Pilot Testing the Use of State EMS Response Data for Occupational Health Surveillance of EMS Workers

This 3-year project will demonstrate the feasibility of using state EMS response data collected in accordance with current National EMS Information System (NEMSIS) standards for national surveillance of occupational injury and exposure among EMS personnel by piloting the concept for a period of three years with three state partners that require collection of the necessary data.

Project contact: Matthew Groenewold
Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies
Project period: 2016-2018

Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program

The purpose of this project is to reduce fire fighter fatalities by identifying work situations at high risk for fatal injury and formulating prevention strategies for those who can intervene in the workplace. NIOSH conducts on-site investigations of fire fighter line-of-duty deaths to identify the circumstances and conditions that contributed to the fatality, and then disseminates recommendations for preventing similar occurrences.

Project contact: Matt Bowyer
Division of Safety Research
Project period: 1997-2022

Standards Development Organizations Activities

The project purpose is continuous improvement in emergency services personal protective equipment (PPE) by revising existing standards and developing new standards. This process considers new material technologies and design configurations which can be driven by performance criteria mandated in PPE certification standards. Implementing these National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards enhances worker safety and health hazard prevention. NIOSH staff at the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory participate in the revision process of NFPA protective clothing, equipment, and selection, care and maintenance standards according to a timeline mandated by NFPA.

Project contact: William Haskell
National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory
Project period: 2006-2020

Development of Performance and Design Criteria for Isolation Gowns

The purpose of this project is to improve isolation gown selection and use compliance among healthcare workers by developing information products, performance, and design requirements. It aims to evaluate currently-used isolation gowns to determine existing products, performance, and design limitations as well as interface issues. The specific goals are to determine the protection, comfort level, tolerability, and interface issues with the most common isolation gowns and to define performance and design requirements based on the results and end-user feedback.

Project contact: Selcen Kilinc-Balci
National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory
(412) 386-4086
Project period: 2011-2018

Performance Requirements and Test Methods for Head Covers, Footwear Covers, Aprons and Glove/Protective Clothing Interface Regions

This project aims to improve personal protective equipment (PPE) selection and use compliance among healthcare workers (HCWs) and emergency medical service providers by developing performance and design requirements. The project findings will be provided to Standard Development Organizations (SDOs) such as American Society for Testing & Materials (ASTM) International, Association for Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI), and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). These organizations can utilize the findings as the scientific basis for the development of new standards or improvements to the current standards or guidelines.

Project contact: Selcen Kilinc-Balci
National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory
(412) 386-4086
Project period: 2015-2020

Effect of PPE on Biomechanical and Physiological Responses in First Receivers during Decontamination Performance

This laboratory-based project will comprehensively evaluate stresses imposed on first receivers wearing PPE. Results will be used to develop safer work practices for first receivers and healthcare workers wearing higher levels of PPE during clinical care of Ebola patients, or other infectious disease patients, especially in places lacking environmental controls. The long-term goals are to develop safety guidelines (e.g. work-rest ratio, physical criteria) and to improve PPE design for first receivers.

Project contact: Kenny Kim
National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory
(412) 386-5010
Project period: 2015-2018

Three Occupation Specific Units for the Workplace Violence Prevention Online Course

The purpose of this project is to create occupation specific workplace violence prevention courses that will provide relevant information for emergency responders (emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics, etc.), stand-alone healthcare facilities (physicians, dentists, pharmacies etc.), and social services/home healthcare providers

Project contact: Daniel Hartley
Division of Safety Research
(304) 285-5812
Project period: 2014-2020

Disaster Science Responder Research (DSRR) Program

The DSRR Program promotes the implementation of timely and scalable research to improve responder safety and health. Specifically, the mission of the DSRR is to inform approaches for conducting research during a disaster and create mechanisms for overcoming the associated logistical, technical and administrative burdens that researchers will encounter during an emergency response. The program will also develop a NIOSH research agenda to address research gaps in responder safety and health.

Project contact: Angela Weber
Office of the Director
(404) 639-0716
Project period: 2015-2026

Page last reviewed: March 20, 2018