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NIOSH releases Prevention Through Design (PtD) Plan: Transformative Goals, Strategies for Job Safety and Health

November 19, 2010
NIOSH Update:

Contact: Fred Blosser (202) 245-0645

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) today released “Prevention through Design: Plan for the National Initiative.” This is a statement of goals and strategies for preventing work-related injuries and illnesses by designing occupational hazards out of work equipment, structures, materials, and processes. The Plan is available online at

The Prevention through Design (PtD) Plan incorporates comments and suggestions from diverse stakeholders, including those offered by participants at a July 2007 national workshop on PtD that was co-sponsored by NIOSH, and a December 2009 national workshop also co-sponsored by NIOSH that examined challenges and opportunities for PtD in designing safe “green” industries and jobs. The plan is organized around five overarching areas:

  • Research to establish the value of already-adopted PtD interventions, address existing design-related challenges, and suggest areas for future examination.
  • Education to help designers, engineers, employers, and others to understand and apply PtD methods.
  • Practice of PtD through accessing, sharing, and applying successful strategies.
  • Policy initiatives to encourage and endorse a culture that includes PtD principles in all designs affecting worker safety and health.
  • A small-business focus to tailor and diffuse successful PtD programs and practices to the needs of small employers.

"In many respects, PtD is a transformative concept for the 21st Century," said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. "It views investments in worker safety and health as an integral part of business efficiency and quality, rather than as a cost. It is also a practical concept that has already been used successfully in several model applications. We look forward to working further with our partners to advance the goals outlined in the Plan."

The Plan describes intermediate goals for each focus area. The intermediate goals represent steps through which progress toward each goal can be achieved and measured. The Plan also includes four case studies in which PtD was a principle behind successful safety and health partnerships. Additional information on PtD can be found at . NIOSH is the federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing job-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. More information about NIOSH is available at