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Traumatic Injury Research at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
contributors to occupational injuries and deaths and are sensitive to populations and groups at disproportionate risk. In future iterations of its strategicgoals, the TI Research Program should work toward focusing its efforts. Thecommittee developed nine recommendations for program improvement inthe areas of strategic planning, coordination and collaboration, workforcedevelopment, transfer, and the changing nature of work.
In 2006, 5,840 workers—more than 110 workers each week—died as a result of injuries sustained on the job. These deaths occurred across all industry sectors (BLS, 2008). Nonfatal work-related injuries far outnumber fatalities and are much more difficult to count. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2006, 3.9 million nonfatal injuries were sustained by U.S. workers in private-sector employment (BLS, 2008). More than half of these injuries required workers to transfer to another job, restrict their duties at work, or take time off from work to recuperate. These BLS estimates are widely recognized to underestimate the full extent of the problem. They exclude nonfatal injuries among the 22 percent of the workforce that are not in private-sector employment, and there is also evidence that private-sector injuries are under counted. One population-based study of work injuries (Smith et al., 2005) estimated that counts of injuries resulting in days away from work were 1.4 times higher than BLS workplace-based estimates for the private sector.
NIOSH is a component of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Created in 1970 by the OSH Act along with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the Department of Labor (DOL), NIOSH was authorized to
Conduct research on worker safety and health, including new safety and health problems;
Develop recommendations for occupational safety and health standards;
Conduct training and employee education;
Develop information on safe levels of exposure to toxic materials and harmful physical agents and substances;
Conduct on-site investigations to determine the toxicity of materials used in workplaces; and
Fund research by other agencies or private organizations through grants, contracts, and other arrangements.