NIOSH Science Blog Posts

Understanding respiratory protection options in Healthcare: The Overlooked Elastomeric

In the healthcare industry, the importance of respiratory protection is often overlooked. Choosing the correct respirator for the exposure level and work task is a critical component of a respiratory protection program.  Most healthcare workers are aware of the N95 respirator but may not be aware that the re-formable, reusable elastomeric respirators are a viable option Read More >

Posted on by Michael Bach PhD, RN22 Comments

Embracing Partnerships to Translate Research into Practice in Agriculture: Launching the National ROPS Rebate Program

Agricultural workers face myriad dangers each day, resulting in high injury and fatality rates. Unfortunately, high stress levels and competing demands often make it difficult for farmers to prioritize safety. Over the last several decades, researchers, industry partners, and farmers have been among those working together to reduce fatalities from tractor overturns at the national Read More >

Posted on by Pam Tinc, MPH, and Julie Sorensen, PhD 2 Comments

Ladder Safety in the Wholesale and Retail Trade Sector: Take the Right Steps towards Safety

In 2014, work-related falls to a lower level in the wholesale and retail trade (WRT) sector accounted for over 12,500 reported injuries. These injured employees were out of work for an average of 7 to 11 days [BLS 2015, BLS 2016]. This blog provides information about preventing ladder-related injuries in the wholesale and retail trade Read More >

Posted on by Peter Simeonov, PhD; Vern Putz-Anderson, PhD, CPE; and Donna Pfirman4 Comments

Fentanyl Exposure Risks for Law Enforcement and Emergency Response Workers

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic drug that is similar to morphine and heroin, but is 50 to 100 times more potent. Fentanyl and its analogs, such as carfentanil, can pose a potential hazard to law enforcement, emergency medical personnel, and firefighters who could come into contact with these drugs through the course of their work Read More >

Posted on by Jennifer Hornsby-Myers, MS, CIH; G. Scott Dotson, PhD, CIH; and Deborah Hornback, MS 20 Comments

Exoskeletons in Construction: Will they reduce or create hazards?

Wearable exoskeleton devices can reduce some of the mechanical stress of manual labor (1). These wearable machines can be powered by electricity or by human motion, and they can be as large as a space suit or as small as a glove. (1; 2) They are used to amplify or transform worker movements, improve biomechanics Read More >

Posted on by Alissa Zingman, MD; G. Scott Earnest, PhD, PE, CSP; Brian D. Lowe, PhD, CPE; Christine M. Branche, Ph.D., FACE; 4 Comments

40 Years of Safety Research

In 1977, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recognized the need for a separate group dedicated to safety research and as a result, the Division of Safety Research – or DSR – was created. DSR serves as the focal point for the nation’s research program for preventing traumatic occupational injuries, such as: Read More >

Posted on by Dawn Castillo, MPH; Tim Pizatella, MSIE; and Sydney Webb, PhD 2 Comments

Heat Index: When humidity makes it feel hotter

  NIOSH and OSHA recently released the redesigned, co-branded OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool App. This version replaces the app previously created by OSHA in 2011. The app calculates the heat index at outdoor worksites using the smartphone’s geolocation capabilities to pull current weather conditions from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellites. Based on Read More >

Posted on by Brenda Jacklitsch, MS3 Comments

Help Put an End to Preventable Deaths During National Safety Month 2017

The majority of people who die from preventable injuries are in the prime of their lives – raising families and enjoying their careers and active lifestyles.  It’s National Safety Month, an opportunity to help prevent these unnecessary injuries and deaths at work, on the roads, and in our homes and communities. This year, the theme Read More >

Posted on by John Howard, MD, and Kathy Lane 4 Comments

50 Years of Protecting Worker Respiratory Health

2017 is an important year for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) Respiratory Health Division (RHD). This is the 50th anniversary of our establishment in 1967 as the Appalachian Laboratory for Occupational Respiratory Disease (ALFORD) within the U.S. Public Health Service. ALFORD subsequently joined NIOSH in 1971, changed into the Division of Read More >

Posted on by David Weissman, MD, and Doug Johns, PhD 2 Comments

Using Clear Communication at NIOSH

What is clear communication? Clear communication means using familiar concepts, words, numbers, and images presented in ways that make sense to the people who need the information – your intended audience.     Why should I care about clear communication? Whether you’re communicating health messages to employers or workers, every audience has its own level Read More >

Posted on by Sydney Webb, PhD; Rebecca Olsavsky, MS; Stephanie Pratt, PhD; and Tanya Headley, MS Leave a comment

DERMaL eToolkit

Emergency response personnel are often at risk of getting dangerous chemicals on their skin. Despite the availability of numerous high-quality resources designed to guide emergency management and operations personnel, data gaps continue to exist on specific hazards or scenarios. Available resources contain an overwhelming quantity of data on inhalation exposures, but data related to dermal Read More >

Posted on by Naomi Hudson, DrPH, MPH Leave a comment

Ambulance Crash Test Methods

Ambulance crashes are a major safety concern for workers and patients. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reviewed data from 45 special crash investigations from 2001-2015, and found that 84% of EMS workers were not wearing a seat belt in the patient compartment.1 For EMS workers, wearing a seat belt can be at odds with Read More >

Posted on by Jim Green and Sydney Webb, PhD 2 Comments

NIOSH Presents: Research on Managing Fatigue in the Workplace, Lessons Learned

On March 20-23, 2017, thirteen participants from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) attended the 10th International Conference on Managing Fatigue, in San Diego, California. This year’s conference was the first held in the U.S. since 2009, and was attended by over 260 Read More >

Posted on by Sarah Mitchell, MPH6 Comments

National Police Week and NIOSH’s Work in Officer Safety

Peace Officers Memorial Day and National Police Week are observances that pay tribute to local, state, and Federal officers who have died or been disabled in the line of duty.  The Peace Officers Memorial Day occurs annually on May 15 which was designated by President John F. Kennedy in 1962.  National Police Week is the Read More >

Posted on by Hope M. Tiesman, PhD; Jeff Rojek, PhD; Hongwei Hsiao, PhD; Claire Caruso, PhD3 Comments

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month: For 45 Years NIOSH Helps Prevent Occupational Hearing Loss

  Back in 1927, when an organization then known as the American Society for the Study of Disorders of Speech* first promoted May as “Better Hearing and Speech Month,” very little was known about occupational noise-induced hearing loss. But for more than 45 years, NIOSH has been researching ways to prevent it. Occupational hearing loss Read More >

Posted on by Trudi McCleery, MPH, and the NIOSH Hearing Loss Prevention Team2 Comments

Firefighter Cancer Rates: The Facts from NIOSH Research

In 2010, researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), launched a multi-year study to examine whether firefighters have a higher risk of cancer and other causes of death due to job exposures. The study was a joint effort led by researchers at NIOSH in collaboration with researchers at the National Cancer Read More >

Posted on by Robert D. Daniels, PhD, CHP17 Comments

The National Safety Stand-Down: Why Falls Remain a Deadly Problem in the Construction Sector and What We Can Do About It

Standing on rooftops and rebar are facts of life in the construction industry, but fatal falls from these heights do not have to be. In the United States each year, 10,000 construction workers are seriously injured from falls at the worksite (1). In 2015 alone, 350 construction workers perished due to falls, accounting for nearly Read More >

Posted on by Alissa Zingman, M.D.; Christine M. Branche, Ph.D., FACE; CDR Elizabeth P. Garza, MPH, CPH7 Comments

Risky Business

Small businesses are where the action is. They are hotbeds for innovation, enthusiasm, and job creation. We loved meeting the entrepreneurs who participated with us and OSHA in the Hear and Now Noise Safety Challenge. Innovators like these are willing to take risks to pursue their great ideas. Small Business Week is all about celebrating Read More >

Posted on by Garrett Burnett, MS, MBA; Brenda Jacklitsch, MS; and Tom Cunningham, PhD3 Comments

Workers Memorial Day, 2017: Statement by John Howard, M.D., Director, NIOSH

Workers Memorial Day on April 28 once again provides us with the opportunity to pause and reflect on what is important for the health and safety of our workers and their families. While we consider the past and remember those who died or suffered from exposures to hazards at work, we strive in our efforts Read More >

Posted on by John Howard, M.D. Leave a comment

Fall Fatalities among Oil and Gas Extraction Workers, 2005-2014

Previous research has shown that fatality rates for oil and gas extraction workers were decreasing for all causes of death except for those associated with falls. (1) A new study from National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, examined risk factors for fatal fall events in this Read More >

Posted on by Krystal L. Mason, ScM; Kyla D. Retzer, MPH; Ryan Hill, MPH; and Jennifer M. Lincoln, PhD2 Comments