Archive for NIOSH

Workplace Medical Mystery Solved: What Is Making This Roofer Sick?

Ray worked as a roofer and started feeling sick during work. His symptoms started halfway through the first day and, by the end of the second day, he felt even worse with a headache, cough, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. At the doctor’s office, his tests came back normal. Read more about his case  here. When Ray and his coworkers got sick, the roofing company ordered an investigation. On the days crew members got sick, they were placing a rubber membrane on the roof using a Read more [...]

Workplace Medical Mystery: What Is Making This Roofer Sick?

Ray drove to his work site on Monday morning, sipping coffee along the way. Spring was almost over, and everything was in full bloom. He was thankful for a cloudy day and cranked up the air conditioning, he knew he would start sweating once he got to work. Today Ray and his crew were working on a rubber roofing membrane installation. Ray parked and walked over to where the crew was setting up. Everyone was sharing stories from the weekend, but Ray hadn’t left the house since his kids came home Read more [...]

Climatologic Conditions, Chronic Disease and Work: Emerging Evidence and Implications

  As concerns about climatologic conditions (CC) are rising globally they remain poorly addressed in many settings such as the workplace. Climate-related hazards such as heat exposure and extreme weather events are and will continue to shape workers’ work experiences, risks for chronic disease, other health outcomes, and productivity. As such, central goals for occupational safety and health (OSH) need to include a better understanding of and targeted approaches to prevent and reduce the Read more [...]

Pausas para ir al baño

Aunque los trabajadores pueden suponer que tendrán acceso a baños en el trabajo, muchos que laboran en una amplia gama de sectores comerciales y ocupaciones dicen que no pueden hacer las pausas que necesitan para ir al baño mientras están trabajando.1-6 Las pausas insuficientes para ir al baño son algo importante que hay que considerar en lo que a la salud y la seguridad se refiere en muchos puestos de trabajo, como los que incluyen la atención de pacientes Read more [...]

The Manufacture and Selection of Eye Protection at Work

The blog content comes from the NIOSH Manufacturing Mondays series. June 6th was National Eyewear Day (and May was Healthy Vision Month).  To celebrate we are highlighting eye protection at work. Thousands of people each year experience work-related eye injuries that could have been prevented with the proper selection and use of eye and face protection.  Ensuring that workers wear proper eye protection and have it available is an important aspect of work safety management programs.  Read more [...]

The Role of Robotics in the Future of Work

  NIOSH established the Future of Work Initiative in response to rapid changes in the workplace, work, and workforce. The Initiative seeks to prompt research and practical approaches to address future occupational safety and health concerns. Increased use and rapid technologic advances in robotics fits within the sphere of changes in how work will increasingly be done. The rapid increase in use, and new types of robots, has resulted in numerous knowledge gaps on how robotics technologies can Read more [...]

Save Your Hearing Day

The blog content comes from the NIOSH Manufacturing Mondays seminar series. Today is National Save Your Hearing Day. Hearing loss is one of the most common work-related illnesses. [1] About 12% of U.S. workers have hearing difficulty. [2] Among noise-exposed workers, 23% have hearing difficulty compared to 7% of non-noise-exposed workers. [3] Twenty-four percent of worker hearing difficulty is due to occupational exposures including hazardous noise and ototoxic chemicals (chemicals causing damage Read more [...]

Umbrella Manufacturing

The blog content comes from the NIOSH Manufacturing Mondays seminar series. During this time of year many of us will grab an umbrella when walking out the door, a useful device that has been with us for a long time but is seldom thought about until you need one. The umbrella is a vital piece of personal weather protection useful for keeping rain or sunlight off a person. They have also found their way into fashion, popular cocktails, the beach, and our backyards. Umbrellas were present in some of Read more [...]

Health Worker Mental Health Initiative

A new Surgeon General’s Advisory highlights the urgent need to address the health worker burnout crisis across the country. Workers providing health services face many on-the-job challenges that can lead to work-related stress. For many of the 20 million health workers in the U.S., the COVID-19 pandemic has led to new and worsening mental health concerns, including burnout, compassion fatigue, depression, anxiety, substance use disorders, and suicidal ideation. These concerns affect each worker’s Read more [...]

World Whiskey Day: Safety and Health for Bourbon Distillery Workers

The blog content comes from the NIOSH Manufacturing Mondays seminar series. Saturday, May 21, 2022 is World Whiskey Day Founded in 2012 by a Scottish college student, the day is now recognized by whiskey drinkers all over the world to celebrate their favorite spirit. There are historical references to whiskey dating to at least the 15th century. The term itself comes from a Gaelic word that means “water of life.” There are many spirits that come under the general term whiskey – Read more [...]

