PERSONAL PROTECTIVE TECHNOLOGY
Input: NIOSH Strategic Goals
The NIOSH PPT Program has developed strategic goals to guide our research, standards development, respirator certification, PPT evaluation, 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 we want 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 because:
- It forces us to focus on a subgroup of issues where we think NIOSH can make an impact--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. Eight NORA Sector Programs represent industrial sectors, and twenty-four Cross-sector Programs organized around adverse health outcomes, statutory programs and global efforts.
The NORA Sector Programs intersect with Cross-Sector Programs in a matrix-like fashion. For example, a Construction Sector Program goal of reducing worker deaths and injuries due to motor-vehicle crashes would likely be a shared goal with the Traumatic Injury Cross-Sector Program and if appropriate would be adopted by both programs. This approach provides an added advantage and will allow multiple programs to work towards accomplishing intersecting goals.
Each of the 32 programs in the NIOSH Program Portfolio has a manager and coordinator. Each of the eight NORA Sector Programs will have a Research Council to engage external stakeholders in the process of developing sector program goals and methods to measure the short-term, intermediate and long-term outcomes arising from those goals. Each of the 24 Cross-Sector Programs will have a Steering Committee which will also 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.
PPT Cross-Sector Program Goals
Each strategic goal is divided into intermediate goals, as outlined below. Specific performance measures associated with each goal are being established.
Strategic Goal 1: Reduce Exposure to Inhalation Hazards
Intermediate Objective 1.1: Ensure the integrity of the national inventory of respirators through the implementation of a just-in-time respirator certification process
Intermediate Objective 1.2: Develop CBRN respirator standards to reduce exposure to CBRN threats
Intermediate Objective 1.3: Ensure the availability of Mine Emergency Respirators for escape from mines
Intermediate Objective 1.4: Improve reliability and level of protection by developing criteria that influence PPE designs to better fit the range of facial dimensions of respirator users in the U.S. workforce
Intermediate Objective 1.5: Quantify the impacts of various PPE on viral transmission
Intermediate Objective 1.6: Evaluate the nanofiber-based fabrics and NIOSH-certified respirators for respiratory protection against nanoparticles
Intermediate Objective 1.7: Develop and make available end-of-service-life indicator (ESLI) technologies that reliably sense or model performance to ensure respirator users receive effective respiratory protection.
Intermediate Objective 1.8: Gather information on the use of respirators in the workplace to identify research, intervention, and outreach needs
Strategic Goal 2: Reduce Exposure to Dermal Hazards
Intermediate Objective 2.1: Improve chemical/barrier protective clothing testing and use practices to reduce worker exposure to chemical dermal hazards
Intermediate Objective 2.2: Improve emergency responder protective clothing to reduce exposure to thermal, biological, and chemical dermal hazards
Intermediate Objective 2.3: Investigate physiological and ergonomic impact of protective ensembles on individual wearers in affecting worker exposure to dermal hazards
Strategic Goal 3: Reduce Exposure to Injury Hazards
Intermediate Objective 3.1: Develop and evaluate warning devices for fire services
Intermediate Objective 3.2: Develop measurement and rating methods that are representative of the real-world performance of hearing protection devices
Intermediate Objective 3.3: Develop hearing protection laboratory and fit testing methods
Intermediate Objective 3.4: Evaluate the effectiveness of hearing protection devices to provide protection from impulsive noise
Intermediate Objective 3.5: Develop an integrated hearing protection and communication system
Intermediate Objective 3.6: Develop hearing protection recommendations for noise-exposed hearing impaired workers
Intermediate Objective 3.7: Develop and improve fall arrest harnesses
Intermediate Objective 3.8: Select and develop vibration isolation devices to reduce hand-arm vibration syndrome
Tactical Approaches for Accomplishing Goals
The tactical approaches for accomplishing the strategic goals fall into four categories: conduct research; develop standards; certify and evaluate equipment; and conduct outreach programs and activities are further described here:
- Conduct research on PPE and PPT. This approach involves the creation and management of a comprehensive research program to address inhalation, dermal, and injury hazard knowledge gaps and improve existing technologies to reduce exposure to the hazards.
- Develop standards for PPE and PPT. This approach aims to support the development of PPT standards and test methods to improve the quality, protection, and performance through all PPE lifecycle stages to reduce exposure to inhalation, dermal and injury hazards.
- Certify respiratory protective equipment and evaluate personal protective equipment. This approach aims to provide quality PPT/PPE evaluation services, recommendations and respirator certification services to enable the availability of effective PPE.
- Conduct outreach programs for optimal use and acceptance of PPE by workers. This approach involves the development and utilization of effective communication tools and outreach techniques to ensure appropriate respiratory protection inputs to all PPT Program activities and useable outputs (products and services) and outcomes (results) to all stakeholders.
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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