Today's News / Environmental and Occupational Health / Best Practices

NIOSH ag, forestry and fishing research gets a high grade from review panel

July 9, 2012
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+

commercial fishingAn expert panel has awarded NIOSH’s research program to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths in the agriculture, forestry, and fishing Sector the highest rating – a five on a scale of 1-5 – based on its relevance.

“Research has been in very high priority areas and is highly relevant to improvements in workplace [safety and health] protection,” the report stated.  It noted that NIOSH has engaged in activities to move its research into actual safety and health practice “on a very significant level.”  Further, it cited “considerable progress” since 2007 in achieving intermediate outcomes, such as strengthening the engagement of stakeholder groups in the agricultural community, and developing strategic goals for injury and illness surveillance, research, education, and other critical needs.

The impact of the research program was rated 4 out of a possible score of 5, an increase over a score of 3 in the 2007 review.  The report noted “much notable progress” since the previous review, in 2007, and pointed to advancements like “significant lowering of child death rates due to agricultural worksite risk,” diffusion of new technologies to prevent fatal tractor rollovers, and adoption of personal flotation devices and other protective measures in the commercial fishing industry.

“More progress needs to occur within the sector,” but such progress “awaits maturity” of current initiatives in the research program, and further translation of research into practice across worksites in the sector, and across populations at risk, the report said.

The review panel, which was convened and chaired by Dr. Paul D. Gunderson, director of the Dakota Precision Agriculture Center and former director of the National Farm Medicine Center, evaluated the current status of the Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing (AgFF) Sector Program, which NIOSH conducts under partnerships with diverse stakeholders under the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA).  The review cited progress achieved by the program since an earlier review in 2007.

Dr. Gunderson’s report from the new review was submitted to NIOSH on June 26 and is available at

The 2007 review was conducted by a similar panel of experts, also chaired by Dr. Gunderson, under the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources of the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine.  

“The ensuing five years have seen implementation of the NORA [initiative] that was in place, but not yet fully deployed at the time of the initial review, internal adjustments within NIOSH that placed the AgFF Program under synergistic leadership, and significant change in both national public policy and scale of worksite adjustments,” Dr. Gunderson said in a cover letter to the report.

NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. said the review will help NIOSH conduct strategic, results-driven research to protect the safety and health of those who work in this fundamental American industry sector.

The agriculture, forestry, and fishing Sector has the highest fatality rate of any U.S. industry sector.  Under the NORA program, NIOSH has worked closely with industry organizations, farmers, agricultural workers and their representatives, state and federal agencies, educators, community groups, and other safety and health professionals to identify risk factors in the industry, to develop effective preventive measures, and to move those results into practice.  More information on the Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing Sector Program can be found at, and more information about NIOSH research at

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to ISHN.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Scenes from the World of Safety

Sights, signs & symbols from the National Safety Congress & Expo held in San Diego, CA, September 15-18

11/4/14 2:00 pm EST

Eye Injuries: You rarely see them coming. Practical Solutions for reducing injuries to the eye.

The 3M Eye Injury Reduction webinar will provide an examination of how to help solve eye injuries in the workplace. This issue continues to challenge virtually every industry, and the solution is often times multifaceted. 3M will share some new tools and approaches to help you in solving this issue.

ISHN Magazine


2014 October

This issue features articles about PPE safety and OSHA standards

Table Of Contents Subscribe


M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\ISHN\safetyfourth.jpg
Safety Engineering, 4th Edition

A practical, solutions-driven reference, Safety Engineering, 4th edition, has been completely revised and updated to reflect many of today’s issues in safety.

More Products

For Distributors Only - SEPTEMBER 2014

ISHN FDO SEPTEMBER 2014For Distributors Only is ISHN's niche brand standard-sized magazine supplement aimed at an audience of 2,000 U.S. distributors that sell safety products. Circulation only goes to distributors. CHECK OUT THE SEPTEMBER 2014 ISSUE OF FDO HERE


Facebook logo Twitter YouTubeLinkedIn Google + icon

ishn infographics

2012 US workplace deathsCheck out ISHN's new Infographic page! Learn more about worker safety through these interactive images. CLICK HERE to view the page.