NIOSH Science Blog Posts

Where Health Literacy Meets Inclusion

October is Health Literacy Month, and this year CDC and NIOSH are celebrating with the theme “Health Literacy and Health Equity: Advancing Diversity, Accessibility, and Inclusion.” Within this title, there is a lot we can unpack. So, let’s break it down and see how all these ideas can interact to improve health communications and materials. Health Read More >

Posted on by Sarah Mitchell, MPHLeave a comment

Understanding Workplace Ageism

Ageism is a significant problem in our society, including the workplace. Ageist views are commonly accepted and perpetuated through multiple channels, especially the media. Read More >

Posted on by Gretchen A. Petery, PhD, MA2 Comments

WCI Coverage of Cannabis Costs for Work-related Health Conditions

  The use of cannabis for treatment of work-related health conditions and coverage under workers’ compensation are emerging occupational health and safety issues. Currently 36 states and the District of Columbia (DC) have laws that make cannabis available to consumers with qualifying medical conditions.[1] While the allowable medical conditions vary by state, they include cancer, Read More >

Posted on by John Howard, MD; Steven J. Wurzelbacher, PhD; and Jamie Osborne, MPH, CHES®Leave a comment

Antigen Testing for SARS-CoV-2 in Non-healthcare Workplaces

  The health of workers and businesses’ success during the COVID-19 pandemic rely on effective workplace prevention and control measures. In a recent commentary in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health discussed the use of antigen testing in the workplace. Antigen testing (as well Read More >

Posted on by Paul A. Schulte, PhD; Marie A. de Perio, MD; Sophia K. Chiu, MD; John D. Piacentino, MD, MPH; David N. Weissman, MD; Lewis J. Radonovich, MD; Douglas Trout, MD; Don Beezhold, PhD; Frank J. Hearl, SM, PE; and John Howard, MD7 Comments

Suicide Prevention for Healthcare Workers

Some occupations are known to have higher rates of suicide than others (see related blogs). Job factors – such as low job security, low pay, and job stress – can contribute to risk of suicide, as can easy access to lethal means among people at risk—such as medications or firearms. Other factors that can influence the link between occupation and suicide include gender, socioeconomic status, the economy, cultural factors, and stigma. Read More >

Posted on by Hope Tiesman, PhD; David Weissman, MD; Deborah Stone, ScD, MSW, MPH; Kristen Quinlan, PhD; and L. Casey Chosewood, MD, MPHLeave a comment

Addressing the Opioid Overdose Epidemic in Construction: Minimize Work Factors that Cause Injury and Pain

Construction workers have been shown in many studies to have high rates of death from overdose compared to workers in other occupations. For example, a study in 2018 showed that, among all occupations, construction workers had the highest rate of death from overdose, including overdose from heroin. Data from 2011-2016 showed that construction workers experienced 15% of all workplace overdose deaths. Read More >

Posted on by Ann Marie Dale, PhD; Brad Evanoff, MD; Brian Gage, MD; Douglas Trout, MD, MHS; J’ette Novakovich, PhD, MS, MA; Scott Earnest, PhD, PE, CSP; CDR Elizabeth Garza, MPH, CPH; and L. Casey Chosewood, MD, MPHLeave a comment

Statement by Dr. John Howard Commemorating 20 Years Since September 11, 2001

  Twenty years after the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, we mourn the many family, friends, and loved ones lost on that fateful day. We also honor the responders who answered the call to help that day and afterwards, as well as the many survivors who soon after 9/11 returned to their homes, schools, Read More >

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

Who Does What? The Roles of NIOSH, OSHA, and the FDA in Respiratory Protection in the Workplace

  Over the years, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has built complex partnerships with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to address the specific respiratory protection needs of workers in different industries. Each of these federal organizations is dedicated to ensuring that workers Read More >

Posted on by Maryann M. D’Alessandro, PhD; Suzanne B. Schwartz, MD, MBA; Andrew Levinson, MPH; and Jaclyn Krah Cichowicz, MA2 Comments

Respiratory Protection Week 2021 Resources and Review

It’s Respiratory Protection Week! Every year we are happy to acknowledge this observance as a time for a little R&R. No – we aren’t implying that you should take a nap. By R&R we mean new resources and review of all NIOSH respiratory protection information that has become available since last September. Over the course Read More >

Posted on by Jaclyn Krah Cichowicz, MALeave a comment

Labor Day 2021: Statement by John Howard, M.D., Director, NIOSH

Every year, we recognize the first Monday of September as Labor Day. Created in the late 19th century, it’s a day celebrated by Americans to recognize and pay tribute to those who labored to build America. At NIOSH, we continually strive to provide advances in worker safety and health. This year, we are proud to Read More >

Posted on by John Howard, MD7 Comments

Home Healthcare Workers: A Growing and Diverse Workforce at High Risk for Workplace Violence

  Home healthcare workers provide healthcare services to millions of Americans who need assistance at home. Home healthcare workers work closely with patients and often are in close contact with the public while they provide healthcare services to patients. Both situations can pose increased risks for exposure to workplace violence [1],[2]. The issue of violence Read More >

Posted on by Tamara Felice Small, PhD; Susan Goodwin Gerberich, PhD, MSPH; Anthony Oliveri, PhD, MPH, CIH, CSP; Christina Socias-Morales, DrPH; Dawn Castillo; and Richard Olawoyin, PhD, CSP2 Comments

Preventing Opioid Overdose Deaths in the Workplace

Today is International Overdose Awareness Day. Overdose deaths involving opioids continue to be a serious health issue in the United States. A concerning increase in drug overdose deaths coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic. Workplaces are certainly not immune from this crisis. Read on for more information on opioids in the workplace and the importance of Read More >

Posted on by L. Casey Chosewood, MD MPH; J’ette Novakovich, PhD, MS, MA; and Jamie Osborne, MPH, CHES®3 Comments

Bringing Strategic Foresight to OSH

How do we effectively plan for the future of occupational safety and health (OSH) when numerous social, technological, economic, environmental, and political trends are influencing work, the workplace, and the workforce? The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and others in the OSH field are working to ensure we are ready to address Read More >

Posted on by Jessica MK Streit, PhD, CHES®; Sarah A Felknor, MS, DrPH; Nicole T Edwards, MS; and John Howard, MDLeave a comment

Exploring Cognitive Impairment among 9/11-exposed Individuals

  Research is emerging that suggests an increase in the risk of cognitive decline among individuals who were exposed to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This decline, known as mild cognitive impairment (MCI), is common in aging populations but varies greatly from person to person. More research is needed to determine whether MCI in the 9/11 Read More >

Posted on by Robert D. Daniels, PhD, CHP, and Travis Kubale, PhD3 Comments

Using Machine Learning to Code Occupational Surveillance Data: A Cooperative Effort between NIOSH and the Harvard Computer Society – Tech for Social Good Program

  The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) depends on surveillance data collected through the occupational supplement to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS-Work) to study and understand nonfatal occupational injuries. Collected through an interagency agreement with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, NEISS-Work captures hospital emergency department-treated occupational injuries to paid, self-employed, Read More >

Posted on by Gavin Lifrieri and Suzanne Marsh, MPALeave a comment

The Upper Limb Musculoskeletal Disorder Consortium

  As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, we look back at many of our successful programs. The Upper Limb Musculoskeletal Disorder Consortium is a collaborative research program to prevent work-related upper limb musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). The Consortium studies work-related MSDs to better understand and help prevent Read More >

Posted on by Alysha R. Meyers, PhD, CPELeave a comment

50 Years of NIOSH Construction Safety and Health Research

  Construction is a high hazard industry with high rates of illnesses and injuries.  The construction industry comprises not only a wide range of activities involving residential and commercial building construction, but also heavy and civil engineering construction, such as water and sewer lines, highways, and bridges. Specialty trades within the sector include masonry, roofing, plumbing, electrical, Read More >

Posted on by Scott Earnest, PhD, PE, CSP; Douglas Trout, MD, MHS; J’ette Novakovich, PhD, MS; and CDR Elizabeth Garza, MPH, CPH2 Comments

Workers’ Compensation Data Sheds Light on Hazards in Landscaping

Landscaping is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States, with higher-than-average rates of both fatal and nonfatal injuries when compared to all industries. Jobs include landscape construction, tree care services, lawn and cemetery care, right of way maintenance, seasonal property maintenance (such as snow removal), and weed control (except crop). NIOSH established Read More >

Posted on by Barbara M. Alexander, PhD; Steven J. Wurzelbacher, PhD; Rachel J. Zeiler, BA; and Steven J. Naber2 Comments

Reducing the Risk of Rhabdomyolysis and Other Heat-Related Illnesses in Landscaping and Tree Care Workers

Grounds maintenance workers, including landscaping and tree care workers, may be exposed to numerous physical, chemical, and biological hazards while performing work, especially during the summer months [1,2]. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics [3], grounds maintenance workers are more than two times more likely to be injured on the job compared with all Read More >

Posted on by Sarah Hughes, MPH and Susan Afanuh, MA2 Comments

Updated OSHA-NIOSH Small Business Safety and Health Handbook: Making Workplaces Safer with Checklists

Small business owners want to ensure their workers go home safe and healthy at the end of the day. However, small businesses tend to experience higher rates of workplace injury and illness than larger businesses. In general, many small businesses do not have a full-time industrial hygienist or certified safety professional on staff. The volume Read More >

Posted on by Brenda Jacklitsch, PhD, MS; Tom Cunningham, PhD; and Garrett Burnett, MS, MBA1 Comment