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The progress of occupational safety research: knowledge and gaps in safety research in the 20th century session.

Proceedings of the IEA 2000/HFES 2000 Congress, Vol. 4, San Diego, CA, July 30-August 4, 2000. Santa Monica, CA: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 2000 Jul; 4:358
Occupational injuries pose a continuing major threat to the health and well being of American workers. On a typical day, an estimated 16 workers are killed and more than 36,000 workers are injured (Jenkins et al., 1993). The associated economic costs are high, costing the nation more than AIDS and as much as cancer and heart disease (Leigh et al., 1997). Yet the investment in occupational injury preventions is slim compared to resources dedicated to disease prevention research (NIOSH, 1998). Approaches for reducing occupational injuries and their cost in the workforce may include redesign of work practices, work environments, equipment, and tools to eliminate hazards. For hazards that cannot be eliminated, such as exposure of fire fighters to fires, the personal protective equipment (PPE) is served as the last line of defense for the worker (Hsiao and Halperin, 1998). The influence of some factors on the safety performance of occupational tasks has been studied for more than 50 years (NIOSH, 1988). The results have been developed into standard industry practice and guidelines to reduce the risk of occupational injury. However, the etiologies of many occupational injuries are still not clear, particularly when human-environment! system/task interactions are involved. The author will discuss the knowledge we now possess and certain critical gaps concerning occupational injury control. The safety research activities in NIOSH will also be presented. These thoughts are derived from literature as well as from several NIOSH-organized workshops (NIOSH. 1998; Pizetella and Hsiao, 1998; Hsiao et. al., 1997).
Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Personal-protective-equipment; Personal-protection; Protective-clothing; Protective-equipment; Safety-programs; Safety-practices; Safety-research
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Proceedings of the IEA 2000/HFES 2000 Congress, Vol. 4, San Diego, CA, July 30-August 4, 2000