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workers, building, architect

NORA Manufacturing Sector Strategic Goals

927Z8UB - Control Technology Database

Start Date: 4/1/2007
End Date: 9/30/2009

Principal Investigator (PI)
Name: Dawn Ramsey
Phone: 513-841-4118
Organization: NIOSH
Sub-Unit: DART
Funded By: NIOSH

Primary Goal Addressed

Secondary Goal Addressed


Attributed to Manufacturing


Project Description

Short Summary

This project will develop a database of engineering controls solutions for workplace hazards based upon research in the Engineering and Physical Hazards Branch (EPHB), Division of Applied Research and Technology (DART).

The database will include case histories of control measures that have been implemented by EPHB. Each case history will describe the problem or situation; how the problem was solved; the performance, cost, and life expectancy of the solution. Each case history will include searchable key words including the process, hazard, and technology. References to pertinent journal articles or reports will be provided. Where possible, figures and diagrams will be included showing dimensions and engineering specifications. When completed, the database will be available on the NIOSH website. Once established this effort will require periodic updates and maintenance.


The call for successful solutions to workplace problems and the use of actual proven examples for occupational safety and health problems is not new. EPHB has studied health and safety hazard control techniques for many years. Some of the studies have evaluated a specific industry, while others have focused on a process or agent. As we have conducted our studies, we have found that many of the processes, types of equipment, and emission/exposure points are common across plants, companies, and industries. Technical reports have been prepared on each of these studies and they are currently stored in branch files. Many of the finalized control technology reports have had a relatively limited distribution. We have also found that many plants have developed innovative, effective, and transferable hazard controls; however, other facilities are often not aware of control solutions being used by other businesses. There is potential for enormous benefits from an open exchange of information on hazard control techniques. There are obviously many other considerations involved in controlling occupational hazards (i.e. awareness of hazard, technical and economic viability, motivation to control, etc.); however, the awareness of available control options is a basic requisite to good decision making.

This project will develop an easy access, control technology database of engineering controls solutions for workplace hazards and risks based upon past and ongoing research in the Engineering and Physical Hazards Branch (EPHB), Division of Applied Research and Technology (DART). The easily searchable database will be posted on the web and include practical advice regarding the appropriate engineering control and control approaches to reduce hazards.

The database will be created from an inventory of EPHB research files, and will be combined with previously complied information. Case histories will be developed for each engineering control. The case histories will be organized by industry, process type, and hazard.

The initial collection of information will be tasked to the MEO, and will occur during FY 07 and 08. During FY 08 and 09, the writing of the case histories and organization into a database will be completed by NIOSH researchers and contract staff. The placement of the database onto the NIOSH intra/internet will be accomplished by NIOSH staff and contractors during FY 09.

NIOSH web staff within EID will be able to monitor the number of times the database is accessed from the webpage. This will give an indication of impact.


The objectives of this study are to: 1) identify and organize engineering control solutions; 2) create searchable database of solutions; and 3) place database on web for accessibility.

Page hit counting software will be used to track usage of database to substantiate the intermediate outcome and to analyze impact.

Mission Relevance

This project will contribute to achieving manufacturing strategic goal 1: "Reduce the number of injuries and fatalities due to contact with objects and equipment among workers in the manufacturing sector", by creating a venue for the open exchange of information on hazard control techniques which are innovative, effective, and transferable across industries. This project will contribute to meeting manufacturing strategic goal 8: "Reduce the incidence of injuries, illnesses and fatalities within specific sub-sectors and small businesses within the manufacturing sector" through the sharing of information on effective hazard controls which have been developed specifically for certain subsectors. Construction strategic goals 8 and 10, which state "expand the availability and use of effective interventions" and "increase the sharing and use of industry-wide practices", will be directly addressed by this project with the creation of a database of evaluated engineering controls. Also, construction strategic goal 13, "increase the use of 'prevention through design' approaches" will be addressed as this project's sole purpose is to provide information about effective interventions in an available format. As this project is a communication product, it addresses the communication cross-sector goal 1, to "Increase the translation of evidence-based research and promote the use of advanced dissemination systems to increase awareness of NIOSH scientific information products". This project will also directly address engineering control cross-sector goal 2: "Reducing worker health and safety hazards by developing or evaluating new or modified engineering controls and promote the transfer of effective engineering control measures" by creating a direct method of transfer. And finally, this project will also address the engineering control cross sector goal 3: "Reducing health and safety hazards by promoting the use of practical and proven engineering control technologies to applicable industries" by organizing control technology data into an easy-to-use, searchable, and accessible database.