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NIOSH Program Portfolio


NIOSH Priority Goals for Extramural Research

The leaders of some programs in the NIOSH Program Portfolio have designated one or more strategic goals as particularly suited for advancement by extramural researchers. View the goals selected by a program after selecting the category of program below.

Click on a program’s name to view all the strategic goals adopted by that program.

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing

  • Goal 2: Reduce deleterious health and safety outcomes in workers more susceptible to injury or illness due to circumstances limiting options for safeguarding their own safety and health.
  • Goal 3: Move proven health and safety strategies into agricultural, forestry and fishing workplaces through the development of partnerships and collaborative efforts.
  • Goal 6: Reduce the number, rate and severity of traumatic injuries and deaths involving hazards of forestry.
  • Goal 7: Improve the health and well-being of forestry workers by reducing occupational causes or contributing factors to acute and chronic illness and disease.


  • Goal 1: Reduce Construction Worker fatalities and serious injuries caused by falls to a lower level.
  • Goal 3: Reduce fatal and serious injuries associated with struck-by incidents associated with objects, vehicles, and collapsing materials and structures.
  • Goal 5: Reduce silica exposures and future silica-related health risks among construction workers by increasing the availability and use of silica dust controls and practices for tasks associated with important exposures.
  • Goal 8: Increase understanding of factors that comprise both positive and negative construction safety and health cultures; and, expand the availability and use of effective interventions to maintain safe work practices 100% of the time in the construction industry.
  • Goal 12: Reduce injury and illness among groups of construction workers through improved understanding of why groups of workers experience disproportionate risks in construction work and expanding the availability and use of effective interventions.
  • Goal 13: Increase the use of “prevention through design (PtD)” approaches to prevent or reduce safety and health hazards in construction.

Healthcare and Social Assistance

  • Goal 1: Promote safe and healthy workplaces and optimize safety culture in healthcare organizations.
  • Goal 2: Reduce the incidence and severity of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among workers in the healthcare and social assistance (HCSA) sector.
  • Goal 3: Reduce or eliminate exposures and adverse health effects caused by hazardous drugs and other chemicals.
  • Goal 4: Reduce sharps injuries and their impacts among all healthcare personnel.
  • Goal 5: STOP transmission of infectious diseases in healthcare and social assistance (HCSA) settings among workers, patients and visitors.


  • Goal 1: Reduce the number of injuries and fatalities due to contact with objects and equipment among workers in the manufacturing sector.
  • Goal 3: Reduce the number and severity of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among manufacturing sector workers.
  • Goal 4: Reduce the incidence of occupationally-induced hearing loss in the manufacturing sector.
  • Goal 7: Reduce the incidence of injuries, illnesses, and fatalities among understudied and vulnerable populations in the manufacturing sector such as contract workers, younger and older workers, immigrants, and pregnant and nursing mothers.
  • Goal 8: Reduce the incidence of injuries, illnesses, and fatalities within small businesses (less than 100 employees) and specific sub-sectors within the manufacturing sector.
  • Goal 10: Reduce the number of catastrophic incidents (e.g., explosions, chemical accidents or building structural failures) in the manufacturing sector.


  • Goal 1: Eliminate respiratory diseases in mine workers by reducing exposure to airborne contaminants.
  • Goal 5: Reduce the risk of mine disasters (fires, explosions, inundations), improve the post-accident survivability of miners and critical mine systems, and enhance the safety and effectiveness of emergency responders.

Oil and Gas Extraction

  • Goal 8: Decrease fatigue-related injuries and fatalities in the oil and gas extraction industry.
  • Goal 10: Reduce the incidence of injuries, illnesses, and fatalities among workers employed by small companies (less than 100 employees) in the oil and gas extraction industry.

Public Safety

  • Goal 1: Reduce the incidence of chronic and acute diseases by 15% in firefighters that may be related to occupational exposures such as heat, combustion products and other stressors.
  • Goal 5: Evaluate information sources collected by partners or stakeholders that may be enhanced or expanded to conduct effective occupational health and safety surveillance among law enforcement workers.
  • Goal 9: Reduce occupational injuries and fatalities in corrections personnel by 10%.
  • Goal 15: Identify and implement effective policies among EMS agencies regarding work organization factors to reduce related illnesses and injuries.
  • Goal 17: Reduce injuries associated with wildland fire fighting.


  • Goal 3: Eliminate health disparities for priority population workers in building services industries by 2015.
  • Goal 4: By 2015, reduce the frequency and severity of injuries and illnesses by 30% among workers in public and private education including teachers, custodians, food service workers, nurses, security, support staff, garage mechanics, bus drivers and office workers.
  • Goal 7: Eliminate health disparities for priority population workers in the hotel and motel industry by 2015.
  • Goal 8: Reduce by 30% the frequency and severity of injuries and illnesses among government workers by 2015.
  • Goal 11: By 2015, reduce the frequency of workplace violence events by 20% in restaurants and food delivery services.
  • Goal 14: Reduce the incidence by 30% and severity of injuries and illnesses among workers who are employees of temporary labor agencies or otherwise employed as contractors or contingent workers by 2015.
  • Goal 17: Support the creation of additional surveillance systems and utilize existing surveillance data to increase knowledge about trends, emerging issues and priorities for occupational illnesses, injuries and fatalities among services sector workers.

Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities

  • Goal 3: Improve health and reduce premature mortality among TWU workers through workplace programs and practices that (1) enable workers to engage in healthy behaviors, (2) reduce work-related physiological and psychological stressors, and (3) improve healthcare utilization.

Wholesale and Retail Trade

  • Goal 1: Reduce chronic musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in wholesale and retail trade (WRT) workers.
  • Goal 5: Improve outreach to the small businesses within the wholesale and retail trade sector, which account for nearly 65% of the WRT workforce, by providing access to current occupational safety and health information.
  • Goal 6: Increase our understanding of how vulnerable/contingent worker groups experience disproportionate risks in wholesale and retail jobs and expand the availability and use of effective interventions to reduce injuries and illnesses among these groups.

Cancer, Reproductive and Cardiovascular Diseases

  • Goal 1: Reduce the incidence of work-related cancer.
  • Goal 3: Reduce the incidence of work-related adverse reproductive outcomes.
  • Goal 4: Reduce the incidence and mortality of work-related cardiovascular disease.

Hearing Loss Prevention

  • Goal 2: Reduce noise emission levels from equipment.
  • Goal 3: Develop hearing protector technology.
  • Goal 4: Develop best practices for hearing loss prevention programs.
  • Goal 6: Develop updated hearing damage risk criteria that are predictive of hearing thresholds resultant from noise exposures incurred during youth and adolescence as well as adulthood.

Immune and Dermal Diseases

  • Goal Derm-1: Contribute to the reduction of occupational skin disease.
  • Goal Imm-1: Contribute to the reduction of immune abnormalities associated with workplace exposures.

Musculoskeletal Health

  • Goal 1: Identify unique sources of surveillance data to identify the areas of needed MSH research.
  • Goal 2: Reduce the incidence of work-related MSDs by implementing cost-effective workplace interventions to reduce MSH risk factors
  • Goal 3: Reduce the incidence of work-related MSDs through widespread and targeted dissemination and communication of safety and health information and effective education and training.

Respiratory Diseases

  • Goal 1: Prevent and reduce work-related airways diseases.
  • Goal 5: Advance cross-cutting issues that affect all work-related respiratory diseases, in particular surveillance, exposure assessment, and emerging issues.

Traumatic Injury

  • Goal 1: Reduce fall injuries in the workplace.
  • Goal 2: Reduce occupational injuries and deaths due to motor vehicle incidents and crashes.
  • Goal 3: Reduce occupational injuries and deaths due to workplace violence.
  • Goal 4: Reduce occupational injuries and deaths due to machines and industrial vehicles.
  • Goal 5: Reduce occupational injuries and deaths among high risk and vulnerable worker groups.

Work Organization and Stress-Related Disorders

  • Goal 1: Improve the health and safety of working people through research and surveillance to better understand work organization exposures and their associations with health and safety outcomes.
  • Goal 2: Improve the health and safety of working people through intervention studies and guidance to improve the organization of work.


  • Goal 2: Increase the knowledge base on how economic factors, management strategies, and demographic trends affect occupational health and safety.

Emergency Preparedness and Response

  • Goal 3: Enhance the health and safety of emergency responders by improving engineering controls and other technological interventions to reduce responder’s hazardous exposures to CBRN agents, industrial compounds, and other hazardous materials.
  • Goal 4: Enhance the health and safety of emergency responders through improved rapid methods for evaluating spatial and temporal distribution of hazardous agents in the air and on surfaces.
  • Goal 6: Enhance the health and safety of emergency responders by improving pertinent surveillance systems.

Exposure Assessment

  • Goal 1: Develop or improve exposure assessment strategies to understand and prevent work-related illnesses and injuries.
  • Goal 2: Develop or improve specific methods and tools to assess worker exposures to critical occupational agents and stressors.

Global Collaborations

  • Goal 1: Enhance global occupational safety and health through international collaborations.
  • Goal 2: Reduce silicosis among miners, construction workers, and other workers globally by providing technical assistance to control exposures, by assisting with capacity building to develop occupational health professionals, laboratories and personal protective equipment programs, and by training to diagnose existing cases.
  • Goal 3: Global partners will collaborate to develop strategies for reducing occupational road traffic injuries worldwide.
  • Goal 4: Reduce HIV/AIDS and other bloodborne pathogens among healthcare workers through global partnerships, as well as through implementing and evaluating, and coordinating training programs.

Personal Protective Technology

  • Goal 1: Reduce exposure to inhalation hazards.
  • Goal 4: Address broad-based PPT issues.

Small Business Assistance and Outreach

  • Goal 5: Reduce illnesses and injuries in smaller businesses by better-understanding intermediary organizations, their structure, operations, and networks, and by better-understanding the work environment of smaller enterprises.


  • Goal 2: Enhance the use of State-level public health surveillance information at both the State and national levels for prevention of occupational illnesses, injuries, and hazards.
  • Goal 5: Increase research to improve occupational surveillance.

Total Worker Health

  • Goal 1: Increase the adoption of integrated health protection and health promotion programs and activities to reduce the risk of occupational illness and injury and advance the overall health and well-being of workers.
  • Goal 2: Protect and promote the overall safety, health, and well-being of the workforce through research that investigates the joint effects of work and non-work factors and evaluates interventions that integrate health protection with health promotion.