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IMMUNE, DERMAL AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES

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Dermal Diseases

Inputs: NIOSH Strategic Goals

Occupational skin exposures cause significant disease, and reducing those hazardous exposures is a priority for NIOSH. Bureau of Labor Statistics and other data indicate that occupational dermatitis causes significant suffering and lost productivity. Exposure of workers’ skin to chemicals is known to cause systemic disease in some situations and can be expected to cause health problems in many other work situations. Occupational skin cancer is known to be caused by some chemicals, although the significance of occupational exposures to sunlight in the increasing rates of some types of skin cancers is unclear. Injuries to skin caused by caustic chemicals, high temperatures, and mechanical trauma are very common in workplaces.

Reducing occupational skin exposures and resulting disease is part of the NORA priority area Allergic and Irritant Dermatitis and the Healthy People 2010 Draft Objective Occupational Skin Disease or Disorders. Although NIOSH has been working in this area, the development and careful implementation of Strategic Goals offers a fresh opportunity for NIOSH to contribute even more to the reduction of the burden workers face due to hazardous skin exposures.


NIOSH Program Portfolio Approach

NIOSH has been organizing research, guidance, information, and service efforts into specific programs that can be readily communicated and strategically governed and evaluated. Ten Sector Programs represent industrial sectors, and twenty-four Cross-sector Programs organized around adverse health outcomes, statutory programs and global efforts.

The Sector Programs intersect with Cross-Sector Programs in a matrix-like fashion. For example, an Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing Program goal of reducing farm-related deaths and injuries due to tractor rollovers and trucks would likely be a shared goal with the Transportation Program and if appropriate would be adopted by both programs. This approach provides an added advantage and will allow multiple Programs to work towards accomplishment of intersecting goals.

Each of the 34 programs in the NIOSH Program Portfolio has a Manager and Coordinator. Each of the 10 NIOSH Sector Programs facilitates the work of a NORA Sector Council to engage external stakeholders in the process of developing sector goals for the nation and methods to measure the short-term, intermediate and long-term outcomes arising from those goals. The NORA goals for the nation will be considered when choosing NIOSH sector program goals. Cross Sector programs have internal Steering Committees that develop program goals and monitor outcome measures.

These planning efforts will position NIOSH to align with the most current governmental approaches for evaluating program effectiveness, i.e., the Program Assessment Rating Tool (or PART). PART is a mechanism to hold governmental agencies accountable for accomplishing results. As part of our comprehensive approach to performance measurement, NIOSH has engaged the National Academies to independently evaluate our sector and cross-programs for relevance and impact.


NIOSH Strategic Goals for Intramural Research Related to Dermal Diseases

Strategic Goal 1: Contribute to the reduction of occupational skin disease.

Strategic Goal 1 aims to provide research in identification of Occupational Contact Dermatitis hazards and assessment of workplace exposures and to explore effective strategies of exposure prevention and control. The ultimate goal is to translate research findings into recommendations and solutions of workplace practice to guide the occupational safety and health (OSH) community, consisting of employers and employees in affected industries, policy makers, health care providers, and researchers, in the collective effort of reducing morbidity among our nation’s workers.

Strategic Goal 2: Contribute to the reduction of skin exposures that result in systemic toxicity.

Strategic Goal 2 aims to provide research in identification of systemic hazards and assessment of workplace exposures and to find and promote effective strategies for preventing harmful exposures. The ultimate goal is to translate research findings into recommendations and solutions of workplace practice to guide the OSH community, consisting of employers and employees in affected industries, policy makers, occupational health professionals, and researchers, in the collective effort of reducing morbidity and mortality among our nation’s workers.

Strategic Goal 3: Contribute to the reduction of skin injuries, such as thermal burns and needlesticks.

Strategic Goal 3 aims to provide research in identification of systemic hazards and assessment of workplace incidents and to find and promote effective strategies for preventing harmful incidents. The ultimate goal is to translate research findings into recommendations and solutions of workplace practice to guide the OSH community, consisting of employers and employees in affected industries, policy makers, occupational health professionals, and researchers, in the collective effort of reducing morbidity and mortality among our nation’s workers.


Priority Strategic Goals for Extramural Research Related to Dermal Diseases

The NIOSH Immune and Dermal Program selected the following dermal diseases goal as particularly suited for extramural research during fiscal years 2014-16:

  • Strategic Goal 1: Contribute to the reduction of occupational skin disease.

Those seeking NIOSH grants to conduct studies related to dermal diseases can view the current funding opportunities.

NIOSH is interested in your opinions about the relevance and value of strategic goals for the Immune and Dermal Program. We encourage you to consider partnering with us on issues of interest to you and your organization.

 

 
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  • Page last reviewed: October 23, 2013
  • Page last updated: October 23, 2013
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