SMALL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE AND OUTREACH
Outputs: Research to Practice
Historically, NIOSH has been a leader in applying research into workplace solutions that reduce injury and illness. Research to Practice (r2p) is a NIOSH initiative focused on the transfer and translation of research findings, technologies, and information into highly effective prevention practices and products which are adopted in the workplace.
The goal of r2p is to increase workplace use of effective NIOSH and NIOSH-funded research findings. NIOSH continues to work with its partners to focus research on ways to develop effective products, translate research findings into practice, target dissemination efforts, and evaluate and demonstrate the effectiveness of these efforts in improving worker health and safety.
The following are examples of r2p activities of NIOSH programs that have relevance to small businesses:
Guidance for reducing hazards in the tower erection industry
NIOSH worked with OSHA and the National Association of Tower Erectors on a multi-agency Task Force to address hazards associated with telecommunication tower construction and maintenance. NIOSH developed an Alert Preventing Injuries and Deaths from Falls during Construction and Maintenance of Telecommunication Towers [NIOSH Publication No. 2001-156] and this information and other input was used to develop an OSHA compliance directive (CPL 2-1.29, Interim Inspection Procedures During Communication Tower Construction Activities) to protect workers from hazards in the tower construction industry.
"Construction Solutions" database
NIOSH partner CPWR is currently developing an on-line "Construction Solutions" database to organize hazards by tasks and allow workers and contractors to get access to options for controlling those hazards. "Solution Reviews" will be solicited from workers and contractors in order to provide practical feedback. Development is in collaboration with the NIOSH Workplace Solutions database for small employers in general industry and adapts criteria from NIOSH's National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Intervention Effectiveness Team. See for more information, including a short presentation.
NIOSH research found that computer keyboards with alternative designs may assist in keeping wrists straight, thus alleviating stress to the musculoskeletal system. Split keyboards may straighten the wrist by either increasing the distance between the right or left sides of the keyboard, or by rotating each half of the keyboard. Tented keyboards have the two keyboard halves tilted up, reducing the rotation of the forearms. As a result of this research, a number of commercial manufacturers are now selling alternate keyboards. See "Alternative keyboards" DHHS (NIOSH) publication No. 97-148.
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