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	workers sampling, testing, and report

Inputs: National Research Agenda (NORA)

The National Occupational Research Agenda is a partnership program to stimulate innovative research and improved workplace practices. Unveiled in 1996, NORA has become a framework for occupational safety and health research in the nation. Diverse parties collaborate to identify the most critical issues in workplace safety and health. Partners then work together to develop goals, objectives and an implementation plan for addressing these needs.

Stakeholder Comments

Many stakeholders submitted comments in 2005 and 2006 outlining their top issues. The stakeholder comments can be searched, viewed and printed. These comments comprise one of the inputs considered by the NORA Sector Councils when drafting their strategic plans for the nation.

NORA Sector Councils

NORA%20Sector%20Councils develop and maintain sector-specific research agendas. In addition, a Cross-Sector Council coordinates priorities that affect multiple sectors and groups of workers. Representing all stakeholders, the councils use an open process to set goals, develop strategies, encourage partnerships, and promote improved workplace practices.

Health Hazard Evaluation Program Relationship to Sectors

The NIOSH HHE Program benefits the NORA Sector Research Councils in many ways. It serves as planning input to the NORA Sector Research Councils; provides the NORA Sector Programs with opportunities to perform problem solving and research; and provides an essential means of transferring NORA Sector Programs outputs to workplaces. The HHE Program has a unique role as an external sensor with regard to current and emerging issues, helping NORA Sector Research Councils stay relevant with real-world occupational health issues.

The HHE Program currently has representatives serving on the Sector Research Councils for the Construction, Healthcare and Social Assistance, Manufacturing, and Services Sector Programs. These representatives provide a vital link between the HHE Program and the activities taking place in the Sector Programs. The representatives provide the following services to the Sector Programs:

Participation in Sector Research Councils
  • The HHE Program representatives will transfer information between their Sector Research Council and the HHE Program Coordinator.
  • The HHE Program representatives will coordinate the preparation of HHE Program knowledge input products for their Sector Research Council.
Knowledge input to the Sector Research Councils
  • The HHE Program Coordinator will prioritize incoming HHE requests as appropriate for important Sector Program priorities and goals to maximize the HHE Program’s impact as an active participant in the NORA process. This prioritization results from feedback from the Sector Research Councils.
  • The HHE Program Representatives will provide important HHE Program activities and findings for the four Sector Programs to the appropriate Sector Research Council as they occur.
  • The HHE Program will prepare an annual summary of activity for the four Sector Research Councils. This summary will include the number of HHE requests received, the number of site visits performed, an analysis of what was learned in the sector, a discussion of emerging issues, a discussion of generalizable control options, and abstracts for published final reports.
Technical collaboration through NIOSH Sector Program steering committees
  • The HHE Program representatives participating in the Sector Research Councils will also participate on the relevant NIOSH steering committees. This participation will foster collaborations within the agency in two ways. First, for HHEs of high interest to Sector Research Councils and steering committees, this will enhance communication and participation of NIOSH researchers from other programs in HHE Program field activities. Second, it will provide a more formal mechanism to “hand off” projects that require a more intensive or long-term research effort than can be performed by the HHE Program. Examples of successful technical collaborations include previous or ongoing studies such as asphalt road paving, isocyanates, metal working fluids, cement roofing tiles, and popcorn flavorings. Through participation on the relevant NIOSH steering committees, the HHE Program will be able to increase the number of these types of successful technical collaborations.