NIOSH Science Blog Posts

Noise Exposure Among Federal Wildland Fire Fighters

Hearing loss is one of the most common work-related illnesses in the United States. NIOSH estimates that 22 million U.S. workers encounter noise exposures loud enough to be hazardous.  Wildland fire fighting (vs. urban/ structural fire fighting), aims to suppress grass, brush, or forest fires (see Figure 1).  Wildland fire fighting is considered a high-risk Read More >

Posted on by George Broyles , LCDR Corey Butler, CAPT Chuck Kardous 1 Comment

Worker Recovery and Return to Work

Work-related disability is associated with many negative health and social outcomes including reduced quality of life, job loss, reduced lifetime income, injuries among family caregivers, and premature death. For example, a recent NIOSH-funded study found that workers who suffer serious injuries requiring days away from work are more likely to die sooner than workers with Read More >

Posted on by Steve Wurzelbacher, PhD9 Comments

The Occupational Health Safety Network: Empowering and Optimizing Prevention Decision-Making

What if hospitals were able to further benefit from the data they collect to meet OSHA regulatory and Joint Commission accreditation requirements? What if your data could be used to hone in on trends and patterns in your hospital, highlight the specific area of risk, and provide the opportunity to implement tailored prevention strategies and Read More >

Posted on by Ahmed Gomaa, MD, ScD, MSPH5 Comments

Introducing the Hearing Loss Prevention Program evaluation checklist

Noise-induced hearing loss continues to be one of the most common occupational disorders, even in workplaces where workers are protected by hearing loss prevention programs (HLPPs). Although standards and regulations vary by country, virtually all hearing loss prevention programs require several elements: the measurement of noise exposures; the implementation of noise controls to reduce noise Read More >

Posted on by Rick Neitzel, PhD, CIH, FAIHA; Peter Rabinowitz, MD, MPH; Linda Cantley, MS; and Chuck Kardous, MS, PE 1 Comment

Landscaping Safety and Health

Overview The service sector has approximately 68 million workers in industries ranging from finance to food service and real estate to recreation. The purpose of the National Occupational Research Agenda’s (NORA) sector and cross sector councils is to exchange information, form partnerships, and enhance dissemination and implementation of prevention tools. To help meet these goals, the NORA Read More >

Posted on by Cheryl F Estill, PhD, PE; Michael Foley, MA; Teresa Schnorr, PhD, and Bryan Beamer PhD, PE, CSP15 Comments

Women’s History Month: NIOSH Recognizes Female Leaders

  March is Women’s History month and last week was International Women’s Day. In honor of women throughout the world, this blog post will highlight five female Division Directors at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Currently, women lead five of the 12 divisions at NIOSH, as well as serving in leadership Read More >

Posted on by Judi Coyne, MBA, MA; Chris Ellison ; Trudi McCleery, MPH; Jennifer Tyrawski, Ph.D., and Sydney Webb, Ph.D. 2 Comments

It’s National Ladder Safety Month

March is the first-ever National Ladder Safety Month. Each year in the U.S., more than 500,000 people are treated1 and about 300 people die2 from ladder-related injuries. The estimated annual cost of ladder injuries in the U.S. is $24 billion, including work loss, medical, legal, liability, and pain and suffering expenses1. Data analysis from three Read More >

Posted on by Peter Simeonov, PhD, and Sydney Webb, PhD6 Comments

Short Sleep Duration by Occupation Group

March is Sleep Awareness Month.  The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society determined that adults require at least 7 hours of sleep per day to promote optimal health. Short sleep duration (< 7 hours per day) has been linked to various negative health outcomes including cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression, as Read More >

Posted on by Taylor Shockey, MPH5 Comments

Hit the Mark: Firearms training without damaging your hearing

Today on World Hearing Day we would like to highlight the pioneering efforts of Florida’s Alachua County Deputy Sheriff, Ryan Lee Scott, who is the winner of the 2017 Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Award™ . Background According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, more than 1.2 million Federal, State, and local law enforcement Read More >

Posted on by Thais Morata, Chucri A. Kardous, and Ryan Lee Scott

Black History Month: Recognizing Two Young NIOSH Researchers

During Black History Month, NIOSH is proud to recognize two young African American women who are paving the way for other minorities in the field of safety and health research. At NIOSH, we recognize the importance of a diverse scientific workforce that mirrors the diversity of today’s workforce and society as a whole. LCDR Deborah Read More >

