NIOSH Science Blog Posts

The Upper Limb Musculoskeletal Disorder Consortium

  As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, we look back at many of our successful programs. The Upper Limb Musculoskeletal Disorder Consortium is a collaborative research program to prevent work-related upper limb musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). The Consortium studies work-related MSDs to better understand and help prevent Read More >

Posted on by Alysha R. Meyers, PhD, CPELeave a comment

50 Years of NIOSH Construction Safety and Health Research

  Construction is a high hazard industry with high rates of illnesses and injuries.  The construction industry comprises not only a wide range of activities involving residential and commercial building construction, but also heavy and civil engineering construction, such as water and sewer lines, highways, and bridges. Specialty trades within the sector include masonry, roofing, plumbing, electrical, Read More >

Posted on by Scott Earnest, PhD, PE, CSP; Douglas Trout, MD, MHS; J’ette Novakovich, PhD, MS; and CDR Elizabeth Garza, MPH, CPH1 Comment

Workers’ Compensation Data Sheds Light on Hazards in Landscaping

Landscaping is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States, with higher-than-average rates of both fatal and nonfatal injuries when compared to all industries. Jobs include landscape construction, tree care services, lawn and cemetery care, right of way maintenance, seasonal property maintenance (such as snow removal), and weed control (except crop). NIOSH established Read More >

Posted on by Barbara M. Alexander, PhD; Steven J. Wurzelbacher, PhD; Rachel J. Zeiler, BA; and Steven J. Naber1 Comment

Reducing the Risk of Rhabdomyolysis and Other Heat-Related Illnesses in Landscaping and Tree Care Workers

Grounds maintenance workers, including landscaping and tree care workers, may be exposed to numerous physical, chemical, and biological hazards while performing work, especially during the summer months [1,2]. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics [3], grounds maintenance workers are more than two times more likely to be injured on the job compared with all Read More >

Posted on by Sarah Hughes, MPH and Susan Afanuh, MA2 Comments

Updated OSHA-NIOSH Small Business Safety and Health Handbook: Making Workplaces Safer with Checklists

Small business owners want to ensure their workers go home safe and healthy at the end of the day. However, small businesses tend to experience higher rates of workplace injury and illness than larger businesses. In general, many small businesses do not have a full-time industrial hygienist or certified safety professional on staff. The volume Read More >

Posted on by Brenda Jacklitsch, PhD, MS; Tom Cunningham, PhD; and Garrett Burnett, MS, MBA1 Comment

Changing with the Times: The Journey to Interactive Charts

  Our world is constantly evolving. Computers that used to occupy an entire room now fit in the palm of our hands. Information that used to require hours of searching, sorting, and reading is now available with the click of a button. Similarly, the way NIOSH shares work-related public health surveillance data has evolved to Read More >

Posted on by Mike Reh, BA; Rebecca Tsai, PhD; and Amy Mobley, MEn1 Comment

Noise Myths Debunked – Fact and Fiction Behind all the Cicada Buzz

This is the first installment of a series of science blogs that will address common myths attributed to noise and hearing loss. For much of the eastern U.S., 2021 has been the year of the cicadas. The Brood X insects have made their presence known after 17 years of living underground, with their characteristic buzz Read More >

Posted on by NIOSH Noise and Bio-Acoustics Team3 Comments

Mission Possible: Measuring Worker Well-Being

How can we measure worker well-being? Worker well-being is an important occupational health concern, but our current understanding is limited by the lack of a standard way to define and measure this concept. The development of a new tool, the NIOSH Worker Well-Being Questionnaire – or NIOSH WellBQ, may help employers and workers overcome this Read More >

Posted on by Emily Norton, BPH; Sydney Webb, PhD; L. Casey Chosewood, MD, MPH; Chia-Chia Chang, MPH, MBA; and Steven Sauter, PhD2 Comments

Getting Creative

We are bombarded with information in various forms every minute of our day. How do you break through and get your messages to the appropriate audiences? How do you make information from scientific journals and technical documents understandable and appealing to workers and other non-scientists? NIOSH has a long history of communicating its research through Read More >

Posted on by Julie Tisdale-Pardi, MA4 Comments

World Trade Center Health Program: First Decade of Research

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the 10th year of the World Trade Center Health Program. Background The September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City (NYC), the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and the plane crash in Shanksville, Pennsylvania resulted Read More >

Posted on by Albeliz Santiago-Colón, PhD; Robert D. Daniels, PhD, CHP; Travis Kubale, PhD; and Max Lum, Ed.D, MPALeave a comment

Reducing Occupational Chronic Disease: CRC Cross Sector Program

Over the course of NIOSH’s 50-year history, occupational chronic diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and adverse reproductive outcomes have always been a significant public health burden and source of economic costs. Since its inception in 2004, the Cancer, Reproductive, Cardiovascular, and Other Chronic Disease Prevention Program (CRC), within the NIOSH Program Portfolio, has provided leadership Read More >

Posted on by Todd A. Stueckle, Ph.D., M.A.; Nicole S. Olgun, Ph.D.; Raquel Velazquez-Kronen, Ph.D.; and Elizabeth Whelan, Ph.D.1 Comment

Getting the Word Out: NIOSH Publications and Products

It’s an understatement to say that how the world communicates has changed over the course of this century, and certainly in the last 50 years. Over NIOSH’s 50-year history how the Institute communicates its research, and to whom, has also evolved. As a leading scientific agency, our research will always be published in peer-reviewed journals Read More >

Posted on by Julie Tisdale-Pardi, MALeave a comment

Work and Well-being: The Changing Face of Occupational Safety and Health

  There is strong evidence that work, health and well-being are closely and powerfully linked and need to be addressed together. (Dame Carol Black) [1] The conjunctive phrase “…and well-being” is often used in the occupational safety and health (OSH) literature in the context of health and well-being. However, historically, well-being has not been defined, Read More >

Posted on by Paul A. Schulte, Ph.D., and Steve L. Sauter, Ph.D.5 Comments

An Ancient Hazard in a 21st Century Workplace: The Power of Partnerships and Collaboration Investigating Respirable Crystalline Silica in Hydraulic Fracturing

  In 2013, NIOSH researchers published exposure assessment results for respirable crystalline silica in oil and gas extraction (OGE) workers performing hydraulic fracturing. The results were noteworthy; a previously unidentified but serious occupational exposure hazard was discovered, and risks were significant‒in some cases, personal breathing zone exposures exceeded 10 times the occupational exposure limits. This Read More >

Posted on by Eric J. Esswein, MSPH, CIH, FAIHA; CAPT Bradley King, PhD, MPH, CIH; and CAPT Ryan Hill, MPH2 Comments

The Role of Artificial Intelligence in the Future of Work

As discussed in a previous NIOSH Science Blog, artificial intelligence (AI) is in the process of transforming almost all aspects of society. Whether using an application to determine the best route to drive, receiving recommendations from Netflix on what to watch, or using face detection to logon to a personal smartphone, the use of AI Read More >

Posted on by Jay Vietas, PhD, CIH, CSP3 Comments

The Who, What, How and When of Implementing Fatigue Monitoring and Detection Technologies

  Worker fatigue can result from a variety of sources, such as insufficient sleep, long work hours, physical exertion and stress. Fatigue can slow down reaction times, reduce attention or concentration, limit short-term memory, and impair judgment, affecting the health and safety of workers and their co-workers1,2. Worker fatigue has contributed to catastrophic industrial events Read More >

Posted on by Kyla Retzer, MPH, Imelda Wong, PhD, and Emanuele Cauda, PhD6 Comments

Recognizing Exemplary Science and Service

  Exemplary science is the foundation for all National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) research and prevention activities. Each year, NIOSH recognizes outstanding science and service from our employees. This year’s Science and Service Awards took place on April 29, 2021. The nominees, awardees, and honorable mentions can be found here. Please visit Read More >

Posted on by Julie Tisdale-Pardi, MALeave a comment

Protecting Firefighters

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has a long history of working to protect firefighters. Firefighting is an inherently dangerous and vitally important occupation. The United States Fire Administration reported that 1,955 firefighters died in the line of duty from 1998-2019. In addition to injuries and deaths occurring on the fireground, firefighters Read More >

Posted on by Jeff Funke, MS, CSP; Judith Eisenberg, MD, MS; Kenny Fent, PhD, CIH; Matt Bowyer; and Steve Miles2 Comments

NIOSH Program Portfolio: Promoting research collaboration for 16 years and counting

Throughout its 50-year history, NIOSH has been faced with a vast array of occupational safety and health issues across workplaces and a finite amount of resources to address them. In 2004, NIOSH developed the Program Portfolio as a way to select research priorities, communicate research findings, and evaluate the effectiveness of our research. The Program Read More >

Posted on by Emily J.K. Novicki, MA, MPHLeave a comment

Celebrating 25 Years of the National Occupational Research Agenda

The National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) is a partnership program to stimulate innovative research and improved workplace practices and has become a research framework for NIOSH and the nation. Created in 1996 with input from more than 500 individuals and organizations, partnership has been key to the development and success of NORA. While NIOSH is the Read More >

Posted on by Emily J.K. Novicki, MA, MPHLeave a comment