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NIOSH Update:

IOM Panel's Evaluation of Injury Prevention Program Provides Valuable Input for NIOSH Strategic Planning

Contact: Fred Blosser (202) 245-0645
September 2, 2008

A new report by a prestigious, independent scientific panel provides valuable findings and recommendations about the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's (NIOSH) research program for preventing traumatic occupational injuries, NIOSH said today. The panel was convened by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) at NIOSH's request.

"This report is the latest in a series resulting from independent scientific evaluations undertaken through the Institute of Medicine and the National Academies, which examine selected NIOSH research programs in great detail," said NIOSH Acting Director Christine M. Branche, Ph.D. "NIOSH requested these evaluations as part of our commitment to make our programs as transparent as possible, to ensure that they are relevant to the nation's priority occupational safety and health needs, and to affirm that they have real impact on helping to prevent work-related injury, illness, and death. The latest report adds to this distinguished body of information that we will incorporate into our strategic research planning."

The report contains the review committee's detailed discussion of the NIOSH traumatic injury prevention research program, its conclusions as to the relevance and impact of the program, and recommendations for improvements. On the relevance of the program to national needs for reducing traumatic occupational injuries, the review committee assigned a score of 4 out of a possible 5, with 5 representing the highest ranking possible. The committee also assigned a score of 4 out of a possible 5 for the impact of the program toward reducing traumatic occupational injuries.

The review committee's report stated that, with "a focus on program improvement" in areas in which the committee identified opportunities for improvements, "the [Traumatic Injury] Research Program can continue to serve as a leader in the field by identifying its niche in research, collaborating with partners, and sponsoring important high-quality research that contributes to reducing the morbidity and mortality associated with injury in the workplace." The full text of a pre-publication copy released on Aug. 27, 2008, is available at www.cdc.gov/niosh/nas/traumainj/pdfs/NA-TI-report-August2008.pdf.

"NIOSH thanks the distinguished review committee chaired by Dr. Brian L. Strom, which conducted the evaluation and prepared the report, the independent reviewers who read the report in draft form, the program staff of the Institute of Medicine, and the staff and senior management of NIOSH's traumatic injury research program who engaged in the evaluation," Dr. Branche said. "We are grateful for all the hard work that everyone contributed. As we have done in previous evaluations, we will review the committee's report, prepare a draft implementation plan, and ask the NIOSH Board of Scientific Counselors to review the complete package."

In 2005, 5,702 occupational fatalities occurred in the private-sector, an average of 15 per day, and 4.2 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses, NIOSH noted in statistics presented to the independent review committee. The Liberty Mutual 2005 Workplace Safety Index estimated that employers spent $50.8 billion in 2003 on wage payments and medical care for workers hurt on the job. Although recent decades have exhibited steady reductions in the numbers and rates of traumatic occupational injuries and fatalities, the toll remains far too high. NIOSH works with diverse partners to conduct research for preventing injuries, illnesses, and fatalities, and to transfer the products of research into workplace practice.

The full package of materials from the IOM evaluation of NIOSH's traumatic injury prevention program, as well as materials from related evaluations of other NIOSH programs through the IOM and the National Academies, can be found at www.cdc.gov/niosh/nas/.

 

 
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