National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

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NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is the primary federal agency conducting research on the safety and health of the workplace. NIOSH is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Institute was established in 1971 by the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) of 1970 to provide research, information, education, and training in the field of occupational safety and health. To conduct its programs, NIOSH draws from several public health disciplines, including industrial hygiene, epidemiology, nursing, engineering, medicine, statistics, psychology, the social sciences, and communication.

NIOSH develops and promotes the use of national and state-based surveillance systems to identify, quantify, and track injuries and illnesses. Epidemiological analyses of these databases help identify unsafe or unhealthy workplace conditions. NIOSH also supports laboratory and field research to further identify, assess, and control occupational hazards and exposures and the diseases and injuries they cause. The research is conducted both intramurally by NIOSH personnel and extramurally through research grants and cooperative agreements. In 1996, NIOSH and more than five hundred other organizations and individuals enhanced these collaborations by establishing the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) to guide occupational safety and health research on a broader scale. NORA provides a framework of priorities for both intramural and extramural research programs.

In addition to identifying risks, NIOSH develops and evaluates prevention measures such as control technology, personal protective equipment, and work practices. NIOSH assesses potential health problems at worksites upon the request of employers, employees, and other government entities. These evaluations often identify new occupational health problems and provide the industry-wide expertise needed to target prevention initiatives.

NIOSH uses the knowledge gained from research, surveillance, and prevention efforts to deliver critical information to workers, employers, the public, and the public health community. The institute produces and disseminates various informational materials, including policy and criteria documents, technical and surveillance reports, and educational documents. NIOSH also evaluates the effectiveness of worker training programs to ensure that the messages of workplace safety and health are effective for individual workers.

As directed by the OSH Act, NIOSH works to maintain adequate numbers of occupational safety and health professionals and researchers by establishing, strengthening, and expanding graduate and undergraduate educational programs and special training grants.

For further information contact NIOSH at 1800-35-NIOSH (1800-3564674) or visit the NIOSH web site, http://www.cdc.gov/niosh.

Julie M. Bradley

(see also: Occupational Disease; Occupational Safety and Health; Occupational Safety and Health Administration )

Bibliography

Rosenstock, L., and Cullen, M. R. (1994). Textbook of Clinical Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Philadelphia, PA: W. B. Saunders.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Services, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (2000). Worker Health Chartbook, 2000. Cincinnati, OH: National Institute for Safety and Health.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is a research institute created by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, and since 1973 it has been a division of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The purpose of NIOSH is to gather data documenting incidences of occupational disease, exposure, and injury in the United States. After gathering and evaluating data, the agency develops "Criteria Documents" for specific hazards; in some cases the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has used these documents as the basis for specific legal standards to be followed by industry. NIOSH has developed databases which are available to other federal agencies, as well as state governments, academic researchers, industry, and private citizens. The organization also conducts seminars for those in the field of occupational safety and health, as well as for industry, labor, and other government agencies. NIOSH prepares various publications for sale to the public, and it provides a telephone hotline in its Cincinnati, Ohio office to answer inquiries.

In April of 1996, NIOSH and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSH) commemorated their twenty-fifth anniversary in an event that was jointly sponsored by those two agencies and by the Smithsonian Institute. CDC Director David Satcher stated, "Thanks in large measure to NIOSH's efforts, the Nation has made dramatic advancements in recognizing that safe and healthful workplaces are an integral part of good public health, and that the tools we use to curb infectious diseases also work against occupational diseasesknowledge, timely intervention, and prevention."


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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 4676 Columbia Pkwy., Cincinnati, OH USA 45226 Fax: 513-533-8573, Toll Free: (800) 35-NIOSH, Email: [email protected], <http://www.cdc.gov/niosh>

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NIOSH (USA) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

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