From the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH):
It’s a new year, and in many ways a fresh start; but not for the NORA (National Occupational Research Agenda) councils that continue to build on the efforts of the past two years. The ten sector councils from the second decade of NORA carried forward their work to improve occupational safety and health in industry sectors. Seven new cross-sector councils formed to focus on health and safety issues affecting workers across sectors. These councils are diverse and inclusive, with members from universities, large and small businesses, professional societies, government agencies, and worker organizations.
In this third decade of NORA (2016–2026), the councils are working on research agendas for the nation and advancing those agendas through information sharing, partnerships, and promoting evidence-based solutions. To date, eleven NORA agendas have been published, and the remaining six are close to completion. These documents are the result of collective efforts to identify the most important research needs by considering the numbers of workers at risk for a particular injury or illness, the seriousness of the hazard or issue, and the probability that new information and approaches will make a difference. NORA agendas are intended to be used by organizations and individuals interested in improving occupational safety and health through research. NIOSH has also identified its contributions to NORA through the NIOSH Strategic Plan for FYs 2019–2023.
In addition to the agendas, there have been other exciting achievements in the first two years. NORA has a new website, with a fresh look and enhanced content. It serves as the central repository for the products the NORA councils currently have or will create in the third decade. For example, the NORA Manufacturing Sector Council published a web page on hazardous energy control. This page features a resource guide with access to customizable materials and templates to assist in implementing effective strategies for the administrative control of unsafe release of hazardous energy. Members of the council compiled, reviewed, and adapted resources to help companies and businesses start or improve and maintain their existing Lockout Program.
NORA councils have also hosted some excellent webinars, both individually and collaboratively with other councils. Most recently, the NORA Mining Council held a webinar about hearing loss in the mining industry, and the NORA Healthy Work Design and Well-Being Council meeting featured a presentation on work-family and job stress interventions.
We are looking forward to the New Year and continuing the important work of the councils. If you’re interested in learning more about NORA, visit www.cdc.gov/nora or contact NORACoordinator@cdc.gov. I look forward to another successful year of NORA in 2019.