Services Program

What are our priorities?

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Services Program works with partners in industry, labor, trade associations, professional organizations, government agencies, and academia to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses, and fatalities among the nation’s service workers. Service workers are in highly diverse industries. The program focuses on reducing the following adverse health outcomes, with examples of priority subsectors in parentheses:

  • Cardiovascular disease and negative reproductive health outcomes (administrative and support, personal care)
  • Hazardous noise exposure and hearing loss (building services, arts/entertainment)
  • Immune, infectious, and dermal disease (personal care, food preparation/handling)
  • Musculoskeletal disorders, especially back injuries (repair/maintenance, building services)
  • Respiratory disease, particularly asthma (education, hotel industry)
  • Falls (waste management and remediation, real estate)

The program also focuses on improving safety and health among contingent workers and those in non-standard work arrangements (e.g., temporary agency, contract, and “gig” workers), and integrating protection from work-related safety and health hazards with promotion of injury and illness prevention efforts to advance worker well-being (i.e. Total Worker Health® [TWH] approach).

What do we do?
  • Conduct research to identify the causes of work-related injury and illness among service workers.
  • Develop and test interventions to reduce work-related injury and illness in the services sector.
  • Share the findings of services sector Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) field investigations of potential workplace hazards with employers, employees, and other interested parties and promote the adoption of recommended practices (click here for the HHE report search tool).
  • Conduct research and produce guidance documents that address the needs of workers in non-standard work arrangements.
  • Incorporate questions of employment type into national surveys to better understand the exposure and health issues of service workers.
  • Share information about model safety and health programs with both temporary staffing companies and host employers (i.e., clients of staffing companies) to promote workplace safety and health.
What have we accomplished?
What’s next?
  • Publish findings from a qualitative study examining barriers and facilitators related to worker safety and health in the temporary staffing industry.
  • Collect noise, dust, crystalline silica, and carbon monoxide exposure data relevant to landscaping and tree care workers.
  • Publish materials aimed at convincing employers and decision makers in the services sector to implement noise control strategies.
  • Pre-test a new foundational workplace safety and health training program for contingent workers seeking employment and training opportunities in the workforce development sector.

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.

At-A-Glance

The Services Program aims to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses, and fatalities among the nation’s service workers. This snapshot shows recent accomplishments and upcoming projects.

Rate (per 100 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers) of Non-Fatal Work-Related Injuries, Private Industry in:
Rate (per 100 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers) of Non-Fatal Work-Related Injuries, Private Industry in:

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Number of HHE Field Investigations in Services and Percentage of All Field Investigations
Number of HHE Field Investigations in Services and Percentage of All Field Investigations

Source: NIOSH Program Records

Non-fatal Injury Rates (per 10,000 FTE workers) for Temporary and Permanent Workers in the Service Industry, Ohio, 2001-2013
Injury Rates (per 10,000 FTE workers) for Temporary and Permanent Workers in the Service Industry, Ohio, 2001-2013*

Source: Al-Tarawneh et al. Am J Ind Med. 2019;63:3-22

To learn more, visit
www.cdc.gov/niosh/programs/pps
October 2020

Page last reviewed: June 29, 2020