NIOSH Science Blog Posts

Demonstrating the Ability to Protect Healthcare Personnel from COVID-19 in High-Risk Settings

This content can also be found on CDC’s Safe Healthcare Blog. The COVID-19 pandemic brought about stresses to the U.S. healthcare workforce never seen before. Since early in the pandemic, reports have abounded of healthcare personnel (HCP) being infected, sometimes resulting in severe outcomes and death. As of July 20, 2022, there have been nearly 1 Read More >

Posted on by L. Clifford McDonald, MD, and David Weissman, MD2 Comments

National Marble Day: A Look at the Manufacturing of Glass Marbles

  The blog content comes from the NIOSH Manufacturing Mondays series. July 23rd is National Marble Day.  There is much more to these little spheres than you might think. Although the game of marbles was originally played by children, it grew into a fun pastime for adults as well. There are treasure hunts to find Read More >

Posted on by Jenny Topmiller, MS; RJ Matetic, MS, PhD; Gary Roth, MS, PhD; Richard Current, PE; and Adam Smith, PhD,Leave a comment

Exposure Assessment of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Refined Coal Tar Sealant Applications

  Coal tar sealants are applied as a protective coating for paved surfaces. Many polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are found in these sealants. Several of these PAHs are known or suspected to cause, or increase the risk of developing cancer, but to date there has been no published research on workplace exposures to coal-tar-based sealant. Read More >

Posted on by Seth McCormick, MPH; John Snawder, PhD, DAHB; I-Chen Chen, PhD; Marissa Alexander-Scott, DVM, MS, MPH; Michael Breitenstein, B.S.; Yuesong Wang, PhD; Lei Meng, MS; Juliana Meadows, PhD; Cheryl Fairfield Estill, PhDLeave a comment

Education and Training Concerning Masks and Respirators for Construction Workers

Various types of masks and respirators are receiving increased attention in many workplaces, including on construction sites. Use of masks is part of a multi-layered prevention strategy for COVID-19, and many workplaces require or encourage employees to wear them. Masks are designed to cover a person’s mouth and nose to help contain large droplets or Read More >

Posted on by Aurora B. Le, PhD, MPH, CSP, CPH; Meghan Kiederer, BA; Adam K. Smith, PhD; Douglas Trout, MD, MHS; Scott Earnest, PhD, PE, CSPLeave a comment

ERCs Partner to Offer Webinar Series on Human Factors and Ergonomics and Industrial Hygiene

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the NIOSH Education and Research Centers (ERC) which are extramurally funded university-based centers that carry out multidisciplinary education and research training activities and offer graduate and postgraduate training in the core and allied fields of occupational safety and health. The ERCs serve as a resource for our nation’s Read More >

Posted on by Mitchel Rosen and Michelle Meyer1 Comment

What Measures Can Companies Use to Evaluate Safety Management Practices and Identify Opportunities for Improvement?

  What measures can companies use to evaluate safety efforts and identify opportunities for improvement?  The most commonly used measures of safety performance are lagging indicators such as injury counts and costs.1,2 While lagging indicators can be beneficial, using them as the only measure of safety can be a barrier to safety improvement. For example, Read More >

Posted on by Libby L. Moore, PhD, Steven J. Wurzelbacher, PhD, I-Chen Chen, PhD, Michael P. Lampl, MS, Steven J. Naber, PhD2 Comments

Fireworks

The blog content comes from the NIOSH Manufacturing Mondays series. The Fourth of July is the quintessential American holiday. Not only are we celebrating the birth of our nation, but we take a break in the heat of summer to participate in parades, cookouts, swimming, and FIREWORKS!    While many of us enjoy the exhilaration of Read More >

Posted on by Jenny Topmiller, MS; RJ Matetic, MS, PhD; Gary Roth, MS, PhD; Richard Current, PE; and Adam Smith, PhD,3 Comments

Workplace Medical Mystery Solved: What Is Making This Roofer Sick?

Ray worked as a roofer and started feeling sick during work. His symptoms started halfway through the first day and, by the end of the second day, he felt even worse with a headache, cough, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. At the doctor’s office, his tests came back normal. Read more about his case  Read More >

Posted on by Emily Kirby, BPH, and Catherine C. Beaucham, PhD, CIH4 Comments

Workplace Medical Mystery: What Is Making This Roofer Sick?

Ray drove to his work site on Monday morning, sipping coffee along the way. Spring was almost over, and everything was in full bloom. He was thankful for a cloudy day and cranked up the air conditioning, he knew he would start sweating once he got to work. Today Ray and his crew were working Read More >

Posted on by Emily Kirby, BPH, and Catherine C. Beaucham, PhD, CIH21 Comments

Climatologic Conditions, Chronic Disease and Work: Emerging Evidence and Implications

  As concerns about climatologic conditions (CC) are rising globally they remain poorly addressed in many settings such as the workplace. Climate-related hazards such as heat exposure and extreme weather events are and will continue to shape workers’ work experiences, risks for chronic disease, other health outcomes, and productivity. As such, central goals for occupational Read More >

Posted on by Marie-Anne S. Rosemberg, PhD, MN, RN, FAAOHN; June Spector, MD, MPH; Alyssa McGonagle, PhD; Tara A. Hartley, PhD, MPA, MPH; Tapas K Ray, PhD; Lee Newman, MD, MA; and L. Casey Chosewood, MD MPHLeave a comment

