NIOSH Science Blog Posts

N95 Day 2015: The tools to build a culture of proper respiratory protection practices

  Every day is a day to think about worker safety. But today, on our annual N95 Day (09/04/2015), we embrace our dedication to proper respiratory protection practices, shining it with a bit of elbow grease, and displaying it at the very front line of our priorities. Today we find the time necessary to focus Read More >

Posted on by Jaclyn Krah, M.A2 Comments

Protect Yourself at Work: A Series of Print and Video Materials for Spanish-speaking Immigrant Workers

Recently, NIOSH released a series of multi-media communication products for organizations that serve Spanish-speaking immigrant workers entitled Protéjase en el trabajo (Protect yourself at work). This series of products is a result of a multi-faceted project that includes 1) a partnership between NIOSH and the Mexican Consulates in the U.S. and 2) the development of Read More >

Posted on by Pietra Check, Amy Filko, Mike Flynn, Nura Sadeghpour9 Comments

Overlapping Vulnerabilities

  Not all workers have the same risk of being injured at work, even when they are in the same industry or have the same occupation. Different factors can make some workers more vulnerable than others to workplace illness or injury. These include social dynamics, such as age, race, class, and gender; economic trends, such Read More >

Posted on by Deborah Hornback, MS; Thomas Cunningham, PhD; and Rebecca J. Guerin, MA 3 Comments

Palm Tree Worker Suffocated by Palm Fronds – Another Death in California

  On August 13, 2015, another worker was suffocated by palm fronds in California (see news report). This is at least the fourth similar fatality since the California Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program (CA/FACE) program issued a report and video on this hazard in February 2014. The drought in the Western U.S. may have Read More >

Posted on by Robert Harrison, MD26 Comments

Improving the Safety and Health of Bison Handlers

  Recent media reports of bison injuring visitors at Yellowstone National Park have raised public awareness of the hazards of interacting with bison. Those who work with these animals face unique risks. Bison are the largest land mammals in North America, weighing in at about 1,000-2,000 pounds.1 They can run 35 miles per hour and Read More >

Posted on by Kelsey Palm, Ellen Duysen, Risto Rautiainen, Clayton Kelling1 Comment

Ergonomics Climate Assessment

  Researchers from Colorado State University and the Colorado School of Public Health recently found workplaces that value employees’ safety and well-being as much as company productivity yield the greatest rewards. The study, “Ergonomics Climate Assessment: A measure of operational performance and employee well-being,” was recently published in the Applied Ergonomics journal.  The study describes Read More >

Posted on by Krista Hoffmeister, PhD, AEP; Alyssa Gibbons, Ph.D.; Natalie Schwatka, Ph.D., AEP; and John Rosecrance, PhD, CPE2 Comments

The NIOSH eDoc: New way to get NIOSH information on the Move

  The new NIOSH eDoc provides a mobile-friendly format for short NIOSH publications. This new publication product presents workplace safety and health information in a way that is accessible and easy to use on any mobile device, desktop, or laptop computer. NIOSH eDocs are created using Responsive Web Design which enables web content to automatically Read More >

Posted on by Deborah Hornback, MS and Christopher Storms11 Comments

Workplace Medical Mystery Solved: Influenza-like Illness Sickens Golf Course Worker

Workplace Medical Mystery Solved: Golf Course Worker Becomes Ill with an Influenza-like Illness With five golf course maintenance staff sick, the golf course superintendent was suspicious. Either something really contagious is going around or there is something at the course making the staff sick, he thought. Not taking any chances, the superintendent informed the course’s Read More >

Posted on by Stephanie Stevens, MA6 Comments

NIOSH Research Highlights Importance of Rigorous Standards for Gowns Used to Protect Healthcare Workers

  Recent research performed at the NIOSH National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL), with support from Nelson Laboratories, suggests that some isolation gowns do not meet the performance standards established by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI). Isolation gowns are the second-most-used piece of personal protective equipment (PPE) Read More >

Posted on by Selcen Kilinc-Balci, PhD, MBA and Maryann D’Alessandro, PhD9 Comments

Workplace Medical Mystery: Influenza-like Illness Sickens Golf Course Worker

Chris was thrilled to have landed a summer job working at the local golf course. He was going to be a junior in college and he knew forthcoming summers would entail internships in a dark, windowless office. Chris loves playing golf and  this job would give him the opportunity to play for free whenever he had the Read More >

