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What You Need To Know About The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

May 3, 2021
June 21, 2023
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) building in Morgantown, WV.

Workers’ compensation claims are highest for injuries and illnesses in occupations that involve laborers, truck-driving, nursing, stalking or filling orders, maintenance or repairs, construction, cleanup and janitors.

However, federal agencies offer businesses preventative tips to reduce these claims and keep the workplace safe. 

What Does NIOSH Cover?

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, or NIOSH, is a federal agency established in 1970 under the CDC. They offer guidance and policies pertaining to:

  1. Hazards and Exposures
    Hazards and exposures come in many forms including hazardous drug exposure, heat stress, cold stress, asphalt fumes, climate change, indoor environmental quality, tobacco in the workplace, poisonous plants, and others.

  2. Chemicals
    NIOSH provides a list of chemical safety resources company leaders can review and post in their workplace based on what their employees handle. They offer guidance on preventing illness or injury relating to the handling of ammonia, beryllium, cobalt, formaldehyde, hydrazine, sodium hydroxide, and vermiculite among others.

  3. Emergency Preparedness and Response
    Companies can find a directory of emergency preparedness and response resources for things such as earthquake clean up and responses and other natural disasters, chemical hazards, wildfires, storm responses, hurricane responses, or tornado cleanup.

  4. Industries and Occupations
    Individual industries and organizations have specific health and safety research tips from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health including veterinary services, outdoor workers, construction workers, small businesses, office workers, miners, firefighters, healthcare workers, dry cleaners, aircrew, and custodial services.

  5. Diseases and Injuries
    NIOSH’s definition of diseases and injuries applies to work-related injuries and diseases such as work-related asthma, the flu, occupational cancer, emerging infectious diseases, latex allergies, Lyme disease or mosquito borne illnesses, respiratory health, stress, skin exposures, tuberculosis, traumatic occupational injuries, and a range of other occupational diseases.

  6. Safety and Prevention
    Safety and prevention offers policies for initiatives that ensure nail gun safety, noise and hearing loss prevention, protective clothing, logging safety, motor vehicle safety, electrical safety, distracted driving at work, and even controls for noise exposure.

NIOSH Compliance Is Better For Your Bottom Line

The agency is responsible for conducting research and subsequently providing recommendations for company leadership as to how they can best prevent work related illnesses and injuries.

NIOSH suggests many policies which company leadership should consider implementing.

For example: A company with workers operating in an outdoor environment needs to be familiar with policy suggestions to prevent mosquito borne diseases, Lyme disease, or workplace injuries.  A company with workers handling chemicals needs to be aware of the specific safety resources put together by the agency for individual chemicals like nitric acid, pesticides, or sulfuric acid.

These policies, used in tandem with wellness management initiatives can reduce the risk of injury, and subsequent workers compensation claims, while improving workplace satisfaction and retention. 

Protect Your Workforce With Work-Fit

By design, NIOSH policies work toward prevention of injury and illness, a goal reinforced by the services that Work-Fit offers. Company leaders who implement injury prevention services by Work-Fit position their company for up to 98.8% injury prevention success with early intervention.

Contact Work-Fit  to get started in one of our onsite or telehealth/virtual workplace wellness programs!


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