Services Program

Workers in the Services sector

The Services Program provides leadership to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses and fatalities among the nation’s 68 million service workers. The Services Program works with partners in industry, labor, and trade associations to reduce traumatic injuries in targeted subsectors and address emerging issues.

Featured Items

COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Toolkits
Two new communication toolkits are available to help employers provide workers with information about COVID-19 vaccines, increase awareness about vaccine benefits, and address common questions and concerns: one for essential workers across various industries and another for school settings and childcare programs. These toolkits contain a variety of resources including key messages, FAQs, posters, newsletter content, and more.

Industry-Specific COVID-19 Resources
Numerous industry-specific resources are available to protect essential service workers and other workers in the services sector against COVID-19, including resources for bank employees and employers, beauty salon and barbershop employees and employers, food and grocery pickup and delivery drivers, funeral home workers, gym and fitness center employees and employers, hotel, resort, and lodge employees and employers, nail salon employees and employers, public health inspector employees and employers, sanitation and wastewater workers, school nutrition professionals and volunteers, and waste collectors and recyclers.

Health Care Access Among Essential Workersexternal icon
Essential workers need access to health care services for diagnosis and treatment of illnesses, including COVID-19, as well as for preventive care. Data from the Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) were used to assess four measures of health care access for workers in different occupational groups. Workers in two services subsectors were found to have significantly lower levels of health care access compared to other workers: 1) building and grounds cleaning and maintenance; and 2) food preparation and service.

Dampness and Mold Assessment Tools for School Buildings and General Buildings
The health of those who live, attend school, or work in damp buildings has been a growing concern through the years due to a broad range of reported building-related symptoms and illnesses. These tools can be used to help assess areas of dampness in buildings and to help prioritize remediation of problems areas.

Effectiveness of a Slip-Resistant Footwear Program for Food Service Workers
Slips, trips, and falls are the second leading cause of work-related injuries in the United States. Service workers experience elevated rates of slips, trips, and falls compared to the rate for workers across all industries. This study conducted a cluster randomized trial to examine the effectiveness of a no-cost-to-workers, slip-resistant footwear program. The program was found to significantly reduce slipping-related injuries among food service workers.


The services sector has approximately 74 million workers and includes all jobs under NAICS codes 51-56, 61,71-72,81 & 92. The occupational environments for workers in the services sectors are diverse and include offices, hotel rooms, indoor and outdoor entertainment facilities, restaurants, classrooms, automotive garages, waste collection/treatment/disposal facilities, personal care establishments, public roads, and private households. Some service workers frequently travel on roadways as part of their jobs and many service jobs are physically demanding. As a result, there are a variety of occupational hazards that can potentially affect the safety and health of these workers.

Research Priorities

The Services program has selected research priorities on the basis of burden, need, and impact and collaborated with other NIOSH research programs to write the research goals in the NIOSH Strategic Plan for FYs 2019-2023. The priority areas are:


The Services Program Performance One-Pager (PPOP) offers a snapshot of NIOSH programs’ priorities, strategies used to make progress towards priorities, recent accomplishments, and upcoming work.

To learn more

Resource and Topic Pages
More information on specific workplace safety and health topics and useful resources can be found on the following topic pages:

Health Hazard Evaluations (HHEs)
HHEs provide authoritative assistance in evaluating new and recurring workplace health hazards and recommended preventive measures based on evaluation findings Health Hazard Evaluations (HHEs) related to the services sector. Select “Services (except Public Safety)” as the industry category.

NORA Council
The Services Program helps lead the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Services Sector Council, which brings together individuals and organizations to share information, form partnerships, and promote adoption and dissemination of solutions that work. An important priority for the Sector is to address needs of workers who experience disproportionate incidence of occupational injuries and illnesses, such as temporary and contingent workers. Other important issues that cut across much of the services industry include occupational stress, hearing loss, and musculoskeletal disorders. The NORA for Services is intended to identify the knowledge and actions most urgently needed to identify occupational risk factors to prevent avoidable adverse health outcomes among Service workers. The final version of the NORA for Services can be found here.

Contact the Services Program with any questions at

Page last reviewed: July 30, 2021