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The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH, ) is the United States federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related
injury Injury, also known as physical trauma, is damage to the body caused by an external force. This may be caused by accidents, falls, hits, weapons, and other causes. Major trauma is injury that has the potential to cause prolonged disability or ...
and
illness A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a material object or system A system is a group of Interaction, interactin ...
. NIOSH is part of the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the national public health agency of the United States. It is a United States federal agency, under the Department of Health and Human Services The United States Department of Heal ...
(CDC) within the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is a cabinet-level executive branch The executive is the branch of government exercising authority in and holding Moral responsibility, responsibility for the governance of ...
. Despite its name, it is not part of the
National Institutes of Health The National Institutes of Health (NIH ) is the primary agency of the United States government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government or U.S. government) is the national government of the United States ...
. Its current director is
John Howard John Winston Howard (born 26 July 1939) is an Australian former politician who served as the 25th prime minister of Australia The prime minister of Australia is the head of government The head of government is either the highest or s ...
. NIOSH is headquartered in
Washington, D.C. ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument The Washington Monument is an obelisk within the National Mall The National Mall is a Landscape architecture, landscape ...
, with research laboratories and offices in
Cincinnati Cincinnati ( ) is a city in the U.S. state In the , a state is a , of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a , each state holds al jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory where it shares its with the ...

Cincinnati
, Ohio; Morgantown, West Virginia;
Pittsburgh Pittsburgh ( ) is a city in the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the United States and the county seat of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Allegheny County. A population of 302,971 residents lives within the city limit ...

Pittsburgh
, Pennsylvania;
Denver Denver () is a consolidated city and county, the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more forma ...

Denver
, Colorado;
Anchorage Anchorage (officially called the Municipality of Anchorage; Dena'ina: ) is a unified municipal consolidated city-borough in the U.S. state of Alaska Alaska (; ale, Alax̂sxax̂; ; ems, Alas'kaaq; Central Alaskan Yup'ik language, Y ...
, Alaska;
Spokane Spokane ( ) is the largest city and county seat of Spokane County, Washington Washington commonly refers to: * Washington (state), United States * Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States ** Federal government of the United States (m ...
, Washington; and
Atlanta Atlanta () is the capital city, capital and List of municipalities in Georgia (U.S. state), most populous city of the U.S. state of Georgia (U.S. state), Georgia. With an estimated 2019 population of 506,811, it is also the List of United ...

Atlanta
, Georgia. NIOSH is a professionally diverse organization with a staff of 1,200 people representing a wide range of disciplines including
epidemiology Epidemiology is the study and analysis of the distribution (who, when, and where), patterns and risk factor, determinants of health and disease conditions in defined populations. It is a cornerstone of public health, and shapes policy decisions ...
,
medicine Medicine is the science Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts ( descriptive knowledge), skills (proced ...

medicine
,
industrial hygiene Occupational hygiene (United States: industrial hygiene (IH)) is the Anticipate, recognize, evaluate, control, and confirm, anticipation, recognition, evaluation, control, and confirmation of protection from hazards at work that may result in inj ...
,
safety Safety is the state of being "safe", the condition of being protected from harm Harm is a moral A moral (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European language ...
,
psychology Psychology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. ...

psychology
, engineering, chemistry, and statistics. The
Occupational Safety and Health Act The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 is a US labor law United States labor law sets the rights and duties for employees, labor unions, and employer Employment is a relationship between two parties, usually based on contract A c ...
, signed by
President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between a president and a chief executive officer ...

President
Richard M. Nixon Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913April 22, 1994) was the 37th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president di ...
on December 29, 1970, created both NIOSH and the
Occupational Safety and Health Administration The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA ) is a large regulatory agency of the United States Department of Labor The United States Department of Labor (DOL) is a cabinet-level department of the U.S. federal government, re ...
(OSHA). NIOSH was established to help ensure safe and healthful working conditions by providing research, information, education, and training in the field of
occupational safety and health Occupational safety and health (OSH), also commonly referred to as occupational health and safety (OHS), occupational health, or occupational safety, is a multidisciplinary field concerned with the safety Safety is the state of being "safe ...
. NIOSH provides national and world leadership to prevent work-related illness, injury, disability, and
death Death is the permanent, irreversible cessation of all biological functions that sustain a living Living or The Living may refer to: Common meanings *Life, a condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organi ...
by gathering information, conducting scientific research, and translating the knowledge gained into products and services.About NIOSH
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
Although NIOSH and OSHA were established by the same Act of Congress, the two agencies have distinct and separate responsibilities.


