A conference hosted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) on “Prevention through Design—a new way of doing business: a report on the National Initiative” is underway in Washington, D.C.

The conference marks the mid-point of the Prevention through Design (PtD) National Initiative, led by NIOSH, which aims to prevent and control occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities by "designing out" or minimizing hazards and risks early in the design process.

The initiative promotes this concept and highlights its importance in all business decisions. A growing number of business leaders are recognizing PtD as a cost-effective means to enhance occupational safety and health. Many U.S. companies openly support PtD concepts and have developed management practices to implement them.

The goal of the conference is to take stock of the Nation’s progress in improving worker safety and health through the inclusion of prevention methods in all designs that impact workers. Significant progress has been made in advancing the prevention of occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities by eliminating hazards and minimizing risks to workers in the design and re-design of facilities, work methods, processes, equipment, and products.

The conference aims to bring together PtD leaders from industry, labor, academia, government agencies, and professional organizations to showcase their research results, engineering education enhancements, successful stakeholder practices, and policy development and advancement. In addition, presentations from the 3 finalists in the Design for Safety and Health student contest will showcase PtD engineering student designs. A panel session that includes PtD thought-leaders will conclude the event to identify areas that require additional focus.

NIOSH is the federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. More information on NIOSH is available at www.cdc.gov/niosh. Click here for details on the PtD initiative and here for information about the PtD conference, including location, agenda, and registration.