Dawn Castillo, MPH, NIOSH/DSR; Sydney Webb, PhD, NIOSH/DSR; Christina Socias-Morales, DrPH, NIOSH/DSR; Christine Schuler, PhD, NIOSH/DSR
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) Traumatic Injury Prevention (TIP) Program aims to reduce and prevent work-related injury and death, across all industries due to acute trauma or violence. To achieve this mission, we conduct high-quality research using the public health approach to identify the most compelling risks to workers through surveillance, analytic epidemiology, and field investigations. We also leverage protective technology research, including engineering science and human factors research, to improve personal protective equipment, tools, and workspaces, to keep workers safe on the job. We utilize our expertise in health communications to disseminate research results to those who can affect workplace prevention efforts.
The TIP Program is committed to the development of practical solutions to address the complex problems that cause traumatic injuries and deaths among workers. To do this, the TIP Program’s research is focused on: – Preventing injuries and deaths from on-the-job motor vehicle crashes, falls at work, workplace violence, and the human-machine interaction, – Identifying and evaluating ways to reduce traumatic injuries among workers at increased risk of injury and death based on socioeconomic circumstances and the work environment, and – Addressing emerging issues such as COVID-19, new technologies, and drug overdoses.
There are three key research activities that support the TIP Program’s aim to reduce worker injury and death. Those activities are: – Surveillance to identify and track traumatic injury problems in specific worker populations, prioritize research needs, target prevention efforts, and monitor work-related injury and death trends, – Field-based studies to determine causes and risk factors for work-related injuries, identify emerging problems for future study, and evaluate the efficacy of interventions, best practice solutions, and engineering controls, and – Lab research to examine everything from workplace equipment to human behavior and decision-making skills in a safe and controlled environment.
Some recent examples of the TIP Program’s research efforts include: – Partnering with industry leaders to design and evaluate interventions to reduce fatigue among law enforcement workers, taxi drivers, truck drivers, and oil and gas extraction workers, – Releasing guidance and an infographic to reduce violence toward workers when businesses implement policies and practices to reduce the spread of COVID-19, – Publishing findings and an infographic on drug overdose deaths by industry and occupation, – Publishing a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report that estimated 3.2 million nonfatal injuries requiring treatment at hospital emergency departments occurred among young workers in the U.S. from 2012-2018, with the highest rates among workers 18-19 years of age, – Partnering with the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund studies of collaborative robots in the workplace through NSF’s National Robotics Initiative 2.0. The Initiative supports research in the U.S. that will accelerate the development and use of collaborative robots, an emerging robotic technology that complements, but does not replace, human workers, and – Planning the 8th National Occupational Injury Research Symposium (NOIRS) in May 2022 with over 300 researchers, safety professionals, and students expected to attend. In addition to conducting research, the TIP Program works closely with partners from industry, labor, trade associations, professional organizations, other government agencies, and academia. Through our program partnerships we address challenges facing today’s workforce. Our partners contribute to a safer workforce by providing: – Valuable input for setting research priorities through the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA). – Specialized expertise to support the research, analysis, interpretation, and communication of results. – A means of putting information into common practice at the worksite.
Collective efforts from the TIP Program’s research activities and partnerships are vital to ensuring the effective promotion and transfer of findings into practices, products, and technologies that keep workers safe on the job. Some examples of how the TIP Program has worked to support adoption of our research – or move research to practice – includes the development of: – A fact sheet and poster that provides firefighters with tactics for safely fighting rowhouse fires, – Concise, visually appealing companion products for Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) reports that can be used for worker training, – A toolkit that includes 40 safety messages to promote safe driving practices among law enforcement patrol officers, – An infographic on preventing struck-by incidents among law enforcement officers at vehicle crash scenes – A free mobile app to help workers who use ladders set up an extension ladder at the appropriate angle, and – An online, interactive training course to aid healthcare workers in better understanding the scope, nature, and prevention of violence in the workplace.
Individuals and organizations interested in reducing and preventing work-related traumatic injuries are encouraged to join the NORA TIP Program Council, which serves to bring those with similar interests together to address the national agenda through information exchange, collaboration, and enhanced dissemination and implementation of solutions that work. To learn more about the TIP Program, visit our website: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/programs/ti/default.html. To join the NORA TIP Program Council, please contact Dr. Christine Schuler at CSchuler@cdc.gov.