In recent decades far-reaching national efforts to set priorities for research in the sector of occupational safety and health (OSH) have led to redefinitions and shifts in national policies and priorities, with wide-scale involvement of all concerned - public and social bodies, occupational health and safety experts, companies, trade unions, public and private insurance agencies. The benefit of establishing national priorities in the OSH sector is clear from the success of several national stakeholder efforts to focus research and funding in key topical areas of occupational health, based on judgements that indicate the likelihood of addressing serious occupational health and safety problems. Here we describe the methods, results, and impact of national priority setting systems created by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in the USA, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Prevention (ISPESL) in Italy, the British Occupational Health Research Foundation (BOHRF) in the United Kingdom, the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work for Europe, the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, the National Institute for Industrial Health in Japan, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in Malaysia.I-? We focus mainly on European and North American studies, analysing their approaches to bringing together the concerned parties, looking at the measures taken to implement the priority decisions, and assessing the impact of the efforts.
Dr. S. Iavicoli, ISPESL, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Prevention, Via Fontana Candido, 1, 00040 Monteporzio Catone, Rome, Italy