Category: Healthcare

N95 Day 2015: The tools to build a culture of proper respiratory protection practices

  Every day is a day to think about worker safety. But today, on our annual N95 Day (09/04/2015), we embrace our dedication to proper respiratory protection practices, shining it with a bit of elbow grease, and displaying it at the very front line of our priorities. Today we find the time necessary to focus Read More >

Posted on by Jaclyn Krah, M.A2 Comments

NIOSH Research Highlights Importance of Rigorous Standards for Gowns Used to Protect Healthcare Workers

  Recent research performed at the NIOSH National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL), with support from Nelson Laboratories, suggests that some isolation gowns do not meet the performance standards established by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI). Isolation gowns are the second-most-used piece of personal protective equipment (PPE) Read More >

Posted on by Selcen Kilinc-Balci, PhD, MBA and Maryann D’Alessandro, PhD9 Comments

A Hard Day’s Night: Training Provides Nurses with Strategies for Shift Work and Long Work Hours

“The problem for me became very severe and my head nurse actually called me into her office to discuss it… it had gotten to the point where I was so chronically sleep-deprived that I was falling asleep while I was trying to report off to the on-coming shift. So, I’m sitting there talking about very Read More >

Posted on by Claire Caruso, PhD, RN, FAAN6 Comments

Higher Nurse-to-Patient Ratio Law Improves Nurse Injury Rates by One-Third

  California is the only state with a law governing minimum nurse-to-patient staffing ratios. The ratios vary depending on the type of hospital service but are in the range of one nurse for every five patients. (The ratios are available on the California Department of Public Health website.) The law went into effect in 2004. Read More >

Posted on by Paul Leigh, Ph.D.8 Comments

Occupational Health Safety Network

The Occupational Health Safety Network (OHSN) is a free, web-based surveillance system designed by NIOSH to reduce preventable injuries among healthcare personnel. The network is a voluntary system that enables near real-time, secure tracking of occupational injuries by type, occupation, location, and risk factors using data already collected by healthcare facilities for OSHA reporting. The Read More >

Posted on by Ahmed Gomaa, MD, ScD, MSPH2 Comments

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: Workers’ Memorial Day 2015

  On Workers’ Memorial Day we acknowledge the toll that work-related exposures have taken on American workers, their families, and communities. Each year, NIOSH collaborates with the staff of the CDC Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report (MMWR) to publish the most recent NIOSH analyses of occupational illness and injuries, and investigations of occupational hazards. The Read More >

Posted on by Kerry Souza, ScD, MPH 2 Comments

Violence in Healthcare

  In the healthcare setting, workplace violence may occur in many forms including: an active shooter, a disruptive patient, or as ongoing incivility from a colleague. The most commonly reported form of violence in healthcare is from the disruptive patient or patient’s family member. In 2013, healthcare workers reported an estimated 9,200 workplace violence incidents Read More >

Posted on by Dan Hartley, EdD2 Comments

Fighting Ebola: A Grand Challenge for Development – How NIOSH is Helping Design Improved Personal Protective Equipment for Healthcare Workers

The current Ebola epidemic in West Africa is the largest in history and is unprecedented in many ways, including the large number of healthcare workers who have been infected while treating patients. The large scale of the epidemic, as well as the two healthcare workers who contracted Ebola while caring for the first case in Read More >

Posted on by Ronald Shaffer, PhD27 Comments

What Works Best to Prevent Stress Among Healthcare Workers: Changing the organization or educating staff?

  Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) professionals have to make many decisions on a daily basis. These decisions can involve risk assessment methods, preventive workplace measures, workers’ health surveillance or even rehabilitation or return-to-work practices. According to the principles of evidence based practice, such decisions should be guided by high-quality scientific knowledge (van Dijk et Read More >

Posted on by Jani Ruotsalainen, Jos Verbeek and Thais C. Morata10 Comments

Prolonged Standing at Work

  The National Retail Federation forecasts that retailers and merchants will hire between 730,000 and 790,000 seasonal workers this holiday season.[i] Many of these workers, such as sales associates and cashiers, have little, if any, opportunity to sit during their work shift. Increasingly, workers across a variety of occupations are required to stand for long periods Read More >

Posted on by Robert B. Dick, PhD20 Comments

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

Protecting Workers from Ebola: Eight Knowledge Generation Priorities

  On November 3, the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council of the National Academies convened a workshop of distinguished representatives from the public and private sectors.   The participants were asked to suggest priorities for research that will “provide public health officials, healthcare providers, and the general public with the most up-to-date information Read More >

Posted on by John Howard, MD; Margaret Kitt, MD; Maryann D’Alessandro, PhD; Lisa Delaney, MS, CIH; Chad Dowell MS, CIH11 Comments

Including Work Information in Electronic Health Records

  Today’s “Health IT Buzz,” the blog of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), features a blog co-written by Kerry Souza of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and Michael Wittie of the ONC. Posted during “Health Center Week”, the blog highlights the Read More >

Posted on by Kerry Souza, ScD, MPH 2 Comments

Reaching Towards a Healthier, Safer Workplace:NIOSH looks at healthcare worker familiarity with recommended respiratory protection practices

Every day healthcare workers (HCWs) make decisions about the best way to protect themselves. What would you do if you entered the room of a new patient and noticed symptoms such as fever and a mucus-producing cough? As a HCW, you must then ask yourself, “What type of disease does the patient have? What sort Read More >

Posted on by Lindsay Stradtman, MPH; Jaclyn Krah, MA; Debra Novak, PhD, RN 3 Comments

Safe Handling of Hazardous Drugs

  May is National Oncology Nursing Month.  In honor of these nurses and all who work with hazardous drugs (many of which are used in the treatment of cancer) we are posting this blog on how to safely prepare, administer or otherwise handle these drugs. About 8 million U.S. healthcare workers are potentially exposed to Read More >

Posted on by Thomas H. Connor, PhD 15 Comments

How Well Do You Think You Are Protected?

Understanding proper use and disposal of protective gowns for healthcare workers The prevalence of infectious diseases, such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV, SARS and avian flu, have raised the concern of hospital personnel over the possibility of acquiring such infections. Healthcare workers (HCWs) in or outside hospitals who have contact with patients, body fluids, Read More >

Posted on by Selcen Kilinc-Balci, PhD, MBA 15 Comments

Happy N95 Day! A Guide to N95 Resources

  Welcome to year two of this NIOSH-approved observance, marking N95 day as an official annual event. (We debated about decorating our offices with N95s – but that seemed a tad wasteful). To those who missed the memo last year, let us update you. Because N95 respirators are so important to the health and safety Read More >

Posted on by Jaclyn Krah, MA 13 Comments

Ladder Safety: There’s an App for That

NIOSH recently released its first smart phone application (app) for mobile devices. This free app is aimed at improving extension ladder safety by providing real-time safety information delivered via the latest technology. Falls are a persistent source of injury in many occupations and in home use. Falls are the number one cause of construction-worker fatalities Read More >

Posted on by Peter Simeonov, Ph.D., Hongwei Hsiao, Ph.D, and John Powers 45 Comments

Free On-line Violence Prevention Training for Nurses

In 2012, the Healthcare and Social Assistance (HCSA) sector was amongst the largest industry sectors in the U.S. employing an estimated 19.4 million workers (13.5% of the total workforce)[1]. On average, over the last decade, U.S. healthcare workers have accounted for two-thirds of the nonfatal workplace violence injuries in all industries involving days away from Read More >

Posted on by Dan Hartley, EdD; Marilyn Ridenour, BSN, MPH 33 Comments

Advanced Headforms for Evaluating Respirator Fit

Over three million Americans are required to wear respirators in their workplaces. In order to strive for the highest level of protection, ongoing research is essential for learning more about the factors that affect how respirators fit to the face. As part of this pursuit, NIOSH has developed a new robotic manikin headform (called an Read More >

Posted on by Michael Bergman, MS; Ziqing Zhuang, PhD; Ronald E. Shaffer, PhD 3 Comments