Posted on by Stephanie Stevens, MA12 Comments

Turn it Down: Reducing the Risk of Hearing Disorders Among Musicians

Have you ever gone to a concert or performance and found your ears ringing on the way home?  Imagine if that was your job and your ears were exposed regularly to such loud sound levels?  Orchestra players, music teachers, conductors, DJ’s, band members, singers, sound engineers, and many others may be exposed to dangerously high Read More >

Posted on by Chuck Kardous, Thais Morata, Christa Themann, Patricia Spears, and Sue Afanuh16 Comments

Work, Stress, and Health: Help Us Plan the Next 25 Years

  In May, NIOSH, the American Psychological Association (APA), and the Society for Occupational Health Psychology (SOHP) hosted the 11th International Conference on Occupational Stress and Health. “Work, Stress, and Health 2015: Sustainable Work, Sustainable Health, Sustainable Organizations” marks 25 years of efforts to advance research and intervention on work-related stress  through the conference series. Read More >

Posted on by Jessica Streit, MS; Steven Sauter,PhD; Naomi Swanson, PhD; and Jeannie A. S. Nigam, ABD, MS18 Comments

N95 Respirator Use During Pregnancy – Findings from Recent NIOSH Research

  Recent NIOSH research has shed some light on the topic of the safety of N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFR) use by pregnant workers. Women make up approximately one-half of the US work force. At any given time, about 10% of those female workers of child-bearing age (15–44 years of age) will be pregnant. Because Read More >

Posted on by Raymond Roberge, MD, MPH; Jung-Hyun Kim, PhD; and Jeffrey B. Powell, MS15 Comments

Addressing the Hazards of Temporary Employment

A Joint Session of the NORA Manufacturing Sector and Services Sector Councils Factors such as fluctuations in the economy, changing social habits and access to technology have boosted a rapid growth in temporary work arrangements [Luo,T]. Under many names–temporary workers, contingent workers, contract workers, long-term temps, workers in dual employer situations, on-demand freelance–these workers seem Read More >

Posted on by Cheryl F. Estill, Thais Morata,Terri Schnorr, Barbara Materna9 Comments

Silicosis Update

  Silicosis is a potentially fatal but preventable occupational lung disease caused by inhaling respirable particles containing crystalline silicon dioxide (silica). Quartz, a type of crystalline silica, is the second most abundant mineral in the earth’s crust and workers across a wide range of occupations and industries are exposed to silica-containing dusts. The risks, causes, Read More >

Posted on by Jacek Mazurek, MD, MS, PhD and David Weissman, MD 107 Comments

Workplace Medical Mystery Solved: Drum Maker Develops a Suspicious Rash

Ousmane, a drum maker living in Washington, DC, was concerned about the lesion that had developed on his forearm. His doctor thought it was likely an infected spider bite, but after taking antibiotics for 7 days, the sore had gotten worse, not better. Ousmane decided to go see an infectious disease specialist. Laboratory tests showed Read More >

Posted on by Stephanie Stevens, MA1 Comment

Workplace Medical Mystery: Drum Maker Develops a Suspicious Rash

He thought it was an insect bite. Ousmane immigrated to the United States from West Africa when he was just 20. Now living in Washington, DC, he has a thriving business making and repairing traditional West African drums as well as teaching workshops and playing around the city with his performance troupe or with friends Read More >

Posted on by Stephanie Stevens, MA32 Comments

Workplace Secondhand Smoke Exposure During Pregnancy: Who is protected?

  There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, and avoiding this preventable health hazard is particularly important for the health of pregnant women and their unborn babies. Secondhand smoke exposure is associated with chronic diseases such as lung cancer, coronary heart disease, and stroke and with adverse reproductive effects, including low birth Read More >

Posted on by Candice Y. Johnson, Ph.D.15 Comments

Respiratory Hazards for Latino Horse Farm Workers

With the upcoming Belmont Stakes and the possibility of a Triple Crown winner, all eyes are on the world of horse racing. These races are the culmination of years of work far from the glory of the grand stage of horse racing. What is not seen on this grand stage is that there are many Read More >

Posted on by Jennifer E. Swanberg, Ph.D., MMHS, OTR and Jess Miller Clouser, MPH 2 Comments

Cleaning for Asthma-Safer Schools Reduces Asthma Risk, Saves Money

  A 43-year-old high-school custodian started having breathing problems he associated with using a bathroom disinfectant and a floor stripper. When he was away from the chemicals for a few months, his breathing problems improved. The problems came back once he returned to work. He visited the emergency room several times, and healthcare providers repeatedly Read More >

Posted on by Debbie Shrem, MPH; Justine Weinberg, MSEHS, CIH; Jennifer Flattery, MPH; Barbara Materna, PhD, CIH3 Comments