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February 06, 2019
Workers, employers click with NIOSH resources

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) announced the most accessed resources on it blog, social media accounts, and website during 2018.

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Employers, workers, and the public can find evidence-based safety and health resources on the institute’s site and social media accounts.

Users can download copies of NIOSH’s print publications on its website, https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/index.htm. These include publications indispensable for complying with federal and states regulations. The ones most often downloaded last year were:

  • NIOSH List of Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs in Healthcare Settings, 2016;
  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards;
  • NIOSH Lifting Equation; and
  • NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods.

Website users also frequently read NIOSH pages on emergency needlestick information, NIOSH-approved N95 particulate filtering facepiece respirators, and the institute’s World Trade Center Health Program, which provides medical monitoring and treatment for responders at sites of the September 11, 2001 attacks at the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and Shanksville, PA.

The terms most often searched on the NIOSH website were:

  • NIOSH,
  • NIOSH pocket guide,
  • NIOSH hazardous drug list,
  • WTC health program, and
  • Heat stress.

Science Blog

NIOSH maintains a science blog, where it regularly posts updates on occupational safety and health research. The most read posts of the institute’s blog were:

  • So How Accurate Are These Smartphone Sound Measurement Apps;
  • Dangers of Bathtub Refinishing;
  • New NIOSH Sound Level Meter App;
  • Understanding Noise Exposure Limits: Occupational vs. General Environmental Noise; and
  • Keeping Workers Hydrated and Cool Despite the Heat.

That users clicked on so many articles on noise exposure and hearing conservation suggests many are concerned about noise-induced hearing loss. Many employers are faced with workers who have significant non-occupational noise exposures, such as attending car races, music concerts, and sporting events that contribute to workers’ total noise exposure.

Workers also are showing up on the job with consumer noise level meter apps installed on their personal mobile phones. NIOSH determined that some consumer apps can be useful in making spot noise measurements.

The institute developed its own iOS noise level meter app for Apple iPhones. The NIOSH SLM app provides a readout of sound levels using the iPhone’s built-in microphone.

NIOSH social media accounts

NIOSH also maintains social media accounts on Facebook (@niosh), Instagram (nioshusa), and Twitter (@NIOSH).  It posts images and short animated video clips to its Instagram account. The most popular image on the Instagram account in 2018 was one directed at police officers, promoting its Officer Road Code Toolkit.

The most read Facebook page posts were:

  • Did you know that there are 10 new SAE crash test methods for ambulances;
  • Falls to a lower level killed 4,439 construction workers in the United States during 2003 to 2015, about 341 deaths annually; and
  • Commit time in your schedule May 7-11 to join the 2018 National Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction.

Harvard students add safety to Wikipedia

NIOSH researchers also helped an instructor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, who assigned student projects to add or enhance Wikipedia articles about occupational safety and health issues. Dr. Diana Ceballos used the Wiki Education Foundation platform during two of the years she taught a graduate-level public health course, “Introduction to the Work Environment.”

Students contributed to Wikipedia articles on electronic waste and isocyanate. One created a brand-new article on occupational safety and health in the casino industry. While Wikipedia articles are written in plain English for a general audience, they also contain links to resources that can be useful to employers.

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