Posted on by Jenise Brassell, M.S.11 Comments

Arduous Duty: Using Three Data Sources to Create a Single Wildland Fire Fighter On-Duty Death Surveillance System

Wildland fire fighters are required to pass an “arduous duty” physical fitness test annually to help ensure that they are prepared for the physical nature of the job. Unlike structural fire fighting, wildland fire fighting often requires long work shifts that may last up to 14 continuous days, and often takes place in environments that Read More >

Posted on by CDR Christa Hale, LCDR Corey Butler, and Elizabeth Dalsey, M.A. 2 Comments

Maintaining a Relationship with your Turnout Gear

Sent flowers? Check. Made dinner reservations? Check. Purchased one of those mandatory heart-shaped boxes of candy? Check. Conducted routine cleaning of your turnout gear… wait. What? Valentine’s Day is all about putting in a little extra effort to maintain the important relationships in our lives. Way back in 2013, we began a tradition of taking Read More >

Posted on by Jay Tarley and Jaclyn Krah Cichowicz 3 Comments

Continuous Personal Dust Monitor

Until recently, underground coal miners and mine operators had little way of knowing—in real time—if miners were being exposed to hazardous levels of respirable coal dust during their shifts. NIOSH collaborated with an instrument manufacturer, government partners, labor representatives, and coal industry leaders to develop the continuous personal dust monitor (CPDM), a technology that offers Read More >

Posted on by Steven Mischler, PhD, and Valerie Coughanour, MA, MFA 5 Comments

The Art and Science of OELs for Nanomaterials

This guest blog post from our Finnish colleagues summarizes the challenges of identifying OELs for new nanomaterials as part of the development of a WHO guideline for working safely with nanomaterials.   Engineered nanomaterials are fascinating. Just by making stuff smaller researchers have discovered forms of materials and even completely new materials that can be Read More >

Posted on by Jos Verbeek and Raluca Mihalache 9 Comments

Occupational Health Internship Program – Apply Now for Summer 2017

The Occupational Health Internship Program (OHIP) is dedicated to helping students learn about the field of occupational safety and health (OSH) from the perspective of working people. OHIP has played a crucial role in training, mentoring, and inspiring a new generation of OSH professionals as well as providing worker community based organizations the resources to Read More >

Posted on by Robert Harrison, MD, and Sarah Jacobs, MPH 25 Comments

New NIOSH Training Offers Fatigue Management for Pilots in the Land of the Midnight Sun

  For a pilot working in Western Alaska, the amount of daylight during their work day can vary as much as 14 hours between the summer and winter solstice (or more the farther north you go). These aviators often fly multiple legs each day, serving as a transportation link to over 250 villages across the Read More >

Posted on by CAPT Mary O’Connor, MS, REHS3 Comments

Synthetic Biology and Occupational Risk

Forty two years ago, in February 1975, the Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA [1] established guiding principles for safe conduct of experiments utilizing recombinant DNA technology, which facilitated the creation of a biotechnology industry in the 1980s. Since then, biotechnology advanced to its second-generation, also called “synthetic biology.” Synthetic biology involves applying the principles of Read More >

Posted on by John Howard, MD; Vladimir Murashov, PhD; and Paul Schulte, PhD3 Comments

Wearable Sensors: An Ethical Framework for Decision-Making

Wearable sensors are all the rage. They give us information about our health, fitness, productivity and safety.  However, downsides to this technology are accuracy and security of the data and challenges to personal privacy. How wearable technology is used in occupational safety and health research and practice is evolving.  Wearable sensors can detect and alert Read More >

Posted on by Angela Morley, JD, MPH; Gayle DeBord, PhD; and Mark D. Hoover, PhD, CHP, CIH 10 Comments

New NIOSH Sound Level Meter App

Imagine if workers around the world could collect and share workplace (or task-based) noise exposure data using their smartphones. Scientists and occupational safety and health professionals could rely on such shared data to build job exposure databases and promote better hearing health and prevention efforts.  In addition, the ability to acquire and display real-time noise Read More >

Posted on by CAPT Chucri (Chuck) A. Kardous, MS, PE, and Metod Celestina, B.Sc. EE 146 Comments

Occupational Health Issues in the USA

Happy New Year. As we start afresh in 2017 I wanted to share my recent editorial in the British journal, Occupational Medicine, “Occupational health issues in the USA”.  The article highlights some of the occupational safety and health issues identified as needing attention by the industry sector groups of the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA).  Read More >

Posted on by John Howard, MD10 Comments