Draft Research Agenda Identifies Objectives to Prevent Traumatic Occupational Injuries

Published December 13, 2017

The promotion of safety for workers in non-standard work arrangements, including temporary workers, independent contractors, and gig workers, is one of eight strategic objectives for preventing traumatic injury identified in a new draft National Occupational Research Agenda published by NIOSH. The team that helped develop the agenda, the NORA Traumatic Injury Prevention Council, was formed in 2016 to focus on preventing injuries and deaths related to traumatic injury, which NIOSH says is a leading cause of injury in nearly all industry sectors. The draft research agenda lists reducing violence in the workplace and reducing falls and advancing fall protection among other objectives related to research, information, and actions needed to prevent occupational injuries. NIOSH’s draft agenda also urges efforts to improve occupational safety equity across worker populations. According to the agency, workers’ risk of occupational injuries and fatalities “differs greatly” depending on industry and occupation.

“Addressing disparate rates of injuries and fatalities within high-risk worker groups requires improved surveillance that addresses underreporting and misclassification of employees to better identify trends in occupational injury across socio-demographic groups,” the draft document reads.

In addition to surveillance, the agenda discusses the need for research to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of interventions. Research focused on approaches for the successful implementation of occupational safety solutions for diverse worker groups, including home healthcare workers, emergency responders, and construction workers, is also needed.

The new draft agenda further addresses the prevention of work-related motor vehicle injuries and crashes, the prevention of injuries related to human-machine interaction, and the promotion of rigorous evaluations of occupational injury prevention programs and efforts.

The draft National Occupational Research Agenda for Traumatic Injury Prevention is available as a PDF in the docket on Regulations.gov. NIOSH invites comments on the draft agenda through Feb. 5, 2018. Instructions for submitting comments are available in the Federal Register notice.

NORA is a partnership program that was created in 1996 to identify and address critical issues in workplace health and safety. Learn more on NIOSH’s website.