NIOSH Sponsors Inaugural Conference on Eliminating Health & Safety Disparities at Work


September 13, 2011
NIOSH Update:

Contact: Christina Spring, (202) 245-0633

On September 14th and 15th, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is sponsoring the first national conference, “Eliminating Health and Safety Disparities at Work.” The focus of the conference is to develop a better understanding of the social, cultural, and economic factors that create and effect occupational health and safety disparities.

Over the course of the two-day conference, attendees will look at future research needs and share ideas on ways to eliminate occupational health and safety disparities through innovative interventions. Five white papers were developed in advance of the meeting to help stimulate discussion and ideas among the participants.

“This conference provides the opportunity for those working in the field to strategize a way forward, ” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “Every worker deserves a safe and healthy workplace and we strive to ensure that they have equal access to safe and healthy work environments, regardless of their social, racial or economic background.”

The conference is being held at the Doubletree Hotel Chicago Magnificent Mile. Researchers in the field of health disparities, as well as representatives from community organizations, labor organizations, state and local health and labor agencies and employers concerned about health disparities at work will be in attendance. To learn more about the conference or read the white papers, go to icon.

The Environmental Justice Interagency Working Group (EJ IWG) will also host a town hall meeting on the afternoon of September 15th, where participants will be encouraged to share their concerns about work environment health issues. No prior registration is required to attend this event.

Prior to the conference, on September 13th, the University of Illinois at Chicago will be holding a centennial celebration recognizing occupational safety and health pioneer Alice Hamilton’s contribution to improving worker safety and health in Illinois. To learn more about that event, including how to sign-up to attend, go to icon.

In addition to NIOSH, other federal co-sponsors include the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Non-federal sponsors include the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AOEC), the Institute of Medicine of Chicago (IOMC), the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM), the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), and the American Public Health Association (APHA). The conference is being hosted by the University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health.

NIOSH is the federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries and illness. More information about NIOSH can be found at

Page last reviewed: September 13, 2011