Category: Engineering Control

Preventing Needlestick Injuries at COVID–19 Vaccination Sites

The need to administer large numbers of COVID–19 vaccines means work conditions may be dramatically different from the traditional setting. Administering vaccines to a large number of people in a variety of settings may increase the risk for needlestick injuries among vaccinators and other vaccination site workers. Needlestick injuries have the potential to transmit bloodborne pathogens (BBP), like hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This blog recommends safety measures to reduce needlestick injuries and exposures to bloodborne pathogens. Read More >

Posted on by Ahmed Gomaa, L. Casey Chosewood, Marie Haring Sweeney, Susan Afanuh, Sarah Hughes, Adam Hornbeck, and Amy Mobley7 Comments

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., PE16 Comments

National Engineers Week

This week is National Engineers Week which is dedicated to ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce by increasing understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) employs over 200 engineers and engineering technicians who identify, evaluate, develop, and implement engineering control technology to Read More >

Posted on by Blog Coordinator5 Comments

Characterizing 3D Printing Emissions and Controls in an Office Environment

Disclaimer: Mention of any company, product, or service does not constitute endorsement by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), or imply that any company or its products or services are preferred over any other.   Read More >

Posted on by Kevin L Dunn, MS, CIH; Duane Hammond, MS, PE; Jennifer Tyrawski, PhD; and Matthew G. Duling, MS, REHS23 Comments

NIOSH’s Engineering Controls Database

The hierarchy of controls shows us that engineering controls can protect workers by eliminating or reducing hazardous conditions to acceptable exposure levels. The idea behind the hierarchy is that the control methods at the top of the graphic are potentially more effective and protective than those at the bottom. Following the hierarchy of controls can Read More >

Posted on by Brennan Lockwood and Trudi McCleery, MPH12 Comments

Preventing Wood Chipper Fatalities

  Last week, a 19-year-old North Carolina teen was killed after being pulled feet first into a wood chipper (see news report).  It was his first day on the job.Self-feeding mobile wood chippers commonly used during tree trimming operations consist of a feed mechanism, knives mounted on a rotating chipper disc or drum, and a Read More >

Posted on by Dawn Castillo, MPH; CAPT Cheryl F. Estill, PhD; and Robert Harrison, MD13 Comments

The Silica/Asphalt Milling Machine Partnership – All Good Things Need Not Come to an End

A recent ceremony at World of Asphalt 2015 celebrated the success of the Silica/Asphalt Milling Machine Partnership’s accomplishments to develop and validate engineering controls for silica dust in asphalt milling operations. The partnership between government, industry, labor was coordinated by the National Asphalt Pavement Association over the past decade to design, test, and implement engineering Read More >

Posted on by Duane Hammond, MS, PE4 Comments

Thanksgiving Ergonomics: Reducing material handling injuries with engineering controls

  If you haven’t purchased your 20 pound Thanksgiving turkey or your 10 pound bag of potatoes rest assured employees at your local grocery stores are busy restocking the shelves each day with your favorite Thanksgiving foods. It‘s hard enough lifting those items into your cart but what about the workers who haul those tons Read More >

Posted on by Vern Putz Anderson, PhD, CPE23 Comments

Buy Quiet Update

Several years ago NIOSH started the planning process for a “buy quiet” initiative to encourage companies to purchase or rent quieter machinery and tools to reduce worker noise exposure. This initiative also aimed to provide information on equipment noise levels and promote manufacturers to design quieter equipment. NIOSH is now pleased to announce the official Read More >

Posted on by Holly Poynter, MPH; Trudi McCleery, MPH; and CAPT Charles S. Hayden, MS, PE12 Comments

Controlling Exposures to Workers Who Make or Use Nanomaterials

  Background It is difficult to estimate how many workers are involved in this field. By one estimate, there are 400,000 workers worldwide in the field of nanotechnology, with an estimated 150,000 of those in the United States [Roco et al. 2010]. The National Science Foundation has estimated that approximately 6 million workers will be Read More >

Posted on by Jennifer L. Topmiller, MS; Kevin H. Dunn, Sc.D., CIH 5 Comments

Preventing Deaths in Manure Storage Facilities Through Proper Ventilation

On farms, manure storage facilities are used to store animal waste, which can then be used for fertilizer. Farmers or farm workers may need to enter the facilities to repair or maintain equipment, such as pumps and intake hoses. These confined spaces are often oxygen-deficient atmospheres and can contain toxic and/or explosive gases that create Read More >

Posted on by Harvey Manbeck, P.E., Ph.D and Dennis Murphy, Ph.D., CSP8 Comments

Cost-effective Rollover Protective Structure (CROPS)

Despite a decades-long effort to raise awareness about the importance of roll over protective structures (ROPS) in preventing injury and death from tractor roll overs, tractor overturns continue to be the leading cause of occupational agricultural death in the United States. While all tractors produced since 1986 come with ROPS as standard equipment, farm tractors Read More >

Posted on by Paul R. Keane, MBA and Tony McKenzie, PhD14 Comments

Contractors Wanted: Help NIOSH Advance Research to Protect Workers from Silica

Are you a contractor whose company has at least three years of field experience cutting fiber cement siding with a circular saw? Has your company installed fiber cement siding on at least three large residential jobs? Do you have an upcoming job where fiber cement siding will be cut and installed for at least eight Read More >

Posted on by Chaolong Qi, PhD15 Comments

Dangers of Bathtub Refinishing

At least 14 workers have died since 2000 as a result of using stripping agents containing methylene chloride during bathtub refinishing.  Many stripping products (including those that may also be available to consumers) contain high percentages of methylene chloride. Methylene chloride is extremely dangerous when not used properly.  Alternative products and processes exist for bathtub Read More >

Posted on by Ronald M. Hall, CDR, USPHS, MS, CIH, CSP 143 Comments

Worker Exposure to Crystalline Silica During Hydraulic Fracturing

Hydraulic fracturing or “fracking”  is the process of injecting large volumes of water, sand, and chemicals into the ground at high pressure to break up shale formation allowing more efficient recovery of oil and gas.  This form of well stimulation has been used since the late 1940s, but has increased substantially over the last 10 Read More >

Posted on by Eric Esswein, MSPH; Max Kiefer, MS; John Snawder, PhD; and Michael Breitenstein, BS 27 Comments

Help Wanted: Spray Polyurethane Foam Insulation Research

Help NIOSH with our research. We need you if you are in the spray foam business. Spray foam contains vapors with unknown health implications. Our researchers are taking air samples at worksites where spray foam is being installed. This research will help us develop interventions to help keep workers healthy. Read More >

Posted on by David A. Marlow, BS25 Comments

Buy Quiet

Quieter tools and machines lead to decreased hearing loss among the workers who use them. So why aren't companies "buying quiet"? Read more about the challenges in this area and what NIOSH is doing to make it easier to "buy quiet."  Read More >

Posted on by Heidi Hudson, MPH, and Chuck Hayden, MS, PE26 CommentsTags

Prevention through Design Standard

A new ANSI/ASSE Prevention through Design standard provides guidance on how to avoid, eliminate, reduce and control occupational safety and health hazards in the design and redesign process.  Read More >

Posted on by Donna S. Heidel, CIH18 Comments

Nail Salon Table Evaluation

NIOSH is requesting that developers, manufacturers, and vendors of vented nail tables (VNTs) submit new, unused, downdraft VNTs for a free evaluation. The NIOSH research will include an evaluation of VNT airflow and capture characteristics, noise level, ergonomic features, and filter life. Results of the research and recommendations from NIOSH will be communicated back to the submitter with the hope of providing valuable information for maximizing the efficiency of VNTs. Read More >

Posted on by Administrator26 CommentsTags

NO2 Emission Increases Associated with the Use of Certain Diesel Particulate Filters in Underground Mines

Emissions of and exposure to diesel particulate matter can sometimes be controlled through use of newer diesel engines, better engine maintenance, alternative fuels, or ventilation upgrades. Some mines may need to use diesel particulate filters, however. This has created concern about potential exposure to nitrogen dioxide (NO2) resulting from their use.  Read More >

Posted on by Steven Mischler, PhD, Emanuele Cauda, PhD108 Comments