistent use of respirators improves protection against respiratory illness Consistent use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is an important part of the strategy to protect healthcare professionals from inhaling infectious particles, preventing the spread of respiratory infection between healthcare professionals and patients. Two types of devices are most commonly used in the healthcare setting: N95 Read More >

Posted on by Christopher Coffey, Ph.D; Maryann M. D’Alessandro, PhD; and Jaclyn Krah Cichowicz, MA

Managing Fatigue During Times of Crisis: Guidance for Nurses, Managers, and Other Healthcare Workers

At times of crisis, healthcare workers (e.g., nurses, advanced practice nurses, physicians, nursing assistants, etc.) continue to provide care, despite ever challenging work demands, including higher influx of critically ill patients, increased work stress, and a frequent need for overtime. These work demands can compound already challenging work schedules (i.e. 12-hour shifts, night shifts), making Read More >

Posted on by Beverly M. Hittle, PhD, RN, Imelda S. Wong, PhD and Claire C. Caruso, PhD, RN, FAAN11 Comments

Manejo de la fatiga en tiempos de crisis: Directrices para enfermeros, administradores y otros trabajadores de atención médica

En tiempos de crisis, los trabajadores de atención médica (por ejemplo, enfermeros, enfermeros especialistas, médicos, auxiliares de enfermería, etc.) siguen brindando atención, a pesar de exigencias laborales constantemente arduas, como mayor afluencia de enfermos críticos, mayor estrés laboral y la necesidad frecuente de horas extras. Estas exigencias pueden complicar jornadas laborales ya complejas (es decir, Read More >

Posted on by Beverly M. Hittle, PhD, RN, Imelda S. Wong, PhD y Claire C. Caruso, PhD, RN, FAANLeave a comment

The Need for Fit Testing During Emerging Infectious Disease Outbreaks

Proper respirator use is essential for healthcare workers who are expected to interact with patients with infectious respiratory diseases. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires healthcare facilities to maintain a respiratory protection program that specifies requirements such as annual fit testing, medical clearance, and training. Initial fit testing is required before using a Read More >

Posted on by Maryann M. D’Alessandro, PhD; LT Megan Casey, RN, BSN, MPH; and Jaclyn Krah Cichowicz, MA

Proper N95 Respirator Use for Respiratory Protection Preparedness

When outbreaks of infectious disease occur, we rely on healthcare professionals to care for those affected, putting themselves at increased risk of exposure to the pathogen causing the disease. While engineering and administrative controls should be the first considerations to protect these workers from this exposure, facilities should also ensure that at-risk employees are prepared Read More >

Posted on by Maryann M. D’Alessandro, PhD, and Jaclyn Krah Cichowicz, MA

Using Worker Absenteeism to Track the Flu

Is flu on the rise among workers? Those working in public health track the number of flu-related hospital and doctor visits, but many people suffer symptoms and don’t seek medical treatment. So, how do we know how many people are sick with the flu during a flu pandemic or a seasonal epidemic? Each year, the Read More >

Posted on by Matthew R. Groenewold, PhD6 Comments

Flu Virus Generated in Coughs and Exhalations

It’s flu season. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducts research on protecting health care providers and other workers from infectious diseases including influenza.   A significant portion of our research deals with understanding how the influenza virus is transmitted. Influenza is known to be transmitted through respiratory secretions containing the virus. Airborne Read More >

Posted on by William G. Lindsley, PhD3 Comments