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Report of Activities for Fiscal Year 1997


DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 99-116
cover page for publication 99-116

Currently, there are 127 million individuals, 16 years of age or older, in the United States workforce. The workforce is aging, becoming more ethnically and racially diverse, and includes more women. Safety and health hazards experienced by workers have implications for their personal lives, their productivity, and the productivity of the nation as a whole. According to a NIOSH-funded study published in 1997, work-related injuries cost the nation more than $145 billion and work-related diseases cost an additional $26 billion, making the total financial burden a staggering $171 billion (1992). While occupational health research has improved worker protection against many hazards and diseases, much remains to be done. Workers are still at risk for noise induced hearing loss and exposed to lead and silica, two long-recognized occupational hazards that cause chronic lung disease. As the workplace and workforce change, new hazards emerge. Violence is now a threat in the workplace, latex allergies are increasing among health care workers, new chemicals and processes place workers in danger, and the long-term effects of many exposures remain unknown.

Report of Activities for Fiscal Year 1997 [PDF – 208 KB]