Strategic goals

NIOSH abides by a strategic plan for meeting institutional goals and allocating resources. The institute has seven overarching goals: These goals are supported by NIOSH's program portfolio. The portfolio categorizes Institute efforts into 10 broad industrial sectors and their intersection with the 7 strategic goals. There are an abundance of specialty programs across diverse topics such as the Center for Maritime Safety and Health Studies, the Center for Occupational Robotics Research, and more. In addition to these intramural programs, NIOSH funds many extramural research projects.


Authority

Unlike its counterpart, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, NIOSH is not a regulatory agency. It does not issue safety and health standards that are enforceable under U.S. law. Rather, NIOSH's authority under the
Occupational Safety and Health Act The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 is a US labor law United States labor law sets the rights and duties for employees, labor unions, and employer Employment is a relationship between two parties, usually based on contract A c ...
CFR_§_671.html" ;"title="Code_of_Federal_Regulations.html" ;"title="9 CFR_§_671">Code_of_Federal_Regulations.html"_;"title="9_Code_of_Federal_Regulations">CFR_§_671is_to_"develop_recommendations_for_health_and_safety_standards",_to_"develop_information_on_safe_levels_of_exposure_to_toxic_materials_and_harmful_physical_agents_and_substances",_and_to_"conduct_research_on_new_safety_and_health_problems"._NIOSH_may_also_"conduct_on-site_investigations_(Health_Hazard_Evaluation_Program.html" ;"title="Code of Federal Regulations">CFR § 671">Code_of_Federal_Regulations.html" ;"title="9 Code of Federal Regulations">CFR § 671is to "develop recommendations for health and safety standards", to "develop information on safe levels of exposure to toxic materials and harmful physical agents and substances", and to "conduct research on new safety and health problems". NIOSH may also "conduct on-site investigations (Health Hazard Evaluation Program">Health Hazard Evaluations) to determine the toxicity of materials used in workplaces" and "fund research by other agencies or private organizations through grants, contracts, and other arrangements".National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (US)
About NIOSH
'
NIOSH was intended to function as an agency at the same level as, and independent from, the Centers for Disease Control. NIOSH was initially placed within the Centers for Disease Control in order to obtain administrative support from the Centers until NIOSH was ready to assume those responsibilities for itself; the Centers, however, never relinquished control and the original intent of the Act never came to pass. Also, pursuant to its authority granted to it by the Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, NIOSH may "develop recommendations for mine health standards for the Mine Safety and Health Administration", "administer a medical surveillance program for miners, including chest X‑rays to detect
pneumoconiosis Pneumoconiosis is the general term for a class of interstitial lung diseases where inhalation of dust has caused pulmonary fibrosis, interstitial fibrosis. Pneumoconiosis often causes restrictive lung disease, restrictive impairment, although dia ...
( black lung disease) in coal miners", "conduct on-site investigations in mines similar to those authorized for general industry under the Occupational Safety and Health Act; and "test and certify
personal protective equipment Personal protective equipment (PPE) is protective clothing Clothing (also known as clothes, apparel, and attire) are items worn on the body. Typically, clothing is made of fabrics or textile A textile is a flexible material ...
and hazard-measurement instruments".


