Healthcare and Social Assistance Program PPOP

What are our priorities?

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Healthcare and Social Assistance (HCSA) Program prevents occupational injury and illness, while optimizing workers’ health and well-being through a range of efforts and partnerships. Partners include industry, labor, trade associations, professional organizations, and academia. The program seeks to:

  • Improve worker health and well-being and prevent injury and illness through interventions to improve work organization, safety culture, and wellness.
  • Reduce outcomes such as stress, anxiety, depression, fatigue, burnout, substance use disorder, and suicide.
  • Prevent injuries from lifting, falls, sharp instruments, and other physical hazards.
  • Interrupt transmission of bloodborne and respiratory pathogens and drug-resistant organisms.
  • Minimize exposure to substances associated with risk for cancer, adverse reproductive outcomes, dermal diseases, and work-related asthma.
  • Reduce injuries associated with violent acts, especially among home care workers and workers
    in non-standard work arrangements.
What do we do?
  • Conduct surveillance for work-related deaths, injuries, diseases, and risk factors. Provide findings to the research community, employers, workers, and other stakeholders to guide research and prevention efforts.
  • Address knowledge gaps and barriers to develop effective prevention strategies. Examples include determining risk factors for disease transmission and injury mechanisms.
  • Develop and demonstrate effective prevention methods. Make recommendations for use by
    professional organizations, employers, workers, and government agencies.
  • Disseminate useful prevention strategies for all HCSA workers. Reduce disparities through outreach to higher-risk, underserved, and disproportionately affected HCSA worker populations.
  • Demonstrate the strong connection between worker safety and patient safety and the effectiveness of preventive interventions in improving outcomes for both workers and patients.
What have we accomplished?
What’s next?
  • Analyze data collected at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic documenting healthcare personnel confidence in PPE.
  • Initiate efforts under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to improve mental health and well-being of HCSA workers.
  • Evaluate the mental health outcomes among nurses during COVID-19.
  • Describe all-cause mortality of over 49,000 U.S. dentists who died during 1979–2018.
  • Develop and test an ultraviolet germicidal irradiation disinfection system for use on full-facepiece respirators between uses.
  • Describe all-cause mortality of 11,620 U.S. veterinarians who died during 1979–2015.
  • Characterize noise levels produced by MRI scanners during imaging.
  • Support CDC’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mention of any company or product does not constitute endorsement by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


The mission of the Healthcare & Social Assistance Program is to eliminate occupational diseases, injuries, & fatalities & optimize workers’ health & well-being in HCSA industries. The HCSA Program covers human & veterinary healthcare & social assistance services across a broad range of settings such as hospitals, clinics, nursing & private homes, & child day care. This snapshot shows recent accomplishments & upcoming work.”

Association Between Sleep Disorders and Occupational Burnout Among Physicians
Association Between Sleep Disorders and Occupational Burnout Among Physicians

Source: Weaver MD, Robbins R, Quan SF, et al. Association of Sleep Disorders With Physician Burnout. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(10):e2023256. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.23256

To learn more, visit
August 2021

Page last reviewed: October 28, 2020