When loud noises cannot be reduced or eliminated through engineering controls, workers who are exposed to them must use hearing protection devices (HPDs) to conserve their hearing. This notion is not new, nor is the concept that HPDs require fit-testing to be effective.
Mine safety regulations in the U.S. require a protected and secure space—or mobile refuge alternative—in all underground coal mines. In the event of an explosion or other mining disaster that prevents miners from immediately escaping, refuge alternatives protect miners from exposure to carbon monoxide and other toxic gases by providing breathable air and a safe environment for 96 hours.
Hearing protection among oil-rig workers improved significantly after they underwent testing for properly fitting earplugs, according to a new study by NIOSH. The researchers reported the findings of their study in the International Journal of Audiology.
This month is National Ladder Safety Month, but ladder safety is a year-round priority at NIOSH where scientists study how to prevent ladder-related falls. In a new study published in the journal Applied Ergonomics, a “walk-through” ladder was comparable in safety to regular ladders tested in the NIOSH Virtual Reality Laboratory in Morgantown, West Virginia.
Construction workers continue to face some of the highest risks when it comes to injuries in the workplace. One of the most concerning involves traumatic brain injuries (TBI), often caused by falls and being struck by moving vehicles.
Wildland fire fighters are required to pass an “arduous duty” physical fitness test annually to help ensure that they are prepared for the physical nature of the job. Unlike structural fire fighting, wildland fire fighting often requires long work shifts that may last up to 14 continuous days, and often takes place in environments that are challenging with regard to temperature and terrain.
In manufacturing and other industries where lifting is part of the job, disorders that affect the muscles and bones are a common problem. In fact, musculoskeletal disorders cause one-third of work-related injuries resulting in missed workdays, costing about $45 to $54 billion annually in lost productivity and treatment, according to estimates from the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine.
A recent survey of healthcare workers found that certain surgical procedures often lack ventilation that removes surgical smoke at its source, according to researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
Wearable sensors are all the rage. They give us information about our health, fitness, productivity and safety. However, downsides to this technology are accuracy and security of the data and challenges to personal privacy. How wearable technology is used in occupational safety and health research and practice is evolving.
Lung disease from work-related exposure to coal mine dust can damage different parts of the lungs, including the small airways. When these airways, which resemble twigs branching off the trunk of a tree, are damaged, breathing can become significantly difficult.