The National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) is a partnership program developed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to stimulate innovative research and improve workplace safety practices. NORA is a framework for occupational safety and health research in the nation. NORA is divided into 8 sectors. Each has a sector council that develops a national agenda based on critical issues identified in workplace safety and health. The agenda includes goals and an implementation plan for addressing the occupational safety and health issues in the sector. There are over 7 million workers in the Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities (TWU) industries. The Transportation sector includes industries that transport passengers and cargo; scenic and sightseeing transportation; and support activities for transportation. The Warehousing sector covers industries providing warehousing and storage of goods. The Utilities sector includes industries which provide, service, and distribute electric power, natural gas, steam supply, water supply, and sewage removal. TWU Nonfatal Occupational Illnesses: In 2007, the occupational illness rate for the TWU sectors was 23.5 per 10,000 workers. Workers in these industries are at-risk for illnesses and diseases from harmful exposures or work environment. Examples of exposures known to cause illness include diesel exhaust, infectious agents, and vibration. Known worker health concerns related to work environment include cardiovascular disease, obesity, and smoking habits. TWU Nonfatal Occupational Injuries: In 2007, the combined Transportation and Warehousing sectors had the highest rate of private industry occupational injuries involving days away from work (DAFW) at 2.6 per 10,000 workers. Workers in these industries are at-risk for nonfatal injuries including overexertion, contact with objects, and falls. TWU occupations with higher injury rates involving DAFW include flight attendants at 6.3 and electrical power-line installers at 2.4. TWU Occupational Fatalities: Occupations in the TWU sector account for 5% of U.S. workers but 15% of all workplace fatalities. Workers in these industries are at-risk for fatal injuries including transportation incidents, struck by objects or equipment, electrocution, and falls. In 2007, the work related fatality rate for the Transportation and Warehousing sectors was over 3 times the national average at 14.3 deaths per 100,000 workers. The Utilities sector work-related fatality rate was 3.9 in 2007.
Max Kiefer, MS, CIH National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Director, Denver Regional Office Denver Federal Center P.O. Box 25226 Denver, CO 80225-0226