Category: Personal Protective Equipment

Building Better Buoyancy – Developing Innovative Life Vests for Commercial Fishermen

Think about wearing a life jacket to work. What comes to mind? Do you think cool, comfortable, and easy-to-work in? Or, are you more inclined to think of life jackets as cumbersome, uncomfortable, and interfering? If you are leaning toward the latter, you’re right on track with what NIOSH heard from commercial fishermen back in Read More >

Posted on by Christy Forrester, MS and Theodore D. Teske, MA11 Comments

Safety and Health for Immigrant Workers

  The United States workforce, like the population in general, is becoming more ethnically diverse. “We are and always will be a nation of immigrants,” President Obama stated recently in announcing his initiative on immigration reform. The Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends Project estimates that immigrants will make up roughly 23% of adults of working Read More >

Posted on by Michael Flynn, MA22 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

N95 Day 2014: Respirator Preparedness – Where Technology Meets Good Practices

N95 Day is finally here again. We hope that you have been looking forward to it as much as we have! N95 Day has become an annual observance, now in its third year. This year we are focusing on the specific theme of “Respiratory Preparedness: Where Technology Meets Good Practices.” Confidence and familiarity with proper Read More >

Posted on by Jaclyn Krah, MA4 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

Coccidioidomycosis: An Enduring Work-Related Disease

Background Coccidioidomycosis, also known as Valley Fever, is a disease caused by the fungus Coccidioides. The fungus grows in the soil in very dry areas. Coccidioidomycosis is endemic (native and common) in the southwestern United States, the Central Valley of California, Mexico, and parts of Central and South America [CDC 2013a]. About 150,000 new infections Read More >

Posted on by Marie A. de Perio, MD; Gregory A. Burr, CIH10 Comments

Do We Need to Challenge Respirator Filters With Biological Aerosols?

The purpose of this NIOSH Science Blog is to explain what is currently known about an important aspect of respirator filtration.  For decades, respirator researchers have been asked whether filters need to be tested with aerosols similar to those encountered in the environment (Figure 1).  Common sense suggests that viruses or bacteria are collected differently Read More >

Posted on by Lisa M. Brosseau, ScD, CIH and Ronald Shaffer, PhD 8 Comments

Making a Splash: Three Fishermen Saved by Personal Flotation Devices!

On the night of June 26, 2010 the fishing vessel Paul Revere, a salmon setnet skiff, capsized while setting their gear in preparation for the start of fishing season. The skipper and her two crew members were thrown in the waters of Bristol Bay near South Naknek, AK. The crew spent two harrowing hours drifting Read More >

Posted on by Theodore D. Teske, MA7 Comments

Silica Hazards from Engineered Stone Countertops

A new engineered stone countertop product known as “quartz surfacing,” was created in the late 1980s by combining quartz aggregate with resins to create a product for use in home building and home improvement.  Manufacturing of this material, including products such as CaesarStone™, Silestone™, Zodiaq™, or Cambria™ is a fast growing industry.  First made in Read More >

Posted on by Karen Worthington, MS, RN, COHN-S; Margaret Filios, SM, RN; Mary Jo Reilly, MS; Robert Harrison, MD, MPH; and Kenneth D. Rosenman, MD 59 Comments

Respirator Care = Safe to Wear!

Happy Valentine’s Day! And on this most romantic day of the year, what else could you possibly do than show some love … to your respirator. Last year on this day, we blogged about maintaining your relationship with your Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA). To continue to spread the love, this year we want to focus Read More >

Posted on by Courtney Neiderhiser, MS and Jaclyn Krah, MA 7 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

The Importance of Occupational Safety and Health: Making for a “Super” Workplace

There’s just something about superhero movie summer releases that gets us here at NIOSH excited about safety. This summer the source of our inspiration came from the Man of Steel© movie. In the film, pre-Superman Clark Kent is working as a commercial fisherman (a hazardous job if you’re not a man of steel). He risks Read More >

Posted on by Jaclyn Krah, MA; Richard L. Unger 27 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

NIOSH HPD Well-Fit™: The Future is Fit-Testing

Today is Save Your Hearing Day.  For workers and others who are exposed to dangerously loud noises which cannot be reduced or eliminated, hearing protection devices (HPDs) are absolutely necessary to save their hearing.  But if HPDs are not properly selected or correctly worn, the devices may not block out enough noise and the wearer Read More >

Posted on by Captain William J. Murphy, Ph.D.; Dr. Mark R. Stephenson, Ph.D.; Captain David C. Byrne, M.S. CCC-A; Christa L. Themann, M.S. CCC-A 11 Comments

Women’s Health at Work

This week is Women’s Health Week. With over 58% of U.S. women in the labor force[i], the workplace must be considered when looking at women’s overall health.   We must keep in mind that susceptibility to hazards can be different for men and women.  Additionally, women face different workplace health challenges than men partly because men Read More >

Posted on by Naomi Swanson,Ph.D.; Julie Tisdale-Pardi, MA; CAPT Leslie MacDonald, Sc.D.; Hope M. Tiesman, Ph.D. 54 Comments

Improving Respirator Use and Compliance in Healthcare – An Invitation

  Poor compliance with respiratory protection requirements and proper use recommendations in healthcare settings remains a vexing problem. Given the many possible methods to improve compliance, and the constraints of limited budgets and resources available for research, we are asking the question: where should NIOSH conduct research to address this issue? There are many reasons Read More >

Posted on by Ronald E. Shaffer, Ph.D. ; Debra Novak, DSN, RN; Jaclyn Krah, MA8 Comments

Help! What do you want from a mobile Pocket Guide?

Since its first printing in 1978, the NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (NPG) continues to be the Institute’s most popular document. The NPG provides general descriptive, exposure, and protective and emergency recommendations for 677 chemicals commonly found in the work environment. Workers, employers, and occupational health professionals all use the NPG in the course Read More >

Posted on by Donna Van Bogaert Ph.D. and Glenn Doyle157 Comments

Maintaining a Relationship with your SCBA

Happy Valentine’s Day! Today is the day of the year dedicated to showing our significant others just how much we care. Boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, and wives all scurry to make the day special with chocolates, flowers, romantic dinners, and thoughtful gifts. Why? Because good relationships take work. Good relationships take maintenance. Have you ever thought Read More >

Posted on by Jaclyn Krah, MA19 Comments

Catching the Flu: NIOSH Research on Airborne Influenza Transmission

As we enter another influenza season, one question continues to vex medical and public health professionals:  How do you stop people from catching the flu? The best way to prevent the flu is by getting an influenza vaccine every year. However, in the event of a large-scale influenza outbreak of a new virus strain or Read More >

Posted on by William G. Lindsley, PhD 35 Comments

The Superhero Ensemble: Protecting More than a Secret Identity

It’s that time of year again – the time of mall madness and wracking our brains for gift ideas. Those of us reaching for the easy stocking stuffers are perhaps sharing the same idea – DVDs of this summer’s big screen blockbusters. We noticed many were of the superhero variety (The Dark Knight Rises, Avengers, Read More >

Posted on by Jaclyn Krah, MA 12 Comments