It’s February, which means that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and love is in the air. At the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), we like to use this time of year as an opportunity to show our appreciation for the personal protective equipment (PPE) that keeps the people we love safe.
In this spirit, NIOSH recently set a goal to improve the safety and health of fire fighters by reducing their exposure to harmful contaminants due to unclean or inadequately cleaned PPE.
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.
The oil and gas extraction industry continues to expand in the United States, but this growth comes with increased risks for workers in the industry. During 2003–2016, 1,485 oil and gas extraction workers were killed on the job, resulting in an annual fatality rate more than six times higher than the rate among all U.S. workers.
The “skills gap”—the mismatch between the knowledge, skills, and abilities employers seek in potential employees and the competencies workers actually bring to the job—has been a topic of national conversation, concern, and even controversy for many years.
Coal mining is an important part of the U.S. economy. In 2017, about 30% of our electricity was generated by coal-fired power plants. Coal is also used to make steel and in manufacturing many types of products. And anyone who watches the news knows how important the jobs and income provided by coal mining are to our country’s coal mining regions.
Depending on where you reside and work this season, Old Man Winter might be knocking on your door, bringing you snow, ice, and chilling temperatures. For those in warmer areas of the country, it may be difficult to imagine some winter weather extremes. For instance, according to the NOAA National Climate Extremes Committee, the existing record for lowest temperature in the United States was -80°F (-62.2°C) in Prospect Creek, Alaska, in 1971.
What is systematic review?
There are many different types of occupational safety and health questions and a variety of scientific methods to answer them. Systematic review is one method for comprehensively reviewing a body of scientific literature. It is an explicit and transparent process to identify, select, synthesize, and critically appraise the scientific literature relevant to a specific question.
The NIOSH Center for Motor Vehicle Safety (CMVS) is taking up the challenge of communicating to employers and workers about the risks of driving for work and how to avoid motor vehicle crashes. Crash risk affects workers in all industries and occupations, whether they drive tractor-trailers, cars, pickup trucks, or emergency vehicles, and whether driving is a primary or occasional part of the job.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) often called drones are increasingly used for military, recreational, public, and commercial purposes. UAVs have the potential to prevent injury and death in the construction industry where nearly 1,000 workers died in 2015. Advancements in UAV technology could help reduce construction-related injury and death from falls, toxic chemical exposures, electrical hazards, or traumatic injury from vehicle and equipment collisions.
September is National Preparedness Month and the current response and recovery efforts for Hurricane Harvey remind us of the importance of being ready for emergencies and disasters. This unprecedented event will demand a long term commitment to the recovery of the affected areas in Texas and Louisiana.