NIOSH Science Blog Posts

Celebrating National Ergonomics Month

National Ergonomics Month is celebrated annually in October. While ergonomics broadly is the scientific study of people at work, one important aspect of ergonomics is to prevent injuries and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) caused by poor workstation design and work environment. NIOSH ergonomists have been pioneering the study of MSDs through the development of risk assessment Read More >

Posted on by Menekse S. Barim, PhD, AEP, and Asha Brogan, MS2 Comments

Scientific Peer Review During the Pandemic and Beyond: Changes, Benefits, and Impacts

  The COVID-19 pandemic began significantly impacting the operations of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in March 2020. Travel restrictions were implemented, and CDC employees ordered to work from home. The Office of Extramural Programs (OEP) Review Team had a confirmed in-person peer review meeting for World Trade Center Health Program Read More >

Posted on by Michael Goldcamp, Melinda Sinkule, JoAnne Fairbanks, and Allen Robison1 Comment

Taking Action on Health Equity: A Tale of 2 Clinics

It was the best of timing, it was the worst of timing. As an Occupational Medicine physician, my patients describe their work to me every day. Through these descriptions, I learn a lot about their health and well-being. Managing health in the work environment is important to overall health; yet work information is not captured Read More >

Posted on by Michele Kowalski-McGraw, MD, MPH, FACOEM1 Comment

Workplace Lead Exposure Trends

What do home renovations, bullet manufacturing, and battery recycling have in common? You could be exposed to lead while working with materials used during these activities. Read More >

Posted on by Rebecca Tsai, PhD, and Amy Mobley, MEn5 Comments

Keeping Manufacturing Workers Safe: National Manufacturing Day/Month and Beyond

The blog content expands on information presented in the NIOSH Manufacturing Mondays series. Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) is celebrated on the first Friday of October and has expanded in some states and organizations to Manufacturing Week or Month. In addition to being an opportunity to showcase modern manufacturing, it’s also an opportunity to inspire the Read More >

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

A Case Study to Demonstrate Noise and Ergonomic Issues in the Workplace

October is National Protect Your Hearing Month and National Ergonomics Month.  Lacey is a veterinary technician who recently started working at a local veterinary clinic that cares for small pets. The clinic sees animals for routine visits but also provides specialty services like general surgery, dental care, grooming, and boarding services. Lacey loves working hands Read More >

Posted on by Emily Kirby, BPHLeave a comment

The Evolution of Elastomeric Half-Mask Respirators and Exhalation Valves

Interest in using elastomeric half-mask respirators (EHMRs) as an alternative to N95®* filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) in healthcare settings is growing because of their ability to be cleaned, disinfected, and reused. During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, the high demand for N95 FFRs caused national supply shortages, leading organizations to rely on other Read More >

Posted on by Bailey Shaw, DO(c); Adam Hornbeck, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, FNP-C; Susan M. Moore, PhD; and Marisa Fries, BS2 Comments

NIOSH News for National Nanotechnology Day!

  Every year on October 9th we celebrate National Nanotechnology Day. The date 10-9 pays homage to the nanometer scale: 10–9 (one billionth of a meter). Anything that can be measured in nanometers is extremely small! For instance, the width of a strand of human hair is about 90,000 nanometers, bacteria are between 300–5,000 nanometers, Read More >

Posted on by LCDR Adrienne Eastlake, MS, RS/REHS; Gary Roth, PhD; Nicole Neu-Baker, MPHLeave a comment

Reflecting on the NIOSH Education and Research Centers’ Continuing Education and Outreach

In recognition of the 45th anniversary of the Education and Research Centers (ERCs), we reflect on the Centers’ four decades as a NIOSH-funded grantee. This blog, which is the last in a 3-part series on the ERCs, focuses on the Centers’ effectiveness in serving as a resource to our nation’s workforce through continuing education and Read More >

Posted on by Donjanea F. Williams, EdD; Julie Tisdale-Pardi, MA; Elizabeth H. Maples, PhD, CIH; and John Staley, PhD.Leave a comment

What Is Employment Quality? How Can We Study It for Occupational Health Equity?

Full-time, permanent employment that offers benefits and protection has been considered the standard work arrangement, but certain jobs are moving away from this standard.  Precarious employment, for example, is characterized by insecurity, short-term contracts, and limited access to workers’ rights and protection [NIOSH Strategic Plan, 2022]. These aspects of work represent employment quality (EQ). Employment Read More >

Posted on by Kaori Fujishiro, PhD1 Comment

Algorithms and the Future of Work

An algorithm is a series of precise, step-by-step instructions used by a machine to perform a mathematical operation.[1] The use of algorithm-enabled systems and devices will bring many benefits to occupational safety and health but, as with many new technologies, there are also risks to workers. A new commentary in the American Journal of Industrial Read More >

Posted on by John Howard, MDLeave a comment

World Trade Center Health Program — More Than a Decade Providing Health Monitoring and Treatment

  In 2022, over 14,000 members of the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program self-identify as Hispanic. This blog is dedicated to our Spanish-speaking audience as a message of outreach and as an overview of the WTC Health Program and research over the last decade. This Hispanic Heritage Month, we honor the many survivors and Read More >

Posted on by Alejandro Azofeifa, DDS, MSc, MPH; Max Lum, Ed.D, MPALeave a comment

Programa de Salud del World Trade Center: Más de una década de proveer monitoreo y tratamiento médico

En el 2022, más de 14 000 miembros del Programa de Salud del World Trade Center (WTC) se identificaron como hispanos. Este blog está dedicado a nuestra audiencia de habla hispana, como mensaje de alcance comunitario con una descripción general del Programa de Salud del WTC y de las investigaciones realizadas en la última década. Read More >

Posted on by Alejandro Azofeifa, DDS, MSc, MPH; Max Lum, Ed.D, MPA1 Comment

Setting Objectives for Fatigue Detection Technologies

This is the third blog in the series on fatigue detection technologies.   Work-related fatigue can have serious consequences for worker health and safety if not properly managed. One effective option for mitigating work-related fatigue is a well-designed fatigue risk management plan, which can be informed by many approaches and tools, such as fatigue detection technologies Read More >

Posted on by Tim Bauerle, PhD; Emanuele Cauda, PhD; Imelda Wong, PhD; and Kyla Hagan-Haynes, MPHLeave a comment

Seasoned Employees in the Landscaping Services Industry

As in many other industries, the average age for workers in the landscaping services industry* has been rising, from 38.1 in 2011 to 40.9 in 2019. While knowledge and skills generally improve with age, physical abilities such as strength, reaction time, and balance may decline. Typically, the injury rate for older workers is lower than Read More >

Posted on by Barbara M. Alexander, PhD, PE, CIH; Steven J. Wurzelbacher, PhD; Rachel J. Zeiler, BA; Steven J. Naber, PhD; Harpriya Kaur, PhD; James Grosch, PhD; and Asha Brogan, BA4 Comments

Statement From WTC Health Program Administrator John Howard, M.D. Commemorating 21 Years Since September 11, 2001

  Each year the country observes a National Day of Service and Remembrance to reflect on the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the lives lost, and the bravery and resilience shown on that day and in the years after. Twenty-one years later, we honor the thousands more who have tragically lost their lives to Read More >

Posted on by John Howard, MDLeave a comment

Highlights from a New Report on Indicators of Workplace Violence

  Federal agencies recently published a joint statistical report on workplace violence entitled Indicators of Workplace Violence, 2019. The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) examined incidents of fatal and nonfatal violence that occurred against persons at work or on Read More >

Posted on by Erika Harrell, Jeremy Petosa, Nicole Dangermond, Susan Derk, Dan Hartley, and Audrey Reichard3 Comments

Respiratory Protection Week 2022: Staying Committed to Proper Respiratory Protection Practices

Happy Respiratory Protection Week! Our commitment to respiratory protection runs deep for us here at NIOSH. In fact, we’ve been dedicating an entire day or week to promoting proper respiratory protection practices since 2012. Our goal since the beginning has always been to highlight the importance of respiratory protection in the workplace and provide resources Read More >

Posted on by Marisa Fries and Meghan KiedererLeave a comment

Labor Day 2022: A Statement by NIOSH Director, John Howard, MD

On the first Monday of September, we have an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the incredible contributions and achievements of American workers. Labor Day is an important reminder of the impact of the U.S. workforce and of our vision for safer, healthier workers. Sometimes, the greatest threats to workers are ones we cannot see. Read More >

Posted on by John Howard, MD2 Comments

NIOSH Miner Health Program Addresses Substance Use and Work

  Drug overdoses have accelerated over the past two decades, and in 2017, the United States Department of Health and Human Services deemed the opioid crisis a public health emergency. In April of 2021, the U.S. surpassed 100,000 drug overdose deaths for the preceding 12-month period, marking a nearly 29% increase from the previous 12-months. Read More >

Posted on by Carol T. Nixon, PhD; Zoë J. Dugdale, MPH; Jamie C. Osborne, MPH, CHES®; and L. Casey Chosewood, MD, MPHLeave a comment