Pausas para ir al baño

Aunque los trabajadores pueden suponer que tendrán acceso a baños en el trabajo, muchos que laboran en una amplia gama de sectores comerciales y ocupaciones dicen que no pueden hacer las pausas que necesitan para ir al baño mientras están trabajando.1-6 Las pausas insuficientes para ir al baño son algo importante que hay que considerar Read More >

Posted on by Candice Johnson, PhD; Cammie Chaumont Menendez, PhD; and Doug Trout, MD, MHS.Leave a comment

The Manufacture and Selection of Eye Protection at Work

The blog content comes from the NIOSH Manufacturing Mondays series. June 6th was National Eyewear Day (and May was Healthy Vision Month).  To celebrate we are highlighting eye protection at work. Thousands of people each year experience work-related eye injuries that could have been prevented with the proper selection and use of eye and face Read More >

Posted on by Richard Current, PE; James Harris, PhD, PE; Adam Smith, PhD; Gary Roth, PhD; Jenny Topmiller; RJ Matetic;1 Comment

The Role of Robotics in the Future of Work

  NIOSH established the Future of Work Initiative in response to rapid changes in the workplace, work, and workforce. The Initiative seeks to prompt research and practical approaches to address future occupational safety and health concerns. Increased use and rapid technologic advances in robotics fits within the sphere of changes in how work will increasingly Read More >

Posted on by Dawn N. Castillo, MPH; Jacob L. Carr, PhD; W. Allen Robison, PhD1 Comment

National Safety Month

Each June, we celebrate National Safety Month. While we all know safety is important year-round, this month we work to highlight efforts to prevent injury and death, from the workplace to anyplace. In this blog, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the National Safety Council (NSC) are highlighting research and prevention Read More >

Posted on by Dawn Castillo, MPH, and John DonyLeave a comment

Save Your Hearing Day

The blog content comes from the NIOSH Manufacturing Mondays seminar series. Today is National Save Your Hearing Day. Hearing loss is one of the most common work-related illnesses. [1] About 12% of U.S. workers have hearing difficulty. [2] Among noise-exposed workers, 23% have hearing difficulty compared to 7% of non-noise-exposed workers. [3] Twenty-four percent of Read More >

Posted on by Elizabeth Masterson, PhD, CPH, COHC; Thais Morata, PhD; Amanda Azman, Au.D; RJ Matetic, MS, PhD; Adam Smith, PhD; Gary Roth, MS, PhD; Jenny Topmiller, MS; and Richard Current, PE.Leave a comment

Umbrella Manufacturing

The blog content comes from the NIOSH Manufacturing Mondays seminar series. During this time of year many of us will grab an umbrella when walking out the door, a useful device that has been with us for a long time but is seldom thought about until you need one. The umbrella is a vital piece Read More >

Posted on by RJ Matetic, MS, PhD; Gary Roth, MS, PhD; Jenny Topmiller, MS; Richard Current, PE; and Adam Smith, PhDLeave a comment

Health Worker Mental Health Initiative

A new Surgeon General’s Advisory highlights the urgent need to address the health worker burnout crisis across the country. Workers providing health services face many on-the-job challenges that can lead to work-related stress. For many of the 20 million health workers in the U.S., the COVID-19 pandemic has led to new and worsening mental health Read More >

Posted on by Tom Cunningham, PhD; L. Casey Chosewood, MD, MPH; and Jennifer Tyrawski, PhDLeave a comment

World Whiskey Day: Safety and Health for Bourbon Distillery Workers

The blog content comes from the NIOSH Manufacturing Mondays seminar series. Saturday, May 21, 2022 is World Whiskey Day Founded in 2012 by a Scottish college student, the day is now recognized by whiskey drinkers all over the world to celebrate their favorite spirit. There are historical references to whiskey dating to at least the Read More >

Posted on by RJ Matetic, MS, PhD; Gary Roth, MS, PhD; Jenny Topmiller, MS; Richard Current, PE; and Adam Smith, PhD1 Comment

Shiftwork May Lead to Health Problems among Police Officers: What Can be Done? Using Buffalo Cardio-Metabolic Occupational Police Stress (BCOPS) Study Data to Examine First Responder Health

  Ensuring the safety of our community is a 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week, 365-days-a-year kind of job. Weekends and holidays included. Working at night (outside the normal daylight hours of 7am – 6pm) is known as “shiftwork” and it has been linked to certain health issues. Police officers and detectives frequently work 1st, 2nd, and 3rd shift, Read More >

Posted on by Taylor M. Shockey, PhD, MPH; Luenda E. Charles, PhD, MPH; Michael E. Andrew, PhD; John M. Violanti, PhD; and Amy E. Mobley, MEn5 Comments

Commercial Vehicle Operators and Legionnaires’ Disease

A New Concern Among Commercial Vehicle Operators Legionnaires’ disease is a serious form of pneumonia that almost always requires treatment in the hospital. Studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and elsewhere have found Legionnaires’ disease occurs at twice the rate in transportation workers as in non-transportation workers. Among the transportation workers Read More >

Posted on by Karl Sieber, PhD; Amy Mobley, Men; Alison Albert, MPH; Shelby Miller, MPH; and Albert Barskey, MPHLeave a comment