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Workplace Safety and Health Information Dissemination, Sources, and Needs Among Trade Associations and Labor Organizations

July 2017
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2017-166
Cover page for publication 2017-166

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducted a survey of business (i.e., trade) and professional associations and labor organizations to better understand how they obtain and communicate workplace safety and health information to their members. Information also was collected about their awareness, perception, and use of NIOSH as a source of workplace safety and health information. Through communication efforts, NIOSH seeks to promote greater awareness of occupational hazards and their control, influence public policy and regulatory action, shape national research priorities, change organizational practices and individual behaviors, and ultimately improve American working life.

Although the means for packaging and delivering NIOSH-generated information varies, two primary communication vehicles are NIOSH numbered publications and individual series such as the Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance (HETA) and Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) reports. These NIOSH documents are made available to the public on the NIOSH website and via NIOSH e-News, home page announcements, and promotion at conferences. Historically, automatic mailings and responses to new requests for NIOSH publications have exceeded 750,000 copies per year and hundreds of thousands of documents and files downloaded from the NIOSH website. However, these numbers tell little of whether the reports are reaching their intended audiences or, more important, whether the information is perceived as credible and useful.