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Outcomes

Outcomes are events, occurrences, or conditions that indicate progress in achieving the purpose of the program. Outcomes reflect the results of a program activity compared with its intended purpose; or, outcomes may answer the question "Will these resources result in success or contribute to the success of what we want to accomplish?"

Outcomes can be viewed from two different perspectives-ultimate and intermediate. For an occupational safety and health research program like the NIOSH Construction Program, ultimate outcomes are reductions in a particular type of worker injury or illness. Injuries and illnesses have complex causes, and any effect of program activities on rates can take years to be seen. Therefore, outcomes are often measured on an intermediate timeframe. Intermediate outcomes are necessary steps that lead to ultimate outcomes-for example, reductions in the risk of a particular type of injury or illness. For occupational safety and health research programs, achieving intermediate risk reductions is as important as achieving the ultimate outcome of decreasing injury and illness incidence rates.

Reduction in bridge construction worker blood lead levels

The NIOSH-sponsored demonstration project Connecticut Road Industry Surveillance Project (CRISP) directly benefited over 2000 workers and 120 contractors and resulted in significantly lower peak blood lead levels in comparison with workers in other states. CRISP investigators worked with the Connecticut Departments of Health Services and Transportation and state contractor and labor groups to establish specifications and pass-through cost provisions to mandate the development and implementation of a site-specific lead program. By spelling the program out in the contract specifications it could not be ignored or be subject to underbidding. In addition, a centralized system located at the state health department was used to manage blood lead and medical monitoring data. The specifications included provisions that paralleled the OSHA lead standard, such as provision of biological monitoring, hygiene facilities, worker training, work practices, and respiratory protection along with some provisions that exceeded the OSHA requirements. The investigators reported that the demonstration project was instrumental in lowering bridge worker blood levels and that the use of a health and safety specification approach was an effective strategy.

Source: Vork et. al. 2001. Prevention of Lead Poisoning in Construction Workers: A New Public Health Approach, Am J of Ind Med. 39:243-253

The NIOSH construction program will begin to systematically collect intermediate outcome and ultimate outcome information over the coming year. We are interested in any examples where use of NIOSH research contributed to an outcome. Please contact the NIOSH Construction Program to share examples.


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