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Program Description

The mission of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) research program for the Services sector is to eliminate occupational diseases, injuries, and fatalities among persons working in these industries through a focused program of research and prevention. The program strives to fulfill its mission through the following:

  • High Quality Research: NIOSH will continually strive for high quality research and prevention activities that will lead to reductions in occupational injuries and illnesses among workers in the Servicesindustries.
  • Practical Solutions: The NIOSH program for the Services sectoris committed to the development of practical solutions to the complex problems that cause occupational diseases, injuries, and fatalities among workers in these industries.
  • Partnerships: We recognize that collaborative efforts in partnership with labor, industry, government, and other stakeholders are usually the best means of achieving successful outcomes. Fostering these partnerships is a cornerstone of the NIOSH program for the Services sector.
  • Research to Practice ( r2p ): We believe that our research only realizes its true value when put into practice. Every research project within the NIOSH program for the Services sector formulates a strategy to promote the transfer and translation of research findings into prevention practices and products that will be adopted in the workplace.

Over the years, NIOSH and its partners have completed numerous research projects consistent with the Services sector mission statement. For example, evaluation of ergonomic risks and possible video display terminal hazards were initiated more than two decades ago. More recently, NIOSH has developed extensive programs to assess the risks faced by workers in public safety and emergency response and participates with many organizations to evaluate new technologies that enhance protection. NIOSH has also been increasingly involved in research programs that address health risks in the education sector. Chemical exposures and associated health effects in personal services, death services, and dry cleaners have also been evaluated by NIOSH through cohort mortality studies or hazard evaluations. Some of the products and outcomes from these projects are listed later in this document.

Recommendations and intervention strategies from the NIOSH Services sector research program have been adopted by consensus standard bodies as well as individual employers throughout the U.S. and around the world. Many Service Sector research activities engage stakeholders to help ensure r2p model success. Dozens of partners collaborate on numerous internal research projects. The extramural grants program further expands the scope of timely research projects that address safety and health issues in the ever changing work environment.

The National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Public and Private Service Sector will continue to evolve as new technologies and products are brought into the marketplace and the workplace. Through the cooperative efforts of workers, management, labor, practitioners and scientists, NIOSH will continue to reduce the economic and personal impact of occupational disease, disability, and death through high-quality research and effective prevention strategies.