Services Program PPOP

What are our priorities?

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Services Program works to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses, and fatalities among the nation’s more than 68 million service workers. The services sector is highly diverse, encompassing 11 major NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) industry groups. The program works with partners in industry, labor, trade and professional associations, government, and academia to prevent and reduce the following health and safety outcomes, with examples of priority industries in parentheses:

  • Cardiovascular disease and adverse reproductive health outcomes (education, administration, and support)
  • 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, hotels)
  • Respiratory disease, particularly asthma (education, building services)
  • Falls (waste management and remediation, restaurants)

Additionally, the program focuses on improving safety and health among contingent workers and those in non-standard work arrangements (temporary agency, contract, and “gig” workers). The program also focuses on integrating protection from work-related safety and health hazards with promotion of injury and illness prevention efforts to advance worker well-being (Total Worker Health® 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.
  • Publish the findings of services sector Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) field investigations of potential workplace hazards and promote the adoption of recommended practices. HHE reports can be accessed using the HHE 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 (clients of staffing companies).
What have we accomplished?
  • Provided input on multiple CDC/NIOSH coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) response research and outreach activities related to protecting K–12 teachers and staff and temporary workers.
  • Published 17 industry-specific COVID-19 resources to prevent virus transmission among essential service workers.
What’s next?
  • Publish a CDC Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) on leave policies and COVID-19 mitigation strategies implemented in workplaces.
  • Publish a new set of recommended practices, Protecting Temporary Workers: Best Practices for Host Employers, with stakeholders and industry partners.
  • Begin a pilot study to test the efficacy of a new training curriculum designed to promote foundational workplace safety and health
  • knowledge and skills among contingent workers involved in workforce development programs.
  • Publish an article using workers’ compensation data to characterize injuries and illnesses among landscaping workers.
  • Begin field sampling of biological agents including microbiomes in school buildings to better understand mixed exposures among teachers.

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
September 2021

Page last reviewed: June 29, 2020