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Draft NIOSH Healthcare Personal Protective Technology (PPT) Targets for 2020 to 2030

NIOSH PPT Targets to Protect Healthcare Personnel
Healthcare worker wearing full PPT ensemble

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The health and welfare of 18 million U.S. healthcare personnel (HCP) is an important priority for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). NIOSH seeks to protect the U.S. workforce from injury and illness via scientific research, practice interventions, and collaborative partnerships.

While infection prevention and control efforts should emphasize the role of engineering and administrative measures, personal protective technology (PPT) also plays an important role in preventing transmission of infectious diseases. PPT includes personal protective equipment (PPE) worn by individuals (e.g., respirators, protective clothing, gloves, eye, fall and hearing protection, and hard hats) and the technical methods (e.g., fit testing methods), processes, techniques, tools, and materials that support the development and use of PPE worn by individuals.

Protecting Healthcare Personnel

In 2006, the NIOSH PPT Program began an initiative to develop and execute a comprehensive strategic approach to HCP protection. The PPT Program implemented a NIOSH Healthcare PPT Action Plan in part to focus resources on, and raise awareness about, the PPT needs of HCP during an influenza pandemic. A research agenda was undertaken to advance clinical practices, drive performance standards development, and inform regulation. The PPT Program implemented an information dissemination program to apprise healthcare organizations and HCP about the roles and importance of PPE to protect themselves. This Action Plan has been updated several times since its inception. The most recent plan (2013-18) focused on PPE used to reduce exposures to viral respiratory pathogens, including the influenza virus.

Reflecting on the nation’s past decade of experiences with infectious (e.g., influenza, Ebola, and coronavirus) and non-infectious (e.g., drugs) hazards, NIOSH recognizes a growing need for its unique capabilities related to PPT research, development, performance standards and test methods, and conformity assessment. In response to this growing need, NIOSH established Draft Healthcare Personal Protective Technology (PPT) Targets for 2020 to 2030.

View the announcement in the Federal Register for more information.