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The information below is taken from the NIOSH website (,

Summary, Mission, and Strategic Goals and Objectives

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is the federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness.


The mission of the NIOSH is to generate new knowledge in the field of occupational safety and health and to transfer that knowledge into practice for the betterment of workers. To accomplish this mission, NIOSH conducts scientific research, develops guidance and authoritative recommendations, disseminates information, and responds to requests for workplace health hazard evaluations.

NIOSH provides national and world leadership to prevent work-related illness, injury, disability, and death by gathering information, conducting scientific research, and translating the knowledge gained into products and services, including scientific information products, training videos, and recommendations for improving safety and health in the workplace.

Strategic Goals and Objectives

Goal 1: Conduct research to reduce work-related illnesses and injuries.

  • Track work-related hazards, exposures, illnesses and injuries for prevention.
  • Generate new knowledge through intramural and extramural research programs.
  • Develop innovative solutions for difficult-to-solve problems in high-risk industrial sectors.

Goal 2: Promote safe and healthy workplaces through interventions, recommendations and capacity building.

  • Enhance the relevance and utility of recommendations and guidance.
  • Transfer research findings, technologies and information into practice.
  • Build capacity to address traditional and emerging hazards.

Goal 3: Enhance international workplace safety and health through global collaborations.

  • Take a leadership role in developing a global network of occupational health centers.
  • Investigate alternative approaches to workplace illness and injury reduction and provide technical assistance to put solutions in place.
  • Build global professional capacity to address workplace hazards through training, information sharing and research experience.


The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 created both NIOSH and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA is in the U.S. Department of Labor and is responsible for developing and enforcing workplace safety and health regulations. NIOSH is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Department of Health and Human Services. NIOSH is an agency established to help assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by providing research, information, education, and training in the field of occupational safety and health. Information pertaining to the specific responsibilities of NIOSH are found in Section 22 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 CFR § 671). Additionally, the Federal Mine Safety and Health Amendments Act of 1977 delegated additional authority to NIOSH for coal mine health research.

NIOSH Research

National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA): In 1996, NIOSH launched NORA, an innovative public-private partnership to establish priorities for occupational safety and health research both at NIOSH and throughout the country. During its first decade, NORA advanced safety and health knowledge in 21 scientific areas by emphasizing priority-driven research. In 2006, NORA began its second decade by focusing national research on the problems of highest relevance to workers, employers and occupational safety and health practitioners in the major industrial sectors of Agriculture, Construction, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Mining, Services, Trade and Transportation. NIOSH serves as the steward of the NORA and facilitates the work of stakeholder-driven NORA Sector Councils, which have developed roadmaps to direct research and service activities in each sector. It is NIOSH's job to ensure that NORA research activities are relevant to the problems of today's workplaces, conducted using the highest quality science, and having a measurable impact on improving the lives of workers.

Moving Research into Practice

To ensure that NORA research has impact on the lives of workers and their families, NIOSH uses a research-to-practice focus for all its intramural and extramural activities. Through its Research to Practice (r2p) Initiative, NIOSH works closely with partners to transfer and translate research findings, technologies, and information into highly effective prevention practices and products that can be adopted immediately in the workplace.

Prevention through Design: Many workplace fatalities and injuries are caused by poor design of equipment and processes, yet design standards for occupational safety and health are few. In 2007, NIOSH began a national initiative called Prevention through Design (PtD) to eliminate hazards from the workplace that result from design flaws. PtD helps engineers and architects, employers, owners, and others to recognize design issues that affect worker safety and to incorporate safe design, equipment, and work practices early in the design process, and as new facilities are built or existing ones are renovated.

WorkLife Initiative: Integrating protection of the worker in the workplace with promotion of a healthy lifestyle at home is a win-win for workers. The NIOSH WorkLife Initiative is working to sustain and improve worker health through better work-based programs, policies, and practices. This is a new approach to occupational safety and health and reflects a growing appreciation of the complexity of influences on worker health and of the interactions between work-based and non-work factors.

Health Hazard Evaluation Program: The Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) Program is at the frontline of NIOSH research and service. In response to requests from workers (or their representatives), employers, and other government agencies, HHE scientists conduct workplace assessments to determine if workers are exposed to hazardous materials or harmful conditions and whether these exposures are affecting worker health. NIOSH evaluates the workplace environment and the health of employees by reviewing records and conducting on-site environmental sampling, epidemiologic surveys, and medical testing.

Additional Information

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