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	worker wearing a respirator

Input: Occupational Safety and Health Risks

Exposures, fatalities, and injuries among the nation’s workers are substantially reduced with the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and technologies. It is estimated that 20 million workers use PPE on a regular basis to protect them from job hazards and a total of 135,000 workers potentially could benefit from the use of PPE ( Worker Health Chartbook 2004 ). PPE protects workers from death and disabling injuries and illnesses as well as from the specific threats of exposures to certain airborne biological particles, chemical agents, splashes, noise exposures, fall hazards, head hazards, and fires.

The use of personal protective technologies crosses all industry sectors. Summaries describing the illnesses, injuries and fatalities within the various industry sectors are described in the PPE strategies found below.

These strategy documents summarize the surveillance data needs and issues relative to each industry sector and serve as guides for developing the future PPT Program within each industry sector. A mining strategy was not developed due to the extensive surveillance and adequate direction for PPT in the Mining Program.

Improvements and changes in the personal protective technology industries are realized in the form of standards and regulations, revisions and alterations to existing standards, subsequent availability of PPE complying with the standards and regulations, and demonstrations of PPE use. Other important impacts of the PPT Program have resulted from reduced exposure to inhalation, dermal, and injury hazards. Reduced exposure often correlates directly with reduced injuries, diseases, and death. We have made such impacts in strengthened legislation, new regulations, improved technology, increased use of personal protective technologies, and effective communication/education.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) occupational fatality information can be found in the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries .

Nonfatal Injuries and Illnesses

BLS data on occupational injuries and illnesses

NIOSH Worker Health Chartbook, 2004
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication 2004-146
The Worker Health Chartbook, 2004 is a descriptive epidemiologic reference on occupational morbidity and mortality in the United States. A resource for agencies, organizations, employers, researchers, workers, and others who need to know about occupational injuries and illnesses, the Chartbook includes more than 400 figures and tables describing the magnitude, distribution, and trends of the nation's occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.

Data presented in this document are based on the 1987 Standard Industrial Classification (SIC), which does not correspond directly with the 2002 NAICS. For information on converting 1987 SIC codes to 2002 NAICS codes, see: