NIOSH scientists are helping to prevent deaths and injuries on the job by applying some of the same high-tech innovations that Hollywood used to create the spectacular special effects in the hit movie "The Matrix Reloaded."

In the movie, through advanced computer imaging, a hundred versions of the sinister "Agent Smith" gang up against Keanu Reeves' character Neo in a widely publicized action scene. Technicians created the lifelike multiple images by making three-dimensional laser scans of actor Hugo Weaving's ("Agent Smith") face, digitally capturing the body movements of stunt men performing a furious martial arts fight, and then merging the facial and body images in a computer program.

NIOSH is tapping similar know-how in research that will: 1) help equip today's diverse work force with effective life-saving personal protective devices, 2) help ensure a good fit between an employee and his work area in activities where physical incompatibility can be dangerous, and 3) provide better ways to predict and prevent job-related musculoskeletal hazards. Further details appear at