Products and publications

NIOSH research covers a wide range of fields. The knowledge obtained through intramural and extramural research programs is used to develop products and publication offering innovative solutions for a wide range of work settings. Some of the publications produced by NIOSH include: * ''Alerts'' are put out by the agency to request assistance in preventing, solving, and controlling newly identified occupational hazards. They briefly present what is known about the risk for occupational injury, illness, and death. * ''Criteria Documents'' contain recommendations for the prevention of occupational diseases and injuries. These documents are submitted to the
Occupational Safety and Health Administration The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA ) is a large regulatory agency of the United States Department of Labor The United States Department of Labor (DOL) is a cabinet-level department of the U.S. federal government, re ...
or the Mine Safety and Health Administration for consideration in their formulation of legally binding safety and health standards. * ''Current Intelligence Bulletins'' analyze new information about occupational health and safety hazards. * The '' National Agricultural Safety Database'' contains citations and summaries of
scholarly journal An academic or scholarly journal is a periodical publication Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of serial Serial may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media The presentation of w ...
articles and reports about agricultural health and safety. * The Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation program publishes
occupational fatality An occupational fatality is a death that occurs while a person is at work or performing work related tasks. Occupational fatalities are also commonly called “occupational deaths” or “work-related deaths/fatalities” and can occur in any In ...
data that are used to publish fatality reports by specific sectors of industry and types of fatal incidents. * The ''
NIOSH Power Tools Database The NIOSH Power Tools Database contains sound power levels, sound pressure levels, and vibrations data for a variety of common power tools that have been tested by researchers. Data are collected for both the unloaded and loaded use of power tools ...
'' contains sound power levels, sound pressure levels, and vibrations data for a variety of common power tools that have been tested by NIOSH researchers. * The ''NIOSH Hearing Protection Device Compendium'' contains attenuation information and features for commercially available earplugs, earmuffs and semi-aural insert devices (canal caps).
''NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods''
contains recommendations for collection, sampling and analysis of contaminants in the workplace and industrial hygiene samples, including air filters, biological fluids, wipes and bulks for occupationally relevant analytes. * The

' informs workers, employers, and occupational health professionals about workplace chemicals and their hazards.


Education and Research Centers

NIOSH Education and Research Centers are multidisciplinary centers supported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health for education and research in the field of occupational health. Through the centers, NIOSH supports academic degree programs and research opportunities, as well as continuing education for OSH professionals. The ERCs, distributed in regions across the United States, establish academic, labor, and industry research partnerships. The research conducted at the centers is related to the
National Occupational Research Agenda The National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) is a partnership program developed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH, ) is the United States federal age ...
(NORA) established by NIOSH. Founded in 1977, NIOSH ERCs are responsible for nearly half of post-baccalaureate graduates entering occupational health and safety fields. The ERCs focus on industrial hygiene, occupational health nursing, occupational medicine, occupational safety, and other areas of specialization. At many ERCs, students in specific disciplines have their tuition paid in full and receive additional stipend money. ERCs provide a benefit to local businesses by offering reduced price assessments to local businesses.


History


Establishment

NIOSH's earliest predecessor was the
U.S. Public Health Service The United States Public Health Service (USPHS or PHS) is a collection of agencies of the Department of Health and Human Services concerned with public health, containing eight out of the department's eleven operating divisions. The Assistant Se ...
Office of Industrial Hygiene and Sanitation, established in 1914. It went through several name changes, most notably becoming the Division of Industrial Hygiene and later the Division of Occupational Health. Its headquarters were established in
Washington, D.C. ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument The Washington Monument is an obelisk within the National Mall The National Mall is a Landscape architecture, landscape ...
in 1918, and field stations in
Salt Lake City Salt Lake City (often shortened to Salt Lake and abbreviated as SLC) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or c ...

Salt Lake City
in 1949, and in
Cincinnati Cincinnati ( ) is a city in the U.S. state In the , a state is a , of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a , each state holds al jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory where it shares its with the ...

Cincinnati
in 1950. NIOSH was created by the
Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 is a US labor law United States labor law sets the rights and duties for employees, labor unions, and employer Employment is a relationship between two parties, usually based on contract A c ...
and began operating in May 1971. It was originally part of the
Health Services and Mental Health Administration Health, according to the World Health Organization, is "a state of complete physical, Mental health, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity".World Health Organization. (2006)''Constitution of the World H ...
, and was transferred into what was then called the
Center for Disease Control The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the national public health agency of the United States. It is a United States federal agency, under the Department of Health and Human Services The United States Department of Heal ...
(CDC) in 1973. NIOSH's initial headquarters were located in
Rockville, Maryland Rockville is a city that serves as the county seat of Montgomery County, Maryland, Montgomery County, Maryland, United States, part of the Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area. The 2020 United States Census, 2020 census tabulated Rockville's p ...
. Prior to 1976, NIOSH's Cincinnati operations occupied space at three locations in
Downtown Cincinnati Downtown Cincinnati is the central business district A central business district (CBD) is the commercial and business center of a city. It contains commercial space and offices. In larger cities, it is often synonymous with the city's "fi ...
, and rented space at 5555 Ridge Avenue in the Pleasant Ridge neighborhood. In 1976, staff at the Downtown locations were relocated to the Robert A. Taft Center in the Columbia-Tusculum neighborhood, which the
Environmental Protection Agency A biophysical environment is a biotic Biotics describe living or once living components of a community; for example organisms, such as animals and plants. Biotic may refer to: *Life, the condition of living organisms *Biology, the study of life ...
was vacating to occupy the new Andrew W. Breidenbach Environmental Research Center elsewhere in Cincinnati. The Taft Center had opened in 1954 for the PHS as the Robert A. Taft Sanitary Engineering Center, named for the then-recently deceased Senator
Robert A. Taft Robert Alphonso Taft Sr. (September 8, 1889 – July 31, 1953) was an American conservative politician, lawyer, and scion of the Republican Party Republican Party is a name used by many political parties A political party is an organ ...
, and the center had become part of the newly formed Environmental Protection Agency in 1970. The 5555 Ridge Avenue building had been constructed during 1952–1954 and was initially the headquarters and manufacturing plant of
Disabled American Veterans The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) is an organization created in 1920 by World War I veterans for disabled military veterans of the Military of the United States, United States Armed Forces that helps them and their families through various mea ...
. PHS had leased space in the 5555 Ridge Avenue building beginning in 1962. By 1973 the entire building was leased by the federal government, and in 1982 it was purchased outright by the PHS. In 1987 it was renamed the Alice Hamilton Laboratory for Occupational Safety and Health, after occupational health pioneer
Alice Hamilton Alice Hamilton (February 27, 1869Corn, JHamilton, Alice''American National Biography'' – September 22, 1970) was an American physician, research scientist, and author who is best known as a leading expert in the field of occupational health ...

Alice Hamilton
. The Appalachian Laboratory for Occupational Respiratory Diseases, which had been created within the PHS in 1967 to focus on
black lung disease Coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP), also known as black lung disease or black lung, is caused by long-term exposure to coal, coal dust. It is common in coal miners and others who work with coal. It is similar to both silicosis from inhaling silica ...
research, was incorporated into NIOSH, and its building in
Morgantown, West Virginia Morgantown is the county seat of Monongalia County, West Virginia, Monongalia County, West Virginia, United States, situated along the Monongahela River. West Virginia University is in the city. The population was 30,712 at the 2020 United States ...
was opened in 1971. As of 1976, NIOSH also continued to operate its Salt Lake City facility.


Later history

In 1981, the headquarters was moved from Rockville to
Atlanta Atlanta () is the capital city, capital and List of municipalities in Georgia (U.S. state), most populous city of the U.S. state of Georgia (U.S. state), Georgia. With an estimated 2019 population of 506,811, it is also the List of United ...

Atlanta
to co-locate with CDC headquarters. The headquarters moved back to Washington, D.C. in 1994, though offices were maintained in Atlanta. When the U.S. Bureau of Mines was closed in 1996, its research activities were transferred to NIOSH along with two facilities in the
Pittsburgh Pittsburgh ( ) is a city in the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the United States and the county seat of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Allegheny County. A population of 302,971 residents lives within the city limit ...

Pittsburgh
suburb of
Bruceton, Pennsylvania Bruceton is an unincorporated suburb of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh ( ) is a city in the state of Pennsylvania in the United States and the county seat of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Allegheny County. An estimated population of about 300,286 res ...
, and in
Spokane, Washington Spokane ( ) is the largest city and county seat of Spokane County, Washington, Spokane County, Washington (state), Washington, United States. It is in eastern Washington, along the Spokane River, adjacent to the Selkirk Mountains, and west of th ...
. The Pittsburgh campus dated from the beginning of the Bureau of Mines in 1910, and contained the historic Experimental Mine and Mine Roof Simulator, while the Spokane facility dated from 1951. NIOSH preserved the administrative independence of these activities by placing them in the new Office of Mine Safety and Health Research. In 1977, NIOSH had ten regional offices throughout the country. These were closed over time, and by 1989 there were regional offices only in Denver and Boston. The Alaska Field Station in
Anchorage, Alaska Anchorage (officially called the Municipality of Anchorage; Dena'ina: ) is a unified municipal consolidated city-borough in the U.S. state of Alaska Alaska (; ale, Alax̂sxax̂; ; ems, Alas'kaaq; Central Alaskan Yup'ik language, Y ...
was established in 1991 in response to the state having the highest work-related fatality rate, with Senator
Ted Stevens Theodore Fulton Stevens Sr. (November 18, 1923 – August 9, 2010) was an American politician who served as a United States Senator The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress The United State ...

Ted Stevens
playing a role in its establishment. It later become known as the Alaska Pacific Regional Office, and in 2015, the Denver, Anchorage, and non-mining Spokane staff joined into the Western States Division. In 1996, a large addition was built to the Morgantown facility containing safety engineering and bench laboratories. In 2015, funding was approved for a new facility in Cincinnati to replace the Taft and Hamilton buildings, which were considered to be obsolete. A location for the new facility in the Avondale neighborhood was announced in 2017, and proposals from architectural and engineering firms were solicited in 2019.


Directors

The following people were Director of NIOSH: * (1971–1975) * John Finklea (1975–1978) * Anthony Robbins (1978–1981) * J. Donald Millar (1981–1993) * Linda Rosenstock (1994–2000) *'' Lawrence J. Fine (acting, 2000–2001)'' *'' Kathleen Rest (acting, 2001–2002)'' *
John Howard John Winston Howard (born 26 July 1939) is an Australian former politician who served as the 25th prime minister of Australia The prime minister of Australia is the head of government The head of government is either the highest or s ...
(2002–2008, 2009–present) *'' Christine Branche (acting, 2008–2009)''


Other history

In 2001, NIOSH was called upon to help clean up Capitol Hill buildings after the
2001 anthrax attacks The 2001 anthrax attacks, also known as Amerithrax (a portmanteau A portmanteau (, ) or portmanteau word (from "portmanteau (luggage) A portmanteau is a piece of luggage Baggage or luggage consists of bags, cases, and containers which hol ...
."The Anthrax Cleanup of Capitol Hill." Documentary by Xin Wang produced by the EPA Alumni Association
VideoTranscript
(see p3, 4, 5). May 12, 2015.


See also

*
Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention ProgramThe Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program (FFFIPP) is administered by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), part of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It performs independent investi ...
*
Health Hazard Evaluation Program The Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) program is a Occupational safety and health, workplace health program administered by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). NIOSH developed the HHE program to comply with a mandate in ...
*
Immediately dangerous to life or health The term immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH) is defined by the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH, ) is the United States federal agency respons ...
*
National Fire Fighter Near-Miss Reporting System The Fire Fighter Near Miss Reporting System was launched on August 12, 2005 by the International Association of Fire Chiefs. It was announced at a press conference in Denver, Colorado, after having completed a pilot program involving 38 fire depar ...
*
NIOSH air filtration rating The NIOSH air filtration rating is the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH, ) is the United States federal agency responsible for conducting research a ...
*
Occupational health psychology Occupational health psychology (OHP) is an interdisciplinary area of psychology that is concerned with the health and safety of workers.Schonfeld, I.S., & Chang, C.-H. (2017). ''Occupational health psychology: Work, stress, and health''. New York, ...
*
Prevention through design Prevention through design (PtD), also called safety by design usually in Europe, is the concept of applying methods to minimize occupational safety and health, occupational hazards early in the design process, with an emphasis on optimizing emplo ...
*
Occupational exposure banding Occupational exposure banding, also known as hazard banding, is a process intended to quickly and accurately assign chemicals into specific categories (bands), each corresponding to a range of exposure concentrations designed to protect worker hea ...
*
Recommended exposure limit A recommended exposure limit (REL) is an occupational exposure limit An occupational exposure limit is an upper limit on the acceptable concentration of a hazardous substance in workplace air for a particular material or class of materials. It i ...
*
SENSOR-Pesticides Sentinel Event Notification System for Occupational Risks (SENSOR)-Pesticides is a U.S. state-based Clinical surveillance, surveillance program that monitors pesticide-related illness and injury. It is administered by the National Institute for O ...


References


Further reading

* *


External links


NIOSH Homepage

Global Environmental and Occupational Health e-Library
online database of environmental health and occupational health and safety training materials
NIOSH Power Tools Database
online database of sound and vibrations data for various power tools
Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Award
{{Authority control 1970 establishments in Washington, D.C. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Occupational safety and health organizations Government agencies established in 1970 Industrial and organizational psychology