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Inputs: NIOSH Strategic Goals

The NIOSH Services Sector Program is in the process of developing strategic goals to guide our research and partnership efforts over the next decade.

NIOSH previously used priority topic areas (e.g., traumatic injury, hearing loss) to guide research efforts. Goals take this approach a step further by identifying specific outcomes that NIOSH wants to target, performance measures for evaluating progress in meeting the outcome goals, and intermediate goals to describe the necessary steps that need to be performed to accomplish the goal. Setting goals is challenging for the following reasons:

  • It forces us to focus on a subgroup of issues that we think NIOSH can have an impact on - a long list would spread our resources too thin to accomplish the goals. Not every worthwhile topic can be included.
  • It is difficult to develop performance measures. Available injury statistics have limitations, and exposure and health outcome measures are typically not available.
  • It is ambitious for NIOSH to set goals to achieve outcomes such as reductions in a national fatality rate. NIOSH is a research agency so we don't often directly influence outcomes - we must partner well and influence other groups to show results.


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.


Services Sector Program Goals for Intramural Research

NIOSH adopted strategic goals for the Services sector Program to guide NIOSH research. As required by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), these strategic goals will be organized by outcomes such as injuries and illnesses instead of more general topic areas such as reducing all occupational mortality in the services industries. When completed, the strategic plan will include intermediate and annual goals along with performance measures to guide attainment of the strategic goals.

The current strategic goals guiding NIOSH researchers developing new projects related to the services sector are below:

  • Strategic Goal 1: By 2015, reduce serious occupational illnesses and fatal occupational traumatic injuries by 30% in the automotive repair industry with an emphasis on events that are due to vehicle and equipment related incidents.
  • Strategic Goal 2: By 2015, reduce the incidence and severity of occupational illnesses and injuries by 20% as measured in number of occupational fatalities or lost work days among building services workers such as janitors, window washers, general building maintenance, and landscape services workers.
  • Strategic Goal 3: Eliminate health disparities for priority population workers in building services industries by 2015.
  • Strategic 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.
  • Strategic Goal 5: By 2015, reduce the incidence and severity of occupational injuries by 20% as measured in lost work days among hotel and motel workers.
  • Strategic Goal 6: Reduce by 20% the incidence and severity of occupational illness and morbidity that result in lost work days among hotel and motel workers by 2015.
  • Strategic Goal 7: Eliminate health disparities for priority population workers in the hotel and motel industry by 2015.
  • Strategic Goal 8: Reduce by 30% the frequency and severity of injuries and illnesses among government workers by 2015.
  • Strategic Goal 9: By 2015, reduce traumatic injuries and fatalities by 30% in the recreation and entertainment industries.
  • Strategic Goal 10: By 2015, reduce the frequency of injuries by 30% among food service workers.
  • Strategic Goal 11: By 2015, reduce the frequency of workplace violence events by 20% in restaurants and food delivery services.
  • Strategic Goal 12: Reduce the incidence of serious occupational illnesses and injuries by 70% within the telecommunications industry by 2015.
  • Strategic Goal 13: By 2014, reduce occupational traumatic injuries and fatalities by 70% in the telecommunications industries.
  • Strategic 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.
  • Strategic Goal 15: Reduce the incidence and severity of injuries in the waste collection, disposal and recycling industries by 30%.
  • Strategic Goal 16: By 2015, reduce by 30% the incidence of musculoskeletal disorders that result in one or more lost work days in services industry subsectors with elevated rates or counts or where effective intervention methods should be adopted.
  • Strategic 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.
  • Strategic Goal 18: Reduce incidence of occupational illnesses and injuries by 20% in nail and hair salon workers by 2016.


Services Program Priority Goals for Extramural Research

The Services Program selected the following priority goals as particularly suited for extramural research during fiscal years 2014-16:

  • Strategic Goal 3: Eliminate health disparities for priority population workers in building services industries by 2015.
  • Strategic 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.
  • Strategic Goal 7: Eliminate health disparities for priority population workers in the hotel and motel industry by 2015.
  • Strategic Goal 8: Reduce by 30% the frequency and severity of injuries and illnesses among government workers by 2015.
  • Strategic Goal 11: By 2015, reduce the frequency of workplace violence events by 20% in restaurants and food delivery services.
  • Strategic 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.
  • Strategic 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.

Those seeking NIOSH grants to conduct studies benefiting workers in the services sector can view the current funding opportunities.

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

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