Shiftwork May Lead to Health Problems among Police Officers: What Can be Done? Using Buffalo Cardio-Metabolic Occupational Police Stress (BCOPS) Study Data to Examine First Responder Health

  Ensuring the safety of our community is a 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week, 365-days-a-year kind of job. Weekends and holidays included. Working at night (outside the normal daylight hours of 7am – 6pm) is known as “shiftwork” and it has been linked to certain health issues. Police officers and detectives frequently work 1st, 2nd, and 3rd shift, and it is common that these shifts rotate. The Buffalo Cardio-Metabolic Occupational Police Stress (BCOPS) study has been used to look Read more [...]

Commercial Vehicle Operators and Legionnaires’ Disease

A New Concern Among Commercial Vehicle Operators Legionnaires’ disease is a serious form of pneumonia that almost always requires treatment in the hospital. Studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and elsewhere have found Legionnaires’ disease occurs at twice the rate in transportation workers as in non-transportation workers. Among the transportation workers reporting Legionnaires’ disease, most (77%) were driver/sales workers or truck drivers.[1] The Read more [...]

Manufacturing Mondays Blog Series: Military Appreciation

The blog content comes from the NIOSH Manufacturing Mondays seminar series. May is Military Appreciation Month, established by Congress in 1999. There are several important days to remember that encompass Military Appreciation Month like VE Day (Victory in Europe Day, May 8th), Armed Forces Day (the third Saturday in May), and Memorial Day (the last Monday in May). This year, with many service members overseas supporting our NATO allies in Eastern Europe, it is especially important to recognize and Read more [...]

Newly Archived Webinar Recordings Highlighting How Emerging Technologies Can Prevent Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders

  NIOSH recently posted seven webinars to YouTube highlighting the use of emerging technologies to prevent work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). Although the webinars are from 2018-2021, the content is still informative and relevant and receiving praise from those in the industry. The series of webinars focuses on using emerging technologies as interventions or for conducting risk assessments. Topics include wearable sensors, exoskeletons, and computer vision. NIOSH curated the webinars Read more [...]

Outdoor Workers and Poisonous Plant Exposures

Poisonous Plants Are an Occupational Hazard For many outdoor workers (and some who work indoors), contact with poisonous plants is a common work hazard. Workers at risk include construction workers, farmers, landscapers and arborists, gardeners, outdoor painters, roofers, and wildland firefighters. Common plants they may come in contact with include poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac, devil’s club (devil’s walking stick), stinging nettle, jimson weed, milkweed, giant hogweed, ragweed, Read more [...]

Manufacturing Mondays Blog Series: May the 4th Be with Laser and Plasma Cutting Workers

The blog content comes from the NIOSH Manufacturing Mondays seminar series. It’s the first week of May! This week is May 4th, a date when people celebrate that cultural touchstone: Star Wars. But don’t forget the other star wars. The famed defense program, officially designated the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), was announced by President Reagan in 1983, and subsequent Bush and Clinton administrations modified the original to include more workable technologies. The idea to use ground- Read more [...]

Workers Memorial Day 2022: Statement from NIOSH Director John Howard, MD

Workers Memorial Day, observed each year on April 28, is an opportunity for us to commemorate workers who were injured, became ill, or died because of exposures to hazards. As scientists, we often look at numbers to tell one part of the story, and within the last two years there have been some trends that are telling. It is interesting to note that nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses decreased 5.7 percent over 2019. However, in 2020, 4,764 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States, Read more [...]

Manufacturing Monday Blog Series: Playground Equipment

The blog content comes from the NIOSH Manufacturing Monday seminar series. With spring in full swing many of us will be heading outdoors more. For those of us with children, that could mean a trip to the playground on a nice day. National Playground Safety Week is April 25th through April 29th and reminds us of the importance of outdoor play and playground safety. The first playgrounds originated in Germany as “sand gardens” during the latter part of the 19th century, with the beginning Read more [...]

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Teleworking During the COVID-19 Pandemic

New research from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) examined racial disparities in teleworking during the COVID-19 pandemic and estimated the extent to which these disparities are explained by education, occupation and racial discrimination. Teleworking, also known as telecommuting or virtual working, is an alternative type of work arrangement that uses information technology to allow workers to perform some or all their work from home during paid work hours with no Read more [...]

Welder’s Anthrax

  A new journal article from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Bacterial Special Pathogens Branch describes cases of welder’s anthrax, a newly identified, deadly occupational disease. Welder’s anthrax is defined as pneumonia in a metalworker caused by bacteria within the B. cereus group that produces anthrax toxin. Seven patients diagnosed with what is now termed welder’s Read more [...]

Cancer Incidence, Latency, and Survival in World Trade Center Rescue/Recovery Workers

  Tens of thousands of workers responded to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York City. The 9/11-exposed workforce includes police officers, firefighters, construction workers, communications workers, emergency medical services personnel, and a wide variety of other workers and community volunteers. These workers were exposed to a wide variety of known and potential cancer-causing agents and other hazards during response and recovery efforts, which Read more [...]

Falls Campaign 2022: Making Research Work

  Falls are the leading cause of death among construction workers.  Tragically, each year roughly 300–400 construction workers fall to their deaths, most often while working at heights on roofs, ladders, and scaffolds. In 2020, out of 1,034 falls that resulted in death in the construction industry, 353 were due to falls from a height to a lower level.  Researchers have found that some work conditions have higher risks for falls (CPWR 2021). Most fatal falls happen to roofing Read more [...]

Noticias recientes sobre el trabajo en turnos de noche y el cáncer: ¿Qué significa para los trabajadores?

El Programa Nacional de Toxicología (NTP, por sus siglas en inglés) hace poco publicó un informe sobre cómo el trabajo constante en turnos de noche está relacionado con el riesgo de cáncer (1). Este informe aparece después de una evaluación similar que publicó la Agencia Internacional de Investigaciones sobre el Cáncer (IARC) (2) en julio del 2019, la cual fue una actualización de su informe del Read more [...]

New NIEHS Resources to Prevent and Address Opioid Misuse and Promote Recovery Friendly Workplace Programs

The opioid crisis has intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data from CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics shows that in 2020 there was a 29% increase in the number of overdose deaths compared to the same time frame the previous year.[1] This crisis has severely impacted the U.S. workforce, especially industries with a high risk of injury. A survey focused on opioid use, conducted by the National Safety Council, found that 1 in 12 workers has an untreated substance use disorder and Read more [...]

Reducción de las enfermedades ocupacionales crónicas: Programa Multisectorial CRC

  Durante los 50 años de historia de NIOSH, las enfermedades ocupacionales crónicas como el cáncer, las enfermedades cardiovasculares y los desenlaces reproductivos adversos siempre han sido una carga pública significativa y una fuente de costos económicos. Desde su creación en el 2004, el Programa de Prevención del Cáncer, Enfermedades Reproductivas, Cardiovasculares y Otras Enfermedades Crónicas (CRC), dentro del conjunto de programas Read more [...]

Nghiên c?u Nguy c? B? D? t?t B?m sinh ? Con c?a Th? Làm Móng và Th? Làm Tóc ?ang Mang thai

Những Người lao động Có Nguy cơ Hiện có khoảng 400.000 giấy phép cấp cho kỹ thuật viên làm móng đang có hiệu lực và khoảng 600.000 thợ làm tóc đang làm việc tại Hoa Kỳ. Hầu hết những người lao động này là phụ nữ trong độ tuổi Read more [...]

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위험에 처한 근로자 현재 미국에는 약 400,000명의 활동 중인 네일미용사 면허소지자와 약 600,000명의 고용된 헤어미용사가 있습니다. 이들 근로자의 대부분은 가임 Read more [...]

Work Flexibility and Worker Well-being: Evidence from the United States

  Work flexibility can have positive and negative consequences for workers and their families, employers, and society overall. [1,2] For workers, it is increasingly recognized as an essential determinant of their well-being. Workers seek flexibility to address their personal and family needs, including childcare, eldercare, schooling, and healthcare. Flexibility in terms of work location and schedule gives workers a sense of job control, and increases their job satisfaction, thereby improving Read more [...]

Preventing Stuck-by Fatalities Related to Excavator Quick Couplers, Buckets, and Attachments

  The 3rd annual National Stand-Down to Prevent Struck-by Incidents will take place April 11–15, 2022. As part of these efforts, NIOSH and others are highlighting the lethal struck-by risk related to excavator quick couplers. A quick coupler failure can cause the attachment to fall suddenly, causing death, injury, and/or damage to the excavator and attachment. Background Hydraulic excavators (Figure 1 and 2) are used in construction to move large quantities of earth. Many excavators Read more [...]

Here Comes the Sun! Tips to Adapt to Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time (DST) marks the time to “spring” ahead one hour for most of the United States. Where it is observed, Daylight Saving Time begins this year on Sunday, March 13, 2022. This transition from Standard Time was first enacted to conserve energy and shift the timing of our activities to match more daylight during evening hours. The days grow longer and the nights get shorter as we head towards the summer solstice, which has been described as the longest day of the year. The Read more [...]

100 Million and Counting!

When researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) set out to develop a tool that could improve the use of industry and occupational data from surveys, death certificates and other sources, we could only dream that our efforts would be this successful. A Tool to Advance Research, and It’s Free We started this journey in 2012, deploying the first version of the NIOSH Industry and Occupation Computerized Coding System (NIOCCS). NIOCCS is for researchers and Read more [...]

Partnering to Design Safe and Healthy Workplaces for the Construction Workforce

The NIOSH Office of Construction Safety and Health has partnered with industry, government, academia, insurance companies, and labor to address construction-related injuries and fatalities. Working together, these partnerships can tackle many of the serious issues the Construction industry faces today. Prevention through Design (PtD) is an important approach to addressing many of these hazards. A recent NIOSH Science Blog: Prevention Through Design  explains how PtD works. PtD identifies workplace Read more [...]

Mining, Maritime, and More: NIOSH’s Spokane Research Laboratory’s Expanded Mission Serves Broad Array of Industries

NIOSH’s Spokane Research Laboratory (SRL), located in the Eastern Washington city of Spokane, is the largest NIOSH facility west of the Mississippi River and has a history dating back to the post World War II era. The purpose-built facility has a long track record of supporting engineering research, but today its mission has expanded to encompass research in areas like industrial hygiene, geophysics, heat stress, and social science. This broader portfolio allows the lab’s researchers Read more [...]

10 Lessons Learned From a Multi-Year Total Worker Health Study of Small Businesses

  Over half of Americans are employed in small businesses. Small employers face unique challenges and often do not offer the same level of safety protections or health promotion activities found in larger organizations. However, there is evidence that small businesses are committed to addressing employee well-being, but they may lack the necessary resources and infrastructure to provide for it. (1). Senior-level decision-makers in small businesses are especially important in driving these efforts. Read more [...]

New Data Available! Assess Causes of Death by Industry and Occupation

Linking Causes of Death to Work Since the early years of National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), mortality data have been an important source of information to assess links between cause of death and work. In the 1980s, the National Occupational Mortality Surveillance (NOMS) program was born out of a collaboration between NIOSH, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The NOMS program uses information from death certificates Read more [...]

The Role of Technological Job Displacement in the Future of Work

The future of work holds many possibilities for technological advancements, which may alter the number, quality, and stability of jobs; create new jobs that vary in skill and wage level; and fundamentally change entire industries. Such developments, including digitalization, robotics, artificial intelligence, and advanced computing, have the potential to lead to automation of unsafe tasks or reduction of hazards. While these innovations are often perceived to be favorable and may be linked to economic Read more [...]

N95 Love – Staying True to the NIOSH Approval

Over the years, we’ve made use of the Valentine’s Day observance to offer a lot of respirator relationship advice. We’ve talked about the importance of high standards, compatibility, when to break up, and when to put more effort into maintaining your relationship. Dear Abby has nothing on us when it comes to knowing how to get the most out of your relationship with your Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).  And though we continue to offer our pearls of wisdom, your respirator Read more [...]

Release of National Academies Consensus Study Report on Protecting Workers and the Public From Inhalation Hazards

On February 10,2022, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine published a Consensus Study Report titled, Frameworks for Protecting Workers and the Public from Inhalation Hazards. Federal partners, NIOSH, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of State, as well as the CDC Foundation, commissioned this report to address the evolving respiratory protection needs of the public and workers not operating under a respiratory protection program. When employers can Read more [...]

Exoskeletons: Potential for Preventing Work-related Musculoskeletal Injuries and Disorders in Construction Workplaces

Construction workers are at high risk for work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). One potential tool to prevent WMSDs is the use of exoskeletons, which are assistive devices that can be suitable for construction and other industrial work (see related NIOSH pages on robotics and the Center for Occupational Robotics Research). Exoskeletons can be categorized as passive or active. Passive exoskeletons support a posture or movement using unpowered mechanisms (e.g., springs, dampers, or counterbalance Read more [...]

NIOSH in Cincinnati – A Pictorial History, Part II

NIOSH in Cincinnati – How did it happen, and what has it looked like? How did federal industrial hygiene and occupational (and environmental) health research and service come to Cincinnati, and why did it stay? Interconnected stories of events that occurred, locations and buildings where they happened, cultural elements that developed, and artifacts that remain, speak to this question, providing evidence and glimpses of federal staff in Cincinnati investigating occupational health concerns, Read more [...]