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NIOSH system monitors first responders’ health, safety

September 14, 2012
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DOT to hold emergency responders forumTo help ensure that emergency workers are protected from the safety and health risks inherent in their work, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has developed an Emergency Responder Health Monitoring and Surveillance system.

The system can be used for emergency responders in the areas of fire services, law enforcement, emergency medical services, public health, construction and other skilled support, disaster relief, mental health, and volunteer organizations who may be involved in a broad array of activities including search, rescue, investigations, assessment, recovery, cleanup, and restoration.

The purpose of the system is to identify exposures and/or signs and symptoms early in the course of an emergency response. Early detection can prevent or mitigate adverse physical and psychological outcomes; helping to ensure that workers and volunteers are not harmed in the course of their response and are able to maintain their ability to respond effectively.

Details on the system can be found in a technical assistance document, “Emergency Responder Health Monitoring and Surveillance.”

Click here to read the complete NIOSH science blog post, which has more details about the monitoring and surveillance system.

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