Traumatic Occupational Injury Research Needs and Prioritiesby Nancy Stout, William Borwegen, George Conway, Alan Hoskin
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In April 1996, at the 25th Anniversary of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 in Washington, DC, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) unveiled the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA). NORA was developed by NIOSH and approximately 500 of its partners in the public and private sectors to provide a framework to guide occupational safety and health research in the United States over the next decade. This effort to guide and coordinate research nationallynot only for NIOSH, but for the entire occupational safety and health community is focused on 21 priority areas identified as important and most likely to improve worker safety and health in the United States.
Among these 21 priority areas are 7 disease and injury categories, including the broad category of traumatic occupational injuries. Traumatic injuries have plagued workers in the United States, and all over the world, for centuries. Today, injuries and deaths resulting from motor vehicle crashes during work-related driving, workplace violence, falls, contact with industrial and agricultural machinery, electrical shock, fires and explosions, and many other causes of injury, continue to claim the lives, damage the physical and psychological well-being, and consume the resources of workers and their families. The overall human, social, and financial toll of traumatic occupational injury is enormous, rivaling the burden imposed by such health threats as cancer and cardiovascular disease.
A key part of implementing NORA was the formation of partnership teams to assist in the development, pursuit, review, and dissemination of research under each NORA topic. This report is a product of the NORA Traumatic Occupational Injury Teama group of individuals representing government, industry, labor, and academia and a variety of backgrounds and disciplines associated with public health, safety sciences, engineering, and communications. The Traumatic Occupational Injury Team has compiled this report in an effort to describe the research needed to advance the knowledge, and thus the prevention, of traumatic occupational injuries. This document is not intended as a definitive or detailed listing of all necessary research tasks in occupational injury research. Rather, the intent is to present a broad framework of the objectives and research needed to begin filling the gaps in knowledge and furthering progress toward safer workplaces and practices.
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