NIOSH Announces Research Workshop for Designing Worker Safety, Health into Green Jobs & Sustainability


November 13, 2009
NIOSH Update:

Contact: Contact: Christina Spring, (202) 245-0633

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) will hold a national research workshop, Making Green Jobs Safe: Integrating worker health and safety into sustainability, on Dec. 14 – 16, 2009, in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the workshop is to stimulate and begin planning national research to help make worker health and safety an integral component of the new green economy.

Investments in renewable energy sources, energy savings, and environmental sustainability are key components of jump-starting the U.S. economy. At the Workshop, 150 of the Nation’s health, safety and sustainability leaders will gather to provide input into a plan for designing safe and healthy work processes, methods, strategies, materials, equipment, and facilities into green jobs, green products, green practices, and green technology. Workshop participants will frame issues including the identification of factors that may motivate, enable, or impede such efforts; needed knowledge, skills, process and tools;
and necessary incentives and recognition systems.

“As the traditional job market is changing to adapt to the new challenge of developing environmentally friendly practices, NIOSH is working closely with our partners to make sure that worker safety and health is not left behind,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “This Workshop under NIOSH’s Prevention through Design initiative is an important step in helping to identify our shared priorities, and it is an opportunity to be proactive on joining a prosperous green economy with safe and healthy work.”

The focus of the Workshop is to outline research priorities and activities, including occupational safety and health issues associated with the Nation’s infrastructure (buildings, roads and bridges); energy (“smart grid,” solar and wind power); technology (green chemistry and nanotechnology); products; and recycling. Over the period of three days health, safety and sustainability leaders will engage participants in a discussion of the gaps currently preventing the intent of making the green economy a safe one, as well as the goals for closing those gaps. Participants will identify the current realities, priorities, and needed resources to achieve the vision of making green jobs safe.

NIOSH, through the Prevention through Design (PtD) initiative, is collaborating with partners to develop a framework to raise awareness, provide guidance, and address issues for “designing out” or minimizing occupational hazards early in the process of designing new workplaces, workplace renovations, equipment, materials, or work processes. For additional details about the upcoming Workshop, including the meeting agenda, contact Donna Heidel at

For more information about NIOSH’s Prevention through Design initiative and green jobs activities under the initiative, visit

NIOSH is the federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. It was created under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, and is part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Further information about NIOSH is available at

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