Category: NIOSH-funded Research

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 Lally1 Comment

Lung Disease in Textile Workers

This blog is part of a series for NIOSH’s 50th anniversary highlighting research and prevention throughout the Institute’s history. Background Since the 1970s, NIOSH has worked to prevent illness from cotton dust. Byssinosis is an airways disease with features of both asthma and COPD that occurs with exposure to cotton dust. In the early 1970s, Read More >

Posted on by David C. Christiani, MD, MPH, SM2 Comments

Lighting Interventions to Reduce Circadian Disruption in Rotating Shift Workers

  Shift work has been linked to poor sleep, chronic metabolic disorders (e.g., cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity), several forms of cancer [1-3], depression, and elevated risk for the occurrence of accidents. These risks are especially acute for those who work rotating shifts that involve working through the night [4-8], as sometimes occur in hospitals. Read More >

Posted on by Mariana G. Figueiro, PhD, and David PedlerLeave a comment

Introducing an Occupational Health Resource: The Occupational Noise Job Exposure Matrix

Introduction Noise-induced hearing loss is highly prevalent in the U.S., and noise is increasingly being linked to other non-auditory health effects such as cardiovascular disease, sleep disturbance, and stress. However, our knowledge of noise exposures associated with many U.S. occupations is lacking. To address this issue, researchers used existing resources to develop a first-of-its-kind Job Read More >

Posted on by Rick Neitzel, PhD, CIH and CAPT Chucri (Chuck) A. Kardous, MS, PE5 Comments

Extramural Spotlight: Airline Pilot Mental Health

In March 2015, Germanwings Flight 9525 crashed into the French Alps, killing all 150 people onboard. An investigation found that the copilot deliberately steered the plane into the mountainside. It also revealed that he had a history of depression. Among workers, untreated depression can affect the ability to perform tasks and—as the Germanwings incident shows—in Read More >

Posted on by Alexander C. Wu, ScD, MPH10 Comments

Farm Dinner Theater

It is not new news that agriculture has excessive worker injury rates. Nor that senior farmers and adult farmers in the South experience some of the highest occupational injury and mortality in the nation. There were an estimated 58,385 work-related adult farm injuries (more than six every hour) in 2014. In 2016, 417 farmers and Read More >

Posted on by Julie Tisdale-Pardi, MA and Deborah Reed, PhD5 Comments

Research Day 2016 Brings Together Students, Alumni, and Professionals

The 8th Annual Occupational and Environmental Health Research Day took place on March 3rd with a record number of almost 200 attendees.  Research Day is a yearly tradition, showcasing innovative graduate student research in occupational and environmental health and safety, as well as highlighting alumni experiences and connecting community members working in health and safety to students and Read More >

Posted on by Jana Gurkin2 Comments

Palm Tree Worker Suffocated by Palm Fronds – Another Death in California

  On August 13, 2015, another worker was suffocated by palm fronds in California (see news report). This is at least the fourth similar fatality since the California Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program (CA/FACE) program issued a report and video on this hazard in February 2014. The drought in the Western U.S. may have Read More >

Posted on by Robert Harrison, MD24 Comments

Improving the Safety and Health of Bison Handlers

  Recent media reports of bison injuring visitors at Yellowstone National Park have raised public awareness of the hazards of interacting with bison. Those who work with these animals face unique risks. Bison are the largest land mammals in North America, weighing in at about 1,000-2,000 pounds.1 They can run 35 miles per hour and Read More >

Posted on by Kelsey Palm, Ellen Duysen, Risto Rautiainen, Clayton Kelling1 Comment

Ergonomics Climate Assessment

  Researchers from Colorado State University and the Colorado School of Public Health recently found workplaces that value employees’ safety and well-being as much as company productivity yield the greatest rewards. The study, “Ergonomics Climate Assessment: A measure of operational performance and employee well-being,” was recently published in the Applied Ergonomics journal.  The study describes Read More >

Posted on by Krista Hoffmeister, PhD, AEP; Alyssa Gibbons, Ph.D.; Natalie Schwatka, Ph.D., AEP; and John Rosecrance, PhD, CPE2 Comments

Respiratory Hazards for Latino Horse Farm Workers

With the upcoming Belmont Stakes and the possibility of a Triple Crown winner, all eyes are on the world of horse racing. These races are the culmination of years of work far from the glory of the grand stage of horse racing. What is not seen on this grand stage is that there are many Read More >

Posted on by Jennifer E. Swanberg, Ph.D., MMHS, OTR and Jess Miller Clouser, MPH 1 Comment

Work-family Conflict, Sleep, and the Heart

  Health care workers represent an increasingly important and ever growing work force in our society. They are also a group of “high-risk workers” meaning they report a lot of musculoskeletal pain, work-related injuries and sleep deficiencies. In addition to this, many health care workers labor in rotating shifts, with little time in-between shifts, so Read More >

Posted on by Orfeu M. Buxton, PhD and Henrik Jacobsen, PhD 6 Comments

WTC Rescue/Recovery and Obstructive Airway Disease

  The inhalation of chemicals, particulate matter (dusts and fibers), and the incomplete products of combustion during occupational and environmental disasters has long been associated with respiratory disorders[1]. While there is substantial literature on the association between respiratory diseases and chronic environmental exposures such as air pollution and long term occupational exposure in industries such Read More >

Posted on by Charles B. Hall, PhD6 Comments

Hypertension and Low Wages

If workers earning low wages didn’t have enough stressors in their lives, they can now add hypertension to the list.  Our new research finds that low wages are a risk factor for hypertension among working people.  The research was recently published in the European Journal of Public Health, “Are Low Wages Risk Factors for Hypertension?”, Read More >

Posted on by J. Paul Leigh, Ph.D. and Juan Du, Ph.D. 10 Comments

Sleep, Pain, and Hospital Workers

We know that decreased sleep duration and extended shifts in healthcare workers are linked to workplace injuries.  The effects of decreased sleep on pain in the workplace are less clear.  New research from the Harvard Center for Work, Health and Wellbeing  –one of four NIOSH Centers of Excellence funded to explore and research the concepts Read More >

Posted on by Orfeu M. Buxton, PhD; Glorian Sorensen, PhD, MPH